Dodger Stadium Walter O'Malley The Official Website


November 14, 1957
Petitions asking for a referendum on an ordinance approved by the Los Angeles City Council entering into a contract with the Dodgers were filed with City Clerk Walter C. Peterson. A total of 51,767 names of registered voters were necessary to put a measure on the June 1958 ballot letting the public decide if the contract, approved on October 7, 1957, would remain in force or be nullified. Peterson had 30 days in which to verify the signatures on the petitions. C. A. Owen, head of the Citizens Committee which sponsored the referendum and Councilman John C. Holland, leader of a small group opposed to the contract, delivered the petitions by armored car to the City Clerk’s office. Walter O’Malley issued this statement, “A referendum is a democratic political process. Baseball is a democratic institution. While we would prefer to keep baseball out of politics and politics out of baseball, we will have to meet this challenge. It is unfortunate that the referendum will delay construction of the new stadium with resultant inconvenience to the baseball fans. We believe the fans, by their vote, will resent the special groups who have financed the petitions and will support the advocates of major league baseball. Anything worth having is worth fighting for and we like having a major league franchise in the best sports city in the country.”1

November 14, 1957
Walter O’Malley writes Vincent X. Flaherty, columnist of the Los Angeles Examiner, regarding the petition for a June 1958 Referendum, which will grind progress on the Dodger Stadium site to a halt. The “Proposition B” referendum would let voters in the City of Los Angeles decide the fate of the previously approved contract between the city and the Dodgers. “With the referendum coming up and all the local politicos running for cover it looks like a substantial and costly delay. I doubt if they will even go ahead and get the various parcels of land under control before the options run out. This is all very distressing and quite undignified for the City but we will have to meet the issues as they develop and wind up with our best one, two punch...I have been told people were approached for signatures but when they said they wanted the Dodgers to come the solicitor would say ‘Well, if that is what you want sign right here.’ In other words, the solicitors were to get a signature and acquire his 20 cents or 25 cents using any salesmanship that would accomplish the purpose.”

November 14, 1960
Walter O’Malley travels to Santa Barbara and has lunch with members of the local Pescadores Club to get acquainted with the area in case the Dodgers made the decision to leave Vero Beach, Florida and move their spring training headquarters closer to home. According to the Santa Barbara News-Press, “O’Malley acknowledged many reports that the Dodgers might abandon their longtime winter training quarters in Vero Beach, Fla., due to an ‘unfavorable political climate.’ If the Dodgers do leave Florida, O’Malley said, they probably would move their spring camp to Southern California rather than to Arizona which he said ‘already has as many training camps as it can support.’ O’Malley said Santa Barbara was one of several areas that would be considered for a new camp. He said that a study of temperatures here in February and March, the ‘spring’ training months, was being made. He also said that he planned to make another trip here soon with Reese H. Taylor, board chairman of the oil company (Union Oil) that sponsors Dodger broadcasts. O’Malley said Reese owns ‘substantial acreage, not far from here’ that would be considered for a training base for the 500 baseball players the Dodgers bring together for about two months every year. If the Dodgers do move their training camp, O’Malley said the new site would not only have the Dodgers for spring training but would be represented during baseball season by a Class C or D baseball club. Earlier, the Dodger chief remarked that Santa Barbara had not supported a Dodger farm club very well in the past. He attributed this to the ‘high economic level’ here...A drawback to this entire area, he said, is its distance from Arizona where the closest major league teams would be located for spring training.”2

November 14, 1960
Former Dodger player and Manager Casey Stengel is honored for his 50 years in baseball by the Verdugo Club in Glendale, California. Walter O’Malley made a presentation at the good-natured testimonial dinner. With another former Dodger player and Manager Leo “The Lip” Durocher also in attendance, O’Malley quipped, “It’s sort of embarrassing for me to be here with two former Brooklyn managers out of jobs.”3

1 Los Angeles Times, November 15, 1957
2 Charles Ireland, Santa Barbara News-Press, November 15, 1960
3 Bud Furillo, Los Angeles Herald Express, November 15, 1960

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