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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Dodger Deal


May 17, 1958

1958_0517_dodgers 

By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

“I own the oil rights in Chavez Ravine. The city is trying to steal them from us. We’ll have to fight for our rights.’

The quote is found on the second page of The Times’ story covering the state Assembly committee hearings into the Dodgers’ contract with the city of Los Angeles. The words were credited to Glen Walters, identified as an ex-actress and a resident of the Palos Verdes area of Chavez Ravine.

According to The Times’ story, she rushed the speaker’s stand shortly after a noon recess had been announced and was eventually escorted out. The Times may have made a big deal of the incident (with photo and a mention in the headline) but the story also included a lot more back and forth between city and state officials.

A quote from both sides of the debate:

Mayor Norris Poulson, asked whether the Dodgers would leave Los Angeles if Proposition B lost: “I’m sure they will and we’ll be the laughingstock of the United States.”

City Councilman Patrick McGee, criticizing the Dodgers’ offer to give the city Wrigley Field as part of the Chavez Ravine deal: “Wrigley Field is nothing more than a white elephant. The Dodgers don’t want it. So they just threw it into the deal to make it look like a good deal.”

A note of political realism in the story: There would be no report from the committee in time for the election. Chairman Ralph Brown said the committee had until the following January to file its conclusions.

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