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Dodgers Dig In

May 27, 2008 |  4:54 am


May 27, 1958

By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

1958_0527_cover Walter O'Malley wanted it clearly understood he wasn't going anywhere.

"The players and our staff want to stay in Los Angeles. We like the location, the weather, the fans and the attendance records," O'Malley said during a news conference covered by The Times' Al Wolf. "We plan to be in Los Angeles permanently. I pledge myself to try to keep major league baseball here."

O'Malley was responding to statements by National League President Warren Giles, who apparently was concerned that Los Angeles voters might reject Prop. B in local elections June 3. The ballot measure was a vote on the contract already forged by the Dodgers and the city to build a baseball stadium in Chavez Ravine.

Giles said that if voters turned down Prop. B, thus turning down the contract and putting the new stadium in jeopardy, he would recommend finding another city for the Dodgers to call home. According to Wolf's story, it would take at least a 6-2 vote by National League owners to force the Dodgers to move.

It's hard to imagine why Giles made such a fuss. Forcing the Dodgers to move after barely a season in Los Angeles would call into question further attempts to expand or move west. And abandoning Los Angeles would leave the San Francisco Giants as the only West Coast team. That would make for some awkward road trips for teams traveling west.

Perhaps he was only trying to suggest baseball fans get out and vote. The Times' story noted that Giles sent O'Malley a telegram insisting that he only wanted to state the facts in the case.

O'Malley was asked about his plans if Prop. B was defeated.

"I have no plans for the simple reason that I can't conceive of the proposition losing," he said. "I am playing this thing right down to the wire without considering any possible alternatives."

keith.thursby@latimes.com

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