The Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers, a Professional Baseball Team

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In I S90, the Brooklyn Trolley [)odgers professional baseball team joined the N a ti nal League. Over the following years, the Dodgers would have considerable difficulty competing with the other baseball teams in the New York City area. Those teams, principal among them the New York Yankees, were much better fiminced and generally stocked with players of higher caliber. In 1958, after nearly seven decades of mostly frustration on and off the baseball field, the Dodgers shocked the sports world by moving to Los Angeles. Walter O’Malley, the flambovant owner of the Dodgers, saw an opportunity to introduce professional baseball to the rapidly growing population of the West Coast. More important, O’Malley saw an opportunity to make his team more profitable. As an inducecn t to the Dodgers, Los Angeles County purchased a goat farm located in Chavez Ravine, an area two miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and gave th~ property to O’Malley for the site of his new baseball stadium. Since moving to Los Angeles, the Dodgers have been the envy of the baseball Id: “In everything from profit to stadium maintenance. the Dodgers are the prototype of how a franchise should be run.”1 During the decade of the 1980s, the Dodgers were reportedly the most profitable franchise in baseball, with a pretax profit margin approaching 25 percent in many years. In late 1997, Peter O’Malley, Walter O’Malley’s son and the Dodgers’ principal owner, announced that the franchise was being sold for $350 million to the media mogul, Rupert Murdoch. A spokesman for Murdoch complimented the O’Malley family for the longstanding success of the Dodgers organization. “The O’Malleys have set a gold standard for franchise ownership we will do all in our power to live up to that standard.”2 Peter O’Malley, who still serves as the Dodgers’ president, attributes the succe~ of the organization to the experts he has retained in all functional areas: “1 . . . .

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