Requiring 2 1/2 years to build, Dodger Stadium was ready for the start of 1962 season. Walter O'Malleys wife, Kay, threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the for the opening-day contest against the Cincinnati Reds. 1955 World Series hero Johnny Padres drew the starting assignment. Eddie Kascko of the Reds doubled to lead off the game. The Dodgers first hit in the ballpark was by Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, who led off the second inning with a single. The Dodgers lost, 6-3, but Times columnist John Hall wrote, "Los Angeles has itself a major league ballpark, a truly remarkable stadium that is obviously destined to become recognized as the finest in the world. And those who were there will never forget how it all started on opening day." The promise of a new ballpark was persuaded O'Malley to move the team to Los Angeles prior to the 1958 as his efforts to build a stadium in Brooklyn failed. The building of Dodger Stadium didnt come without controversy. The land on which the stadium sits was purchased by the city using eminent domain and some residents of what used to be a Mexican-American community had to be forced out of their houses.
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