Using never-before-seen documents and candid interviews with O'Malley's players, associates, and relatives, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael D' Antonio finally reveals this complex sportsman and industry pioneer. Born into Tammany Hall connections, O'Malley used political contacts to grow wealthy during the Great Depression, and then maneuvered to take control of the formerly downtrodden Dodgers. After his defeat in a war of wills with the famed power broker Robert Moses, O'Malley uprooted the borough's team and transplanted them to Los Angeles. Once in Los Angeles, O'Malley overcame opponents of his stadium and helped define the city. Other owners came to regard him as their un-official commissioner as he worked behind the scenes to usher in the age of the players' union and free agency.
Filled with new revelations about O'Malley's battle with Moses, his pioneering business strategies, and his relationship with Jackie Robinson, Forever Blue is a fascinating history of baseball, business, and the American West.
This is a fine history of the Dodgers during the O'Malley era. The author provides new insights as to why the Dodgers left Brooklyn and who the real villan behind the move was. The disappointing part of this book is the narration. Many well known baseball names are totally mispronounced, which becomes a source of irritation as the book goes on.
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Really little or no game-changing revelations. Like him or hate him depends on one's perspective. A 50's Steinbrenner? Not quite; more like "paper/rock/scissors" ... played in a forum of the '50's. Rickey, who has no deep pockets, nevertheless slicks and navigates his way up the ladder until he confronts another "slickster" (O'Malley), who has networked his way up that same ladder. But due to better positioning (from being a lawyer) O'Malley can therefor network better and slightly deeper, gain more coin and more power than Rickey. Thus, O'Malley trumps Rickey until the former confronts pure political power without the pure passion for monetary reward (Moses). O'Malley hits the Moses wall and realizes he does not have the " tools" to win in a Moses forum. So O'Malley "sneaks out the back, Jack, builds a new plan, Sam," and reappears in LA where he continues "his game"....quite successfully. "Forever Blue"....nah...this book should be titled: "HE KNEW WHEN TO HOLD 'EM AND WHEN TO FOLD 'EM." Wherever O'Malley is, I hope his eternal his roomie is George Steinbrenner. w
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I found this book very interesting, both because Walter O'Malley is someone worth learning about because he accomplished remarkable things and because I am a Dodger fan and it was enjoyable to know more about their history.