55 years ago, Dodgers say goodbye to Brooklyn

From SABR member Bill Lucey at wplucey.com on May 3, 2012:

55 years ago, May 3, 1957, Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, meets with Los Angeles city officials, including City Attorney Roger Arnebergh at the Statler Hotel (now the Wilshire Grand) located at Wilshire and Figueroa in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.  It was at this meeting where O’Malley agreed in principle to relocate the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

The meeting produced the infamous “`Arnebergh Memorandum. ‘’

According to the memo: “At a conference today, held at the Statler Hotel, discussion was had involving the possibility of bringing Major League Baseball to Los Angeles. It was indicated that the City and County should be prepared to make an offer containing the following provisions: ‘’

The first of 10 provisions read as follows:  1.) “City and/or County to acquire and deed to the Major League Baseball club 350 acres in Chavez Ravine, including the present 257 acres now owned by the City, the additional acreage to be adjacent thereto. Such 350 acres to comprise an approximate circle, if possible.’’

Mr. O’Malley made it painfully clear to New York City planning officials that he needed a new stadium to replace the dilapidated Ebbets Field (the team’s home since 1913), a stadium built by Charles H. Ebbets,  which included inadequate parking and a seating capacity of only 23,000. Attendance at Ebbets Field, moreover, had been declining every year since 1948. Specifically, O’Malley wanted a 40,000-seat ballpark with 12,000 parking places.

Read the full article here: http://www.wplucey.com/2012/05/55-years-ago-dodgers-say-goodbye-to-brooklyn.html

Originally published: May 3, 2012. Last Updated: May 3, 2012.