Walter O'Malley

From BR Bullpen

Walter omalley at Culver.jpg

Walter Francis O'Malley

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2008

Biographical information[edit]

Page from his Culver yearbook, 1922.

"Baseball isn't a business; it's more like a disease." - Walter O'Malley

Walter O'Malley attended Culver Military Academy, the University of Pennsylvania, and went to law school at Fordham University and Columbia University. He became an attorney in 1930, taking over legal work for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943. Along with Branch Rickey and John L. Smith, he purchased 75% of the Dodgers in 1944. When Smith, a tycoon with the Pfizer company died, O'Malley took over his stock. Eventually O'Malley and Rickey parted ways, and by 1950, O'Malley had 67% of the stock in the Dodgers, and became president of the club.

In 1958, O'Malley moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles, CA where they became the Los Angeles Dodgers, a move that made him a villain to millions of devastated fans left behind in Brooklyn, but which also turned out to be hugely successful, opening the West Coast for major league baseball. Under his ownership, the team won thirteen National League pennants and four World Series titles (one in Brooklyn, and three in L.A.). After his death, ownership of the club was assumed by his son Peter O'Malley. One of his grandson, Peter Seidler, later became the owner of the San Diego Padres.

O'Malley also had holdings in several other businesses including the Long Island Railroad, Brooklyn Borough Gas Co., N. Y. Subways Advertising Co., and others.

O'Malley was voted into the Hall of Fame in December of 2007.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Michael D'Antonio: Forever Blue: The True Story of Walter O'Malley, Baseball's Most Controversial Owner, Riverhead Books, New York, NY, 2009.
  • Peter Ellsworth: "The Brooklyn Dodgers' Move to Los Angeles: Was Walter O'Malley Responsible?", in Nine, 14, no. 1 (2005).
  • Paul Hirsch: "Walter O'Malley Was Right", in Jean Hastings Ardell and Andy McCue, ed.: Endless Seasons: Baseball in Southern California, The National Pastime, SABR, Number 41, 2011, pp. 81-83.
  • Roger Kahn: "Interlude II", in The Boys of Summer, Perennial Classics, Harper and Collins Publishers, New York, NY, 2000, pp. 422-432 (originally published in 1972).
  • Andy McCue: Mover and Shaker: Walter O'Malley, the Dodgers, and Baseball's Westward Expansion, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2014. ISBN 978-0803245082
  • Neil J. Sullivan: The Dodgers Move West, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1987.
  • G. Scott Thomas: A Brand New Ballgame: Branch Rickey, Bill Veeck, Walter O’Malley and the Transformation of Baseball, 1945–1962, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2022. ISBN 978-1-4766-8656-1

Related Sites[edit]