Walter O’Malley Archive Added to Collection at National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum today announced the donation of the Walter O’Malley Archive by Peter O’Malley and Terry O’Malley Seidler.

The Walter O’Malley Archive, assembled and curated by the O’Malley family, includes documents and photographs from the collection of Walter O’Malley, who owned the Dodgers from 1944 until his passing on Aug. 9, 1979. Items in the Archive include documentation on the Dodgers’ pioneering move to Los Angeles; details of planning and construction of Dodger Stadium; the genesis of Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla, the first fully integrated Spring Training facility in the American south and the team’s spring training home for 61 years; materials related to the Dodgers’ goodwill tours of Japan in 1956 and 1966; and documents pertaining to Walter O’Malley’s 10-year efforts to privately fund and build a new stadium for the Dodgers in Brooklyn.

“During Walter O’Malley’s stewardship of the Dodgers, the franchise was at the center of many of baseball’s most historic moments on and off the field,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Board for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “The Walter O’Malley Collection documents all those moments and more from his Hall of Fame career, giving researchers and historians a first-hand look at the events that changed the face of the game. We are honored to accept this remarkable donation to the Museum and grateful in so many ways to the O’Malley/Seidler family for their longtime support of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.”

The Walter O’Malley Archive features 70 boxes of documents and photographs and was made possible by Peter O’Malley and Terry O’Malley Seidler, Walter O’Malley’s son and daughter who took over leadership of the Dodgers upon their father’s passing.

“My Dad’s files are historic and offer great insight into the front office of the Dodgers organization and Major League Baseball during his leadership,” Peter O’Malley said. “My sister Terry and I are very happy that the Hall of Fame will house this archive for scholars, researchers and authors to access.”

Highlights of the Archive include: 

  • Three letters from Jackie Robinson to Walter O’Malley
  • A 1943 report by Branch Rickey to the Dodgers Board of Directors referencing a “scouting enterprise” that would eventually result in the signing of Jackie Robinson
  • Canceled checks from Walter O’Malley to Branch Rickey for the purchase of Dodgers stock in 1950 that resulted in O’Malley becoming Dodgers president
  • The 1954 press release announcing the signing of Sandy Koufax
  • The 1959 City of Los Angeles contract requiring Walter O’Malley to privately finance and build Dodger Stadium
  • O’Malley’s appointment books from 1934-1979

During O’Malley’s years leading the Dodgers, the team won four World Series titles and 11 National League pennants. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.