baseball cards usually feature players. that makes sense. sometimes, though, managers get their own cards. sometimes, coaches are featured. topps, for a couple of years, produced cards of the league presidents. these days, even mascots are getting their own slice of cardboard. and, thanks to legendary cuts, i own cards of a couple of executives (branch rickey and al campanis) and other pioneers of the sport (such as abner doubleday). but, while i am bracing myself for some sort of george steinbrenner tribute next year, i don't believe any cards have been made for team owners. certainly not for walter o'malley. all he did was help expand the sport.
i had been thinking about making a card of my own for the former dodger owner for quite a while, and finally got around to it in order to send one to mark at stats on the back. he collects one card of every hall of famer, you see, and didn't have one for o'malley who was enshrined in cooperstown in 2008. here then is the 1958 topps walter o'malley card that should have been:
keep the dodgers in brooklyn, indeed.
the dodgers moved to los angeles in time for the 1958 season, with o'malley orchestrating the move. he had taken control of the team at the end of the 1950 season after having first purchased an interest in the team in 1945. the easy story is that o'malley wanted a new stadium in brooklyn but was rebuffed and los angeles was willing to 'play ball', so to speak, with a land deal. he convinced the giants to move to the west coast rather than the twin cities, and the rest is history. it is more complex than that for sure, but you can delve into it at walteromalley.com or some other source at your leisure.
o'malley was at the helm of the dodger ship up until his death in 1979 which means that he was the owner of the team during their 1977/1978 nl championship runs. so, i also made a card for my 1978 topps burger king/update set:
here's to you, walter o'malley, and your cards that should have been!