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This O’Malley Enjoys Being One of the Guys

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Kevin O’Malley understands the curiosity, and the constant questioning doesn’t bother him.

Such is life when one with his surname works for the Dodgers. But the oldest son of the longtime owner hasn’t charted his future yet, and he doesn’t feel pressure to start.

O’Malley is learning more about baseball and enjoying the moment, and that’s enough for now.

“I’m having a great time, just working at Dodgertown and finding out stuff about the game that I never knew,” he said. “I’ve obviously grown up around baseball, and I love it, so I couldn’t imagine having a better job.”

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Knowing the boss doesn’t hurt.

The second of Peter and Annette O’Malley’s three children, Kevin, 22, is working here as an intern. But he isn’t getting any breaks.

His mundane tasks include hauling boxes, stocking coolers and making copies. Lots of copies.

O’Malley, a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, assists in preparing Holman Stadium for games--and in the cleanup. He has also worked in sales and marketing for the Class-A Vero Beach Dodgers.

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Initially, he sensed that the other employees were nervous in his presence. But they relaxed after watching O’Malley work.

One would think an Ivy Leaguer could get a better gig, but this suits him.

“Even though I grew up around baseball, there are a lot of things I’ve learned doing this job,” said O’Malley, a catcher on the Penn baseball team. “From my experience here, I can definitely see myself doing something in baseball someday.

“But I really haven’t thought even five years down the road. I just want to keep doing what I’m doing for now.”

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Peter O’Malley was the director of the facility when his father, Walter, ran the Dodgers.

“This an excellent environment to learn about what goes into the day-to-day operations of a baseball organization,” Peter said. “The experience is something that I certainly enjoyed, and I’m glad Kevin is enjoying his experience here as well.”

But even if the younger O’Malley chooses, he won’t be able to follow directly in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Walter, the man who moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

The family will relinquish control of the Dodgers when the sale to the Fox Group is completed, as expected, next week. The O’Malleys have owned the franchise since 1950, the longest current ownership in major league baseball.

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“It wasn’t a shock when my dad told us he was going to sell the team, because he didn’t do it all at once,” he said. “He laid it out and we discussed it, because he wanted to know how we felt.

“I think if any of us had really had a problem with it, that would have affected his decision. But we didn’t, we understood.”

But wouldn’t this generation of O’Malleys have liked to own the Dodgers?

“As far as my brother and sister are concerned, I don’t want to put words in their mouths,” he said. “It obviously crossed my mind, but it’s not like I was always thinking about it.

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“Some people might think I have a problem with it, but I don’t. The way I look at it is I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the experience that I did.”

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Catcher Mike Piazza strained his left Achilles’ heel while running the bases here during the seventh inning of a 4-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Piazza, who was also hit on the right forearm by a pitch by Oriole starter Scott Kamieniecki in the fourth, is listed as day to day.

“I could have stayed in the game, but the weather is bad and my legs have been tight, so it was a precautionary thing,” he said. “I don’t want to make more out of this than it is.”

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Hideo Nomo, who had a 21.00 earned-run average before the game, pitched four scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and struck out five.

Cal Ripken Jr. twice looked at called third strikes.


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