Greatest sports figures in L.A. history, No. 13: Walter O'Malley
Continuing our countdown of the 20 greatest figures in L.A. sports history with No. 13, Walter O'Malley.
No. 13 Walter O'Malley (12 first-place votes, 1,465 points)
Longtime Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley changed the landscape of baseball in many ways, one of the most notable being spearheading the move of baseball to the West Coast. O'Malley moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles before the 1958 season, and also convinced New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham to move to San Francisco at the same time.
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. In 1999, The Sporting News named O’Malley the 11th Most Powerful Person in sports in the last century, while ABC Sports ranked O’Malley in its Top 10 Most Influential People “off the field” in sports history.
O'Malley died of congestive heart failure on Aug. 9, 1979.
To say O'Malley was a controversial figure is understating the case. There is far too much, good and bad, that happened in O'Malley's life than can be captured in a short blog post. You can read a detailed biography of his life at walteromalley.com.
-- Houston Mitchell
Photo: Walter O'Malley stands outside a nearly completed Dodger Stadium in 1962. Credit: Los Angeles Public Library