Walter O'Malley Elected to the Hall-of-Fame

It's taken a long time, but Walter O'Malley was elected to the Baseball Hall-of-Fame today. O'Malley's selection is well-deserved and it's a wonderful thing for the Dodgers organization.

There are many people from Brooklyn who will decry this announcement and claim that O'Malley was the reincarnation of the devil. But history has shown that Robert Moses is as responsible as anyone for the Dodgers move in 1957. Moses prevented O'Malley from building baseball's first domed stadium on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, right at the Long Island Railroad Station, and demanded the Dodgers move to Flushing Meadows in Queens. Instead, O'Malley moved the Dodgers to LA and talked the Giants into moving to San Francisco.

O'Malley isn't in the Hall-of-Fame though because he's been largely vindicated for moving the Dodgers. He's being selected because he was one of the great visionaries in the history of the game. O'Malley expanded baseball across the country. He had about as much power in MLB as anyone in the 1950s and 60s, and deserves a ton of credit for many expansion franchises that started in the 1960s and 70s, including the Angels. O'Malley created modern day Spring Training with Dodgertown in Vero Beach, and he played a major role in spreading baseball internationally, both in Asia and Latin America.

Locally, O'Malley built Dodger Stadium, which we all know is one of the best stadiums in the game and it's still going strong. Under his leadership, the Dodgers became a model MLB organization, one that exemplified class and continuity. The Dodgers are a powerful brand, and O'Malley is responsible for that. Vin Scully and Tommy Lasorda have been campaigning for O'Malley for years, and it's wonderful to see the fruits of their labor.

December 3, 2007 5:46 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor

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