Cat’s Eye, or a Little Luck of the Irish
In 1951, Walter O’Malley watched the Dodgers lose a heartbreaking National League Playoff Series to the rival New York Giants. The famous “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” home run by Bobby Thomson at the Polo Grounds spelled the end of the Dodger season, as they lost two games to one to the Giants. O’Malley consistently wore a polka dot blue tie, looking for a little luck for the Dodgers to win the Pennant and advance to the World Series. As fate would have it, O’Malley’s polka dot tie was not the solution, so for the 1952 season, he vowed to change his fortunes.
Beginning with the new season, O’Malley decided to wear a good luck’s cat’s eye ring, which had once been owned by famed financier and philanthropist Diamond Jim Brady. A friend of O’Malley’s insisted that if the Dodger President had worn the intriguing ring the previous season, the Dodgers would have won the National League Pennant.
As things turned out, the Dodgers did win the 1952 National League Pennant with a 96-57 record. However, the luck of the Irish, or cat’s eye, ran out when the Dodgers played their old nemesis, the New York Yankees in the World Series. It did carry him a long way, though, to the last game of the season. The Yankees defeated the Dodgers, four games to three, in the World Series.
Sources: The Sporting News, Sept. 3, 1952; New York Times, Oct. 2, 1951