FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2018
Walter O’Malley autographed baseball sells at auction for $28,096
A rare baseball single-signed by former Dodgers president Walter O’Malley has sold at auction for $28,096 to an undisclosed buyer. The auction was handled by Lelands Auction House, and the remarkable baseball is in excellent condition.
The online auction took place last night with 34 bids recorded.
Walter O’Malley, who passed away in 1979, rarely signed baseballs so finding a baseball with his autograph, in this condition, is uncommon.
Lelands, founded in 1969, is one of the largest and most respected Auction House in the world. In just the past five years alone, more than $40 million worth of vintage sports memorabilia and cards has sold through their Auction House. This O’Malley signed baseball is only the second of its kind they have handled.
O’Malley was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He established a legacy as one of sport’s top visionaries and businessmen, building a first-class organization based on long-term stability and success. As President of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, one of baseball’s most enduring and beloved teams, he inscribed his reputation as an astute owner.
Not only did he set the gold standard for sports organizations, his pioneering move of the Brooklyn Dodgers to the West Coast in 1958 advanced the nationwide growth and success of the sport. His crowning achievement was designing, privately financing and building Dodger Stadium, the finest baseball ballpark of its time and, more than 55 years after it opened, remains as one of Los Angeles’ most recognizable and popular landmarks.
Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida opened in 1948 as Dodgertown, the Spring Training home of the Dodgers team, and became Major League Baseball’s first fully-integrated Spring Training facility in the South. Walter O’Malley began his ownership interest in 1944 and became the Dodgers’ president in 1950. Under his leadership the former Naval Air Base transformed into the model for Spring Training facilities with fields, living quarters, dining and recreation all in one location. It was a unique approach. Establishing a sense of teamwork early-on carried throughout the season and led to six World Championship teams which got their start at Dodgertown.
In December 1999, The Sporting News named O’Malley the 11th Most Powerful Person in Sports over the last century, while ABC Sports ranked O’Malley in its Top 10 Most Influential People “off the field” in sports history as voted by the Sports Century panel.
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Lelands, which was founded in 1969, has handled such landmark collections as The Mickey Mantle Auction of the Greer Johnson Collection ($1.3M), The Harry M. Stevens Auction ($1.8M), and the famed Boston Garden Auction ($2M total sales). They have also auctioned important individual pieces like The Babe Ruth Sale Document ($99,000), Mickey Mantle's 1960 Jersey ($111,100) and perhaps the single most famous transaction in sports memorabilia history, the sale of the infamous "Mookie Ball" to the actor Charlie Sheen for $93,500. Lelands has also conducted highly successful charity auctions for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), and Major League Baseball.
About Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida
“A Florida Heritage Landmark”
World-famous Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida is a multi-sport, 80-acre complex on Florida’s Treasure Coast managed by former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley in a partnership since 2012. O’Malley, whose family developed and expanded the site formerly known as “Dodgertown” for nearly 50 years, partnered with his sister Terry O’Malley Seidler and former Dodger star pitchers Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo.
On November 10, 2014, Historic Dodgertown was named a Florida Heritage Landmark for its unique historic significance extending beyond baseball, as the first completely integrated Spring Training site in the South. The “Baseball and Dodgertown” historical marker is located at the entrance to the conference center.
The home of Dodger Spring Trainings from 1948-2008, it was the starting place for six World Championships and 14 N.L. Pennant-winning teams. Numerous Baseball Hall of Fame players trained on these hallowed grounds, as well as 20 visits from professional teams in Asia.
The all-inclusive facility, owned by Indian River County, gives teams of all ages the unique opportunity to train, play, dine and stay together in on-site villas. Participants utilize one of 10 ½ playing fields (seven are Musco-lighted for night games), including a new cloverleaf of youth baseball/softball fields with concessions area and new multi-purpose field (110 by 130 yards) for football, soccer and lacrosse.
Other amenities include clubhouses, two full-sized weight rooms, dining room, Stadium Club lounge and a competition-size swimming pool. The home of 6,500-seat Holman Stadium, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida provides an all-encompassing experience for guests and is the ideal setting to build a championship team. It’s the perfect location for tournaments, camps, schools, business conferences and seminars.
Continuing its tradition since 1983, the Los Angeles Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp returned to Historic Dodgertown in November, 2014. Visit historicdodgertown.com for more information.
Ruth Ruiz, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, (772) 257-8532