Thursday, April 14, 2016

Skirball Cultural Center Baseball Exhibit is Now Open - Includes O'Malley Memorabilia

A few weeks back I had mentioned that a new Baseball themed exhibit was opening up at the Skirball Cultural Center, so I wanted to take a moment to let you all know that it is now open.  Go here for information.  Furthermore, there is another exhibit there that is also worth your time called, "The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 100-Odd Paintings: The Art of Ben Sakoguchi."  (Information Here)

The main exhibit is called, "Chasing Dreams: Baseball & Becoming American," and I recently discovered that there are several artifacts displayed within that were loaned by the O’Malley family collection.  Per a press release:
Peter O’Malley, president, Los Angeles Dodgers, 1970-1998, is lending the original Dodger Stadium model, made by renowned Hollywood producer-director Mervyn LeRoy from design plans and given as a gift to Peter’s father, Walter, in 1960. LeRoy had David Ernstein, a model-maker at Warner Bros. Studios create the model, circa 1960. The original model was exhibited in the winter of 1961-62, prior to the April 10, 1962 opening of Dodger Stadium, when it was on display at the downtown Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America headquarters building. The model shows the same pastel color palette as when Dodger Stadium opened and was in Walter O’Malley’s office until 1979.

A unique collection of four autographed baseballs from each of Sandy Koufax’s no-hitters is also on display in the exhibit. Hall of Fame Dodger pitcher Koufax, considered the greatest left-hander of all-time, presented autographed baseballs from each of his four no-hitters in appreciation to Dodger President Walter O’Malley and his wife, Kay. On June 30, 1962, Koufax beat the New York Mets, 5-0; on May 11, 1963, he defeated the San Francisco Giants, 8-0; on June 4, 1964, he blanked the Phillies in Philadelphia, 3-0; and on September 9, 1965, he pitched a rare perfect game against the Chicago Cubs, 1-0.
Featured in the photo on the top left is the Dodger Stadium model, and on its right is the 1962 Sandy Koufax Baseball.  Below is the 1965 perfect game Koufax ball. (All pics via

The exhibit runs from April 7-October 30, 2016, so there is plenty of time to check it out.  Go ahead and make your plans now.
“Chasing Dreams” illustrates America’s national pastime as a “pathway for American Jews and other immigrant and minority communities – including Italians, Asians, Latinos, and African Americans – to become American.” The show was organized and traveled from the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, Pa., and the Skirball has added a local exhibit, including more Dodger memorabilia – jerseys from Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo, as well as the warm-up jacket of Fernando Valenzuela and Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Rookie of the Year plaque.  
(1965 Koufax Perfect Game Ball, via Walter O'

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