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New home for Dodgers

June 5, 2008 |  8:05 am
June 5, 1958

By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

1958_0605_cover So it was close, but a win is a win.

A day later, participants in both sides of the battle over building a baseball stadium in Chavez Ravine seemed to agree that the measure to approve the city's deal with the Dodgers had passed. The Times reported June 5 that with about half of the city's precincts reporting Proposition B was being approved by about 15,000 votes. Mayor Norris Poulson said the measure would ultimately win by 30,000 votes. A story the next day in The Times put the margin at 24,293 votes.

"The vote appears to be conclusive," City Councilman Earle D. Baker said in the story written by Carlton Williams. Baker said he considered the result a mandate and would no longer oppose the project.

The main story in The Times gave lots of room to the winning side, with quotes from Poulson and other city officials.

Councilwoman Rosalind Wyman, an early backer of bringing the Dodgers to Los Angeles, was understandably elated. "I sincerely hope the City Council will now pull together and assist the Dodgers with their plan to build the finest baseball stadium in the nation as soon as possible,"  she said.

She might have been thinking of Councilman John Holland, a fierce opponent of the Chavez Ravine deal. He was not quoted in the June 5 story, but a day later in The Times sounded like a man not ready to give up the fight. Among other things, Holland said the close results in his district were "a clear mandate from my constituents to continue the fight against the Dodger contract."

Dodger owner Walter O'Malley, pictured with a victory cigar, said construction on the ballpark could start as early as July 5 "if there are no roadblocks such as problems of proper clearance or delays due to litigation."