Dodger Team History Walter O'Malley The Official Website

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St. Patrick's Day Parties A Legend At Dodgertown

Tip O’ the Dodger ‘Green’  
Writing in the March 19, 1953 Vero Beach Press-Journal, Bob Curzon noted, “President O’Malley played host to the annual St. Patrick’s Day party at the McKee Jungle Gardens last Tuesday night and a good time was had by all.”
Though only a few players ever participated in the parties, the real purpose was for team executives and staff to celebrate the completion of the first month of spring training and turn the corner to focus on final preparations for the upcoming regular season. After being away from family members during spring training, it was a time for everyone to be entertained and relax for an evening. The media and VIP guest lists were lengthy, but the player list was short.
Players with musical talent might have received an invitation. Such was the case with shortstop Maury Wills, who had fine banjo playing ability, while Tommy Hutton (guitar), Alan Foster (guitar), Jim “Mudcat” Grant (sang), Nate “Pee Wee” Oliver (sang), Tommy Davis (claviata), Willie Davis (dancing) and Chuck Connors (recited “Casey at the Bat”) all entertained. Music by an accordionist, Irish tenors and duets were heard, as bands played “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen,” “Harrigan,” and “Sweet Rosie O’Grady.”
The invitation to the party of the spring (see separate section of invitations) became a work of art unto itself, as clever menus were concocted based on the names of Dodger players, coaches and executives: Oysters O’Zark, Alston mixed salad without Dressen, Corn O’Sorda, Soft Drink O’Drysdale, Scully onions, Andy High balls, Podres pudding, O’Porter potatoes, Milk O’Davis and DeLury Lima Beans. Of course, the menu included the traditional Irish fare of corned beef & cabbage with potatoes, vegetables and all of the trimmings.
Normally, following a festive happy hour, dinner was served and a few recognitions and short speeches were made, followed by more entertainment. After the meal, a rousing post evening of dancing and celebrating went into the wee hours of morning.
Dodger head trainer Bill Buhler headed the decorating committee and always adroitly handled the task using streamers, balloons, pompons, confetti, drawings, converting a recreation hall or dining room into a sparkling emerald jewel.

Dodger broadcasters Vin Scully, Red Barber and Connie Desmond (left to right), along with Walter O’Malley are in a festive mood for the 1952 St. Patty’s Day party.

The First Lady of the Dodgers Kay O’Malley and Walter O’Malley always looked forward to hosting friends, executives and staff members at Dodgertown St. Patrick’s Day parties.

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