The 20 greatest Dodgers of all time, No. 13: Walter O’Malley
We recently asked you to list your choices for the 10 greatest Dodgers of all time, and vote you did, as we received an amazing 12,231 ballots. So many people voted that we have decided to expand the list from the top 10 to the top 20. Each weekday at 11 a.m., a new player will be listed as we count down all 20.
Remember, any Dodger, Brooklyn or L.A., was eligible, including managers, owners, announcers, etc. Points were assigned based on where you listed the person on the ballot. Your first choice received 12 points, second choice 10, third place eight, all the way down to one point for 10th place.
So without further ado, here is No. 13:
No. 13: Walter O’Malley (172 first-place votes, 14,043 points)
O’Malley received the fourth most first-place votes but finished 13th because he was left off many ballots entirely.
Those who did vote for him mainly had the same reason: Moving the team to L.A.
He made the decision to move the Dodgers from Brooklyn to L.A. in time for the 1958 season. He did not have a stadium ready for the Dodgers, so he rented the Coliseum for $200,000 a year for 1958 and 1959, plus 10% of the ticket revenue. They moved to Dodger Stadium in 1962, and the rest, as they say, is history.
O’Malley is not without his detractors, however, including many people in Brooklyn who still curse his name for moving the Dodgers away and some people in L.A. who feel they were unfairly forced from their homes to make way for Dodger Stadium.
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. In 1999, The Sporting News named O’Malley thein sports in the last century, while ABC Sports ranked O’Malley in its in sports history.
O’Malley died of congestive heart failure on Aug. 9, 1979.
To say O’Malley was a controversial figure is understating the case. There is far too much, good and bad, that happened in O’Malley’s life than can be captured in a short blog post. You can read a detailed biography of his life at walteromalley.com.
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