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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Dodger Woes

May 14, 1958

1958_0514_dodgers By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

The game story in The Times was bad enough. The Dodgers lost to the Giants, 16-9, for their fifth defeat in a row. This wasn’t what anyone had in mind when the team moved to Los Angeles. So what was wrong?

That was the basis of a story by Times writer Al Wolf, in which owner Walter O’Malley, Manager Walt Alston and shortstop Pee Wee Reese were asked to explain the team’s struggles.

O’Malley’s opinions were interesting given that there was less than a month before Los Angeles voters had their say on the city’s contract with the team to build a stadium in Chavez Ravine.

O’Malley noted the loss of catcher Roy Campanella and the effect on the pitching staff. He also suggested that some players were trying too hard to make a good impression in their new home.

But the Coliseum received its share of criticism.

O’Malley said the team had become “afflicted with a phobia” playing so many of its early-season games in “an unorthodox park.” The best answer to the team’s problems might be a trip out of town.

“Playing on regulation, familiar diamonds should get them going again,” he said.

That is, of course, until a certain baseball stadium could be built.

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