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Although Walter O'Malley has been dead for nearly 30 years, D'Antonio's latest work is perhaps the most meticulously detailed and comprehensive account to date of the former owner of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. Through research in O'Malley's letters, documents and myriad interviews with those close to him, D'Antonio (Tin Cup Dreams) presents a well-rounded portrayal of one of the most polarizing figures in baseball history: one New York writer referred to O'Malley as one of the three worst human beings who ever lived, while a Los Angeles journalist described O'Malley as a man who did more for baseball than any commissioner. D'Antonio paints the whole picture, starting with O'Malley's early days as a lawyer who originally began working with the club in a troubleshooting capacity, to taking total control of ownership in 1950. During O'Malley's tenure with the Dodgers, the team had some of its most famous moments in history—the debut of Jackie Robinson, the club's first World Series title in 1955 and, of course, the team's infamous move to Los Angeles. D'Antonio explores everything—O'Malley's business dealings, his personal relationships with Robinson and Branch Rickey, the on-the-field fortunes of the Dodgers. With D'Antonio's access to O'Malley's most personal documents, even baseball historians will find something to learn. (Mar.)
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*Starred Review* New York writer Jack Newfield called Walter O’Malley one of the three worst people who ever lived. The others were Hitler and Stalin. O’Malley’s transgression? He moved Brooklyn’s beloved Dodgers across the country to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. D’Antonio was accorded unprecedented access to more than 30,000 documents previously unreleased by O’Malley’s heirs. Additionally, he conducted hundreds of interviews with O’Malley’s family and associates, many who spoke about O’Malley for the first time. The O’Malley he reveals here is neither hero nor villain—sorry, Mr. Newfield—but rather an extraordinarily astute businessman and baseball visionary. After working for the Dodgers for years, O’Malley was able to buy the team but at unfavorable terms due to a struggle for control with another potential owner. He had no animus toward Brooklyn; the move to Los Angeles was his best business option. He also opened the door to baseball’s expansion from a strictly east-of the-Mississippi endeavor to a coast-to-coast enterprise. There are also revealing personal insights. For example, O’Malley’s wife essentially lost her ability to speak during their courtship. He never wavered in his devotion, and she communicated for the rest of her life through notes, facial expressions, and slight whispers. This is a wonderfully readable, insightful, and—for anyone interested in baseball history—important biography of the man who forever changed the course of the game in America. --Wes LukowskySee all Editorial Reviews
There is no doubt but that Walter O’Malley (1903-1979), known to nemeses and fans alike as “The O’Malley,” was one of the most significant forces in major league baseball (MLB)... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Roger D. Launius
I have read many sports books. This is the best. It vindicates Walter O'Malley.
He really did try to keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn. A MUST READ.
IF YOU LOVED THE BROOKLYN DODGERS AND WHO DOESN'T. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS BOOK, IT WASN'T O'MALLEY UNDOING THAT CAUSED BROOKLYN TO LEAVE THE BOROUGHPublished 12 months ago by Edward F.Ulon
Christmas present for my husband. He's been a Dodger's fan all his life (cried when they left Brooklyn). Read morePublished 19 months ago by margarethe
I love how this book puts together a very complete picture of the man, his times, antagonists and the political maneuvering that went into trying to keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Shive 1969
I was in second grade when the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, a midwesterner that didn't ever care what uniform they wore. Read morePublished on August 20, 2013 by crafty lefthander
This biography of the man who moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, forever becoming the ultimate villain in the mind of millions of baseball fans, may alter your... Read morePublished on February 3, 2013 by L. R. Mitlin
I just got through reading Forever Blue and loved it. I am in my mid-50's and grew up in the Chicago area. Read morePublished on January 26, 2013 by Mr. Easy Life
This is a good book for all baseball fans. Walter O'Malley was a very strong dedicated baseball owner. Read more