Walter O'Malley.com

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Jon Weisman, who blogs at Dodger Thoughts, points me to a surprising and pleasing L.A. history website: walteromalley.com.
Jimmy Hahn letter

Walter O'Malley owned the Brooklyn Dodgers and brought major league baseball to the West Coast in 1958. The move, of course, had profound effects on Los Angeles and professional sports. The site -- put up by his children, former Dodgers president Peter O'Malley and Terry O'Malley Seidler -- has a bio and photos, video narrated by Vin Scully, translations into Spanish and Japanese, and a wealth of documents and correspondence between O'Malley and political figures in New York and Los Angeles involved in the Dodgers move west. There are also copies of letters to O'Malley from Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Coretta Scott King, Casey Stengel and others, and a telegram from Harpo Marx on behalf of the Marx brothers. There's even a hand-scrawled 1957 note from a young Jimmy Hahn -- now the mayor of Los Angeles -- asking for a Dodgers cap (photo above).

At his blog, Weisman discusses a delicate 1962 exchange prompted by a letter to O'Malley from comedian Milton Berle complaining about conditions at the new Dodger Stadium:

Who hired the usherettes ... Eichman?? Walter, I don't think you want your Stadium run like a concentration camp with Dachau damsels. Some of the usherettes are exceedingly discourteous and don't know the first thing about O'Malley hospitality. For example, the dugout level section is screened in and I feel like a cooped-up Jewish chicken. Well, that isn't too bad. It protects me from walking around with an extra ball! But if Ruth and myself have to be cooped in and guarded by female Storm Troopers, I think it's out of line.

The O'Malley site also has a history of the franchise and the stadium, as well as a roster of every player to wear the Dodgers uniform. Incidentally, Weisman's blog posts a message of support for Christian Ruzich, another baseball blogger -- the Cub Reporter -- who lost his home in the recent wildfires here.

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