On this day in history 1957: Dodgers Purchase Wrigley Field

Not that Wrigley Field.  This one.


If you’ve ever been to Catalina Island, the tour guides in Avalon are quick to point out that the Wrigley family once owned the island, and that the Chicago Cubs held spring training there on the island until 1931, when they moved to Wrigley Field Los Angeles (home to the Angels and later the Hollywood Stars) which had opened in 1925.

Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California

Future Hall of Famer Billy Herman would've been one of the rookies to meet the team on the island in February, 1932

When I took the tour, one of the guides suggested that before O’Malley chose to bring the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles, the Wrigley family made a serious effort to bring the Chicago Cubs to southern California.

It’s late and I only bring this up because that article above reminded me of that tour guide and his “insider history” note, but I don’t find it hard to believe.

In addition to the island of Santa Catalina, the Chicago Cubs, and the Wrigley Chewing Gum, Co., William Wrigley, Jr. also owned the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League.  Is it a stretch to believe that he would have wanted to bring the National League’s Cubs to California, and perhaps assimilate the Angels into the Junior Circuit?

Maybe it is.  Wrigley may have been better served with a slice of the PCL pie in California and a slice of the National League pie in Chicago.

If there are any former Catalina Island tour guides out there who have more info on this story, I’d love to hear it.

In the meantime, imagine yourself a young Brooklynite reading the paper 55 years ago today.  Will the Dodgers move?  Will Ebbets Field be torn down for housing complexes?  Could it be?  Is it possible?  The Los Angeles Dodgers?

Hard to believe that only a year later, in 1958, the Dodgers were opening the season from their new West Coast home.


Jeff Polman, author of 1924 and You Are There! – perhaps the greatest Strat-o-Matic replay blog in the history of the world – is taking on that first season of bi-coastal baseball in his next replay.

Set in 1958, in San Francisco, California, Jeff’s newest replay (and blog) is titled “Mysteryball ’58.”  I’ve been a follower and a fan of everything Jeff does with regard to his Strat-blogging and I’m tremendously excited to read and have a small part in whatever Jeff has in store for us.

Jeff has been kind enough to offer me the opportunity to co-manage the 1958 Philadelphia Phillies throughout the Mysteryball season.

As a huge fan of film noir, this replay is especially intriguing to me.  Based on Jeff’s previous work, the season and the blog should be terrific fun to follow.

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