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Walter O'Malley Turns 100 - In Cyberspace
2003-10-09 00:01
by Jon Weisman

This is sort of out of the blue (or Blue), but I got two announcements Wednesday of a website:

I thought this was rather random, but it turns out that this is a serious endeavor.

Debuting on the 100th anniversary of O'Malley's birth, the site was commissioned by Peter O'Malley and his family. If I may be so pedestrian as to quote from the press release, "With more than 600 pages, is one of the largest biographical web sites on the Internet." But judging it by size would appear to sell the site short.

Besides a detailed review of the Walter O'Malley era, the site posts many, many obscure photos, personal and business correspondence, and film and video clips (examples: B-roll from a 1978 Vin Scully interview of O'Malley, and rehearsal outtakes from what is apparently an apperance by O'Malley on the television show, Branded).

Again from the release: "Among the rare offerings are stories about young John F. Kennedy, before he was President, and Joseph Kennedy's attempts to buy the Dodgers in the early 1950s, communication from Cary Grant, the Marx Brothers, Walt Disney, Coretta Scott King, Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth."

I'm quoting from the release because I'm too impatient to do a thorough review of the site before sharing it. I'm assuming the release is citing the highlights, but you can almost pick a link out of a hat and find something interesting. The first document I went to was: "Report of Findings - Chief Administrative Office of Los Angeles County," in which "The Chief Administrative Office of Los Angeles County publishes its 1955 report displaying facts why the city of Los Angeles should receive strong consideration for a Major League Baseball team." On the cover is a handwritten message:

Walter -

I urged this survey. Some of it is faulty but I think you should read it regardless. Could offer something.

Among other things, the report states that "several suburban and downtown sites are available which, by reason of proximity to centers of population and traffic arterials, are feasible locations for a Big League Baseball Park."

This site looks like a place where we can spend hours.

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