Setback for stadium

July 15, 1958

By Keith Thursby

Times staff writer

Los Angeles and the Dodgers lost a round in court in their efforts to build a baseball stadium in Chavez Ravine.

Superior Court Judge Arnold
Praeger ruled that the contract between the city and the Dodgers was
invalid. The deal had been struck when the team moved to Los Angeles,
then voters narrowly approved it in a June 1958 election. Two local
taxpayers then filed lawsuits trying to stop the deal.

The Times’ main story led with
a couple of painful sports metaphors, reporting that Judge Praeger
"struck out the Dodgers’ Chavez Ravine deal," which according to the
paper was "a 32-page doubleheader decision."

The paper was a strong
proponent of the ballpark and there were often clues in stories if you
weren’t sure where the paper stood. Deep in the main story on Praeger’s
ruling was this passage: "As for the voters who decided last June 3
that they were in favor of the Chavez Ravine recreational park–that
doesn’t count!" Interesting how the project was described.

In a story about city
officials’ reactions, Councilman John Holland was referred to as
"perhaps the bitterest foe"  of the stadium plans. The ruling seemed
certain to be appealed, but Holland instead hoped "that plans may be
speedily revived to have the major league baseball stadium constructed
near the Coliseum in or adjacent to Exposition Park."

Dodger owner Walter O’Malley remained confident that the ballpark would be built in Chavez Ravine.

"We came to California in the
first place because we felt it was a fine country and because we wanted
to build a new modern stadium," O’Malley said in a story by The Times’
Al Wolf. "Chavez fits in perfectly with that plan–and we are not
abandoning the program."

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in City Hall, Dodgers, Downtown, Politics, Sports and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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