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Dodgers show patience

June 20, 2008 | 10:00 am

June 20, 1958

By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

1958_0620_dodgers Dropcap_s_1941 ometimes it's best to do nothing.

Baseball teams fire managers all the time but Dodger owner Walter O'Malley publicly defended his manager, Walter Alston, despite the team's last-place standing. "We can't blame Alston for what has happened," O'Malley told the Associated Press in a story carried by The Times. "The move to the coast, the makeshift ballpark, the uncertainty of the [Chavez Ravine] election, these things created an emotional turmoil that affected everybody."

The story was datelined Brooklyn because O'Malley was in town for business and a checkup, according to previous stories in The Times. Must have been strange to be talking baseball in the town that a year ago was the Dodgers' home.

O'Malley's patience with Alston certainly paid off. Alston led the Dodgers back to the World Series in 1959 and he won two more titles in 1963 and '65. The Dodgers won seven National League titles during Alston's years.

"If I could purchase a policy of insurance for the next 10 years that would guarantee us we'd be within 8 1/2 games of first place by July 4, I'd buy that policy," O'Malley said. "And I'd be willing to wager that we'd win more pennants than we'd lose."