Peter O'Malley

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For other people named Peter O'Malley, see Peter O'Malley (disambiguation).
Peter O'Malley
Peteom.jpg
Peter O'Malley in July 2008
Born (1937-12-12) December 12, 1937 (age 77)
United States Brooklyn, NY
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Wharton School of Business (1960) [1][2]
Occupation Former President and CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers
Parents Walter Francis O'Malley
Katherine Elizabeth Hanson (1907-1979)

Peter O'Malley (born December 12, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York)[3] was the owner (1979–1998) and president (1970–1998) of the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball.

Life and sports[edit]

He was born at Carson C. Peck Memorial Hospital on December 12, 1937 to long-time Dodger owner Walter Francis O'Malley (1903–1979) and Katherine Elizabeth "Kay" Hanson (1907–1979). Peter has a sister, Theresa "Terry" O'Malley Seidler (born 1933), who was co-owner of the team.[3]

He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was president of his fraternity Phi Gamma Delta, and from the Wharton School of Business in 1960. In 1962, Peter was named the director of Dodgertown, the team's spring training headquarters located in Vero Beach, Florida. In 1965, he became general manager of the minor league Spokane Indians of the Pacific Coast League, where many future Dodger stars and coaches were on the roster.

He subsequently moved to the major league club as director of stadium operations and then executive vice president. Peter took over the presidency of the Dodgers from his father in 1970, and became owner when his father died in 1979. On March 19, 1998, Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation acquired the team for what was alternately reported as $311 million or $350 million. This was the highest price ever paid for a US sports franchise at the time.[4]

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.[4]

On November 2, 2011, a day after the announcement that Frank McCourt would be selling the Dodgers, O'Malley expressed his interest in repurchasing his former team.[5] He subsequently partnered with South Korean company E-Land in submitting a bid for the team.[6] He withdrew his bid on February 21.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Klitzman, Zach, "Ruth, Koufax, Aaron ... O'Malley: Long-time Dodgers owner becomes first Penn alum to get Cooperstown invite", The Daily Pennsylvanian, January 17, 2008
  2. ^ "A Pioneer Owner (and Spoon Man) in the Hall of Fame", University of Pennsylvania Alumni Profiles, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Sept/Oct 2008
  3. ^ a b "Son Born to Walter O'Malleys". New York Times. December 25, 1937. Retrieved 2007-08-21. A son, their second child, was born to Mr. and Mrs. Waiter F. O'Malley of 780 St. Marks Avenue, Brooklyn, on Dec. 12 at the Peck Memorial Hospital, Brooklyn. 
  4. ^ a b "Baseball's Blue Sale". Time (magazine). January 20, 1997. Retrieved 2007-08-21. Forty years after his father removed the family business to L.A. from Brooklyn, Peter O'Malley announced that he was selling the firm -- namely, the Dodgers. 
  5. ^ "Interest in bidding on Dodgers grows". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  6. ^ Peter O'Malley teams with South Korea investor in bid for Dodgers
  7. ^ Peter O'Malley reportedly out as bidder for Dodgers
Preceded by
Walter O'Malley
President of the Los Angeles Dodgers
1970-1998
Succeeded by
Bob Graziano
Preceded by
Walter O'Malley
Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers
1980-1998
Succeeded by
Robert Daly