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Pearl Harbor Day and MLB

 
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Posts: 17192
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Thu 12/7/06 6:38 am    Post subject: Pearl Harbor Day and MLB Reply with quote

Today, an elderly friend of mine who's a Pearl Harbor survivor is in Hawaii for commemoration ceremonies of the 65th anniversary of the attack on the U.S., having flown there from San Diego this week along with many other local Pearl Harbor survivors.

Even though December 7 falls in the offseason, some of you may not know how Pearl Harbor Day affected the course of major league baseball history, including three current MLB cities, which prompted me to begin this thread.

Here is the "big picture":

Until 1958, no major league baseball existed west of St. Louis, which was a city with two baseball teams, the Cardinals and the Browns. In California, which was a rapidly growing state, the PCL reigned supreme, and in St. Louis, the Cardinals' superiority and their own dwindling attendance caused the Browns to consider relocation to another city.

In 1941, Los Angeles was a candidate to become the first city to host major league baseball on the west coast, and the Browns were proposed to be the team to establish that. The American League drew up a schedule for the 1942 season which included L.A. on it and arranged a meeting of league owners, scheduled to take place in Chicago on December 8, to vote on the move. While it was expected to be approved, there were logistical issues to be considered such as transportation--in those days, teams traveled by train and Los Angeles was 1600 miles west of the next nearest MLB city.

One day before the meeting, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, and the Browns' move was nixed.

The rest is history:

The Browns moved to Baltimore for the 1954 season.

Sixteen years after that proposed move to L.A.--when the City of New York would not give him the desired site on which to build his new ballpark proposed to replace Ebbets Field--Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley made a few moves that proved him ever the shrewd businessman for which he had gained a reputation. In 1957, O'Malley purchased the PCL Los Angeles Angels team, along with Wrigley Field, from Phil Wrigley, which established for O'Malley territorial rights in L.A. Rumors had already abounded that he planned to move the Dodgers to the area, given that it was a ripe market for supporting major league baseball.

The venerable Los Angeles Coliseum became the Dodgers' home the following season, and the Brooklyn Dodgers were no more. O'Malley exchanged real estate with the City of L.A.--Wrigley Field for land just north of downtown Los Angeles in Chavez Ravine on which to build his crown jewel. That became the site of our beloved Dodger Stadium, whose construction was privately financed. The referendum approving the City Council's agreement with O'Malley was approved by voters in June of 1958. Thus, MLB was born in the City of Angels. The Coliseum served as temporary home for the Dodgers until OLOCR opened in April, 1962.

Another side note of interest: while researching a few facts for this thread, I learned that Chavez Ravine was once considered by another Walter--Walt Disney--as the site for Disneyland, which eventually opened in Anaheim in 1955. Rather appropriate, since Dodger Stadium has certainly operated more than a few times what could be considered "the wildest ride on earth"!

And because of Pearl Harbor Day, young boys like Harpo and DRG grew up in the Southland as Dodger fans, and Crzblue and I, along with a few others here, are also Dodger fans...and not Orioles fans.

Very Happy Very Happy
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dodgersramsguy
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PostPosted: Thu 12/7/06 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice read Linda...I grew up as all of that was happening around me.I remember when goats owned Chavez Ravine...
Being way younger in those days,I didn't follow sports like I do now and frankly I had been a Rams fan for many years prior to the Dodgers moving West and was oblivious to the 'behind the scenes' shenanigans by Mr.O'Malley...I was caught completely by surprise when the Dodgers moved West,but truly felt like I was blessed...
Interestingly,I was also caught by surprise when the Lakers moved West...I started following the Lakers after they drafted a guy named Elgin Baylor,then here THEY came to Los Angeles too! Someone was definitely looking out for me...
Thanks for rekindling old memories...
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stlred
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PostPosted: Thu 12/7/06 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was great Linda. I had no idea. I knew we had two teams but I didn't realize what happened after that. Thanks, that really was a great history lesson. Also, I just found out today that the Cardinals and Indians are going to play a Civil Rights game in March in Tennesseee. I think that is the first time I have ever heard of that happening. I believe they will be playing at one of the Cardinals minor league spots. I hope this starts a tradition.

Jan
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 12/8/06 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, Jan, and thanks for the reminder. I had meant to start a thread about the Civil Rights Game earlier in the week, but just got around to it after reading your post.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 12/8/06 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DRG:

Quote:
I remember when goats owned Chavez Ravine...


That must have been something to see! Well, I suppose you could say other "goats" have owned it since then. Let's start with Tom Niedenfuer...

Laughing Laughing Laughing

I am still intrigued by the possibility of it becoming Disneyland. What a traffic headache that would have been, 365 days a year.

As it is, 81 home games generates enough of it.

Also can't imagine the Matterhorn over Sunset Boulevard...LOL.

It all conjures up interesting hypotheses, but I'm glad it became our holy shrine instead.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 12/7/10 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost forgot to bump this one up! Thought it might be of interest to our newer members.
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Pearl Girl



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Wed 12/8/10 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool post. THANKS! And a BIG THANK YOU to the City of New York for not giving Mr. O'Malley his desired site for a new ballpark. For that, I owe NYC a debt of gratutude because I love my Dodgers.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 12/12/13 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend Al the PH survivor, who recently made his annual trip to Hawaii to commemorate PH Day, asked me if I knew this story. I think he asked because he knows I'm such an avid Dodger fan. I had to LOL because I first heard it many years ago, but I guess he doesn't really just how avid a fan I really am. Smile
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forloveofthegame



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Fri 12/13/13 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had totally forgotten this story. Good bit of West Coast baseball history.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sun 12/7/14 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, not only will this bit of Major League Baseball history always be connected to Pearl Harbor Day, but so too will Yasiel Puig's birthday!
Smile
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Mon 12/8/14 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the arrival of Major League Baseball movers and shakers to San Diego! At least this year. Smile
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 12/8/15 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday was quite a Monday--Pearl Harbor Day, the start of winter meetings, YP's birthday, and the first day of Hanukkah.

Then there's this bit of baseball history connected to the attack on the U.S.

While searching for this thread, I realized it's been nine years since I originally posted it!
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 12/8/16 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And a bump for the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Fri 12/9/16 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is interesting to think there could have been Major league baseball in California for 75 years now, instead of 58. Good reason to bump this.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 12/8/17 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one is back for its annual appearance.

Of other relevance to the Dodgers re: December 7 is the fact that it is also Yasiel's birthday. Smile (That's 27, this year.)
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Sat 12/9/17 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am tempted to make a joke there but it woyld not be appropriate!
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Fri 12/7/18 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol I beat you to the bump, DB!

Happy Pearl Harbor Day and Happy Birthday to El Caballo!
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sat 12/8/18 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You sure did Laughing Laughing Laughing and you know it's a busy day for me when deaths and trades take place and I don't even get over to post about them in a timely manner! Rolling Eyes
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