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O'Malley to quit Dodgers, December 5, 1968

December 5, 2008 | 12:00 pm

1968_1205_maher Walter O'Malley gave Los Angeles a year's head start on planning his retirement party.

O'Malley told Los Angeles baseball writers gathered in San Francisco for the winter meetings that he planned to retire after the 1969 season. His son, Peter, would beome Dodger president and Walter O'Malley would be chairman of the board and stay in Los Angeles. "I've got too many grandchildren there to leave," he said.

The short story in The Times treated the announcement as almost accidental on O'Malley's part. He had invited writers to his hotel suite for a breakfast meeting and was discussing the recent death of longtime Dodger official Fresco Thompson. O'Malley announced his plans simply by answering a reporter's question about when he'd retire.

O'Malley died in 1979, and stories dealt with his taking control of the Dodgers and then moving the team to Los Angeles. Handing over the controls to his son was not a surprise.

The Times' Penelope McMillan wrote after O'Malley's death about Peter's training.

"Peter worked in the farm system, in stadium operations and at several other jobs before O'Malley named him president in 1970," McMillan wrote. "And although Peter once said he never felt pushed or forced, O'Malley said last year, 'He's been given difficult jobs deliberately. If you want to make silver strong, you have to beat it with a hammer.'"

-- Keith Thursby