Neyer: Three questions with Walter O’Malley biographer Andy McCue

From SABR member Rob Neyer at on September 15, 2014, with fellow member Andy McCue:

I recently finished reading Andy McCue’s brilliantly researched and written biography of Walter O’Malley, who moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles and built Dodger Stadium, now the third-oldest ballpark in the major leagues. Recently, McCue answered a few of my questions about O’Malley via e-mail …

Rob: My first exposure to the emotional response to Walter O’Malley was probably Peter Golenbock’s Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Over the years, I was exposed to somewhat more … balanced takes on O’Malley. Still, his reputation is probably more negative than positive, at least outside of Los Angeles. How and why have those sentiments endured for so long? Related question: What are the three biggest myths about O’Malley and his long reign?

Andy McCue: I think his reputation has endured because it was rooted in deepfelt loss for a large number of people, who counterposed their loss against O’Malley’s profits. It seems to be strongest among those who were relatively young at the time and I think there was a great loss of innocence involved. And, it’s been stoked by some of the myths that keep being perpetuated.

One, that O’Malley wanted the city of New York to build him a stadium for free.

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Originally published: September 15, 2014. Last Updated: September 15, 2014.