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Autry to Get L.A. Club, O’Malley Says

December 5, 2010 |  6:23 am

  Dec. 5, 1960, Angels  

Dec. 5, 1960: Gene Autry would be the owner of Los Angeles' new baseball team, according to none other than Walter O'Malley.

Frank Finch's story claimed that O'Malley's priority in the selection of an owner for the American League expansion team was the businessman's "caliber," whatever that means, and O'Malley noted he had good relations with Autry and his business partner Bob Reynolds when their station KMPC carried the Dodger games.

The Times' story said O'Malley left Autry's station because a sponsor wanted a change.

The story also included some interesting speculation. Former Yankees Manager Casey Stengel had been talked to about becoming the team's manager and there were plans for the Angels to open the season against the Yankees at the Coliseum. None of that worked out, however.

A story in The Times on Dec. 6 said the deal wasn't quite done, with the National League wanting to postpone American League expansion for a year to match the debut of National League teams in New York and Houston. According to Finch, O'Malley was "vigorously opposed" to another team playing in Los Angeles in 1961.

--Keith Thursby

  Dec. 5, 1960, Angels
Dec. 5, 1960, Autry
Dec. 5, 1960, Autry