October 09, 2003

Walter O'Malley: helped bring Jackie Robinson into the league, won eight National League pennants and four World Series, helped bring baseball west of the Mississippi, and built Dodger Stadium, but he's not in the Hall of Fame because people can't forgive him for taking the Dodgers out of Brooklyn.

Walter did a lot of great things for baseball," said Hal Lebovitz, Hall of Fame writer from Ohio. "But I can't vote for him the way I could never vote for Art Modell for the football Hall of Fame. "In a way, they were traitors to their cities."
[via CalPundit]

posted by kirkaracha to baseball at 10:37 PM - 8 comments

His son built the official site for his father's 100th birthday.

"This is not about the Hall of Fame, I think only players and umpires should be in there," O'Malley said. "This is about telling the story of my father's life."
I agree with his son, but if there are five owners in the Hall of Fame with lesser qualifications, why shouldn't he be in too?

posted by kirkaracha at 10:41 PM on October 09

Wow! That's a great website (yes I am a Dodger fan). I think O'Malley will get in, after all of those disenchanted baby boomers and their slightly older siblings finally come to grip that the Dodgers are in LA. It's not like he killed the team off or was a horrible owner. Thanks for the link Kirkaracha!

posted by jasonspaceman at 05:34 AM on October 10

the comments at cal pundits site are scathing.

posted by jasonspaceman at 08:37 AM on October 10

Well - I think there is something to be said for keeping teams in cities. But, I definitely think that the Hall of Fame should have a builders wing - they are integral to the game in all its modern glory.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:01 AM on October 10

If the Dodgers were the only team to ever move... I think the source of this 'hatred' is simply that there were a bunch of very influential writers (and I don't mean just sports reporters) who were Dodger fans and couldn't handle the move.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:33 AM on October 10

I used to think the sportswriters refused to give O'Malley credit for Jackie Robinson because of their hatred towards him, but apparently O'Malley was a minority owner of the Dodgers when Branch Rickey signed Robinson. Rickey effectively controlled the club at that time; a few years later O'Malley bought Rickey out and became the majority owner of the Dodgers.

posted by cg1001a at 11:49 AM on October 10

"(Y)ou cannot swing a cat by the tail anywhere in America without conking on the head someone who swears that he or she spent his or her formative years in Brooklyn's Ebbets Field and that the cup of joy was forever dashed from his or her lips when the Dodgers went west. But if all the sentimentalists who say these things had really passed through the Ebbets Field turnstiles a tenth as often as they say, the Dodgers would still be in Brooklyn." - George Will

posted by Motown Mike at 09:12 PM on October 12

MMike, that's exactly the kind of sentimental blather I meant.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:06 PM on October 13

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