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Walter O'Malley Dies

August 9, 2009 |  1:00 pm

Vin Sully and Walter O'Malley
Photograph courtesy of the Dodgers

Vin Scully and Walter O'Malley before the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles.

Aug. 9, 1979, Walter O'Malley Dies Is it a stretch to suggest that Walter O'Malley was the man chiefly responsible for pro sports in Southern California?

Consider that the Lakers might not have moved to L.A. as early as 1960, or that the American League might not have expanded to L.A. in 1961. Never mind about the Kings and Ducks who came much, much later.

Without O'Malley's decision to bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles, everything might have been different.

O'Malley died at 75 and his passing deservedly received mountains of words in The Times. Here's my favorite section from a story by Penelope McMillan:

"He enjoyed building, 'like a kid with blocks,' retired National League President Warren Giles once said of him. It was a theme that ran through nearly all his pursuits, whether the Dodgers, his two children or orchids. 'He liked to see things grow and get better,' Giles said."

--Keith Thursby