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Peter O'Malley

Peter O'Malley

Son of Waler O'Malley and former Los Angeles Dodger CEO and Owner

The son of Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, Peter O'Malley majored in business at Wharton school of finance, before going to work for the Dodgers. He was the director of Dodgertown in 1962 and was president and GM of the Spokane Indians in 1965-1966. He moved to the big leagues as vice president in charge of stadium operations in 1967, becoming executive vice president in 1969. When his father became chairman of the board, Peter became President of the Dodgers in 1970. Upon the death of his father in 1979, Peter and his sister inherited the club. The Dodgers won two World Series in the 1980s under O'Malley's leadership. In 1998, he sold the team to the Fox Entertainment Group.

 

Peter O'Malley relinquished the club presidency to become chairman and CEO; he resigned those posts at the end of the 1998 baseball season. Murdoch appointed NewsCorp subsidiary's Fox Television executives to oversee the Dodgers, with mixed results. The sale was reported as an estate and tax planning move for the O'Malley family, as Terry had ten children and Peter three. None had immediately emerged as a candidate to succeed Peter, and he acknowledged that the new economics of the game had dictated that the days of family baseball ownership, without support of a separate corporation, were largely over. NewsCorp sold the Dodgers in 2004 for $430 million to Frank McCourt, a Boston developer.

In 1996, after earlier consideration and partly owing to a request by Los Angeles city authorities, Peter O'Malley met with NFL officials to discuss the possible construction of a football-only stadium on Dodger-owned property surrounding Dodger Stadium. His plan offered solutions to a number of problems faced by the NFL in locating a team in Los Angeles, following the departure of both the Rams and the Raiders. First, it provided for scarce, centrally-located land. Second, the proposal came attached to highly-regarded, established sports franchise management via the O'Malley involvement. Third, like Dodger Stadium, the new facility would be privately financed, and thus not entangled in lengthy municipal funding debates. Fourth, the plan called for alignment with an expansion team, meaning that no existing franchise would have to be moved.

Published reports indicated that O'Malley spent upwards of $1 million on an initial round of architectural renderings, land use studies and environmental impact research, and quickly garnered substantial support among NFL owners who would have to vote their approval. As meetings continued over the next year, O'Malley received a call from Mayor Richard Riordan, asking him to cease pursuit of the NFL franchise. The city had decided that the team should play in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, already over 70 years old, and absent any of the considerable amenities now standard in NFL stadiums.

O'Malley reluctantly shelved his work and withdrew, noting that while he believed strongly in the viability of his proposal, "you can't fight City Hall." No significant progress, or even agreement as to how the nation's second-largest market would attract a team and build a stadium, has occurred since.

Hallmarks of Peter O'Malley's baseball career were his deep involvement in the U.S. Little League program, his contribution to baseball's introduction as an Olympic sport, and his years of promotion of baseball globally, particularly in Latin America, Japan, and China, where a donation he made provided for construction of the country's first baseball stadium in 1986. Named Dodger Stadium, it is in the coastal city of Tianjin. He also funded the building of the O'Malley baseball fields in Corcaigh Park in Clondalkin, West Dublin, Ireland, considered the main home of Irish baseball. He believed that these initiatives would bolster baseball's popularity around the world, while also benefiting both the Dodgers and the future of American baseball in general. He has been widely credited with running the Dodgers as a professional, highly respected and emulated organization, operated with consistent methods and values, encompassed by a style known as "The Dodger Way." Among his unique business practices were treating his staff to ice cream at 2:00 P.M. every day that the Dodgers were in first place, and to overseas trips in the off-season after particularly successful years.

By BR Bullpen

 

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Baseball History, FOX, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB Owner, Walter O'Malley

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