President Fraccari delivers WBSC Collar of Honour to int'l baseball pioneer Peter O'Malley

President Fraccari delivers WBSC Collar of Honour to int'l baseball pioneer Peter O'Malley
20/07/2022
The former Los Angeles Dodgers owner was instrumental in making baseball a demonstration sport at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics.

LOS ANGELES -- WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari delivered Peter O'Malley the Collar of Honour, which was awarded to the former Los Angeles Dodgers owner at the recent WBSC Congress in Taipei City.

O'Malley became instrumental in making baseball a demonstration sport at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics. He guaranteed the Los Angeles Organizing Committee that the Los Angeles Dodgers would ensure the financial support of the baseball games.

"We guaranteed against losses because I was confident that the games in Dodger Stadium would be successful," said O'Malley during an interview for the WBSC book, The Game We Love.

With the successful showing at the LA 1984 Games, the International Olympic Committee made baseball an official Olympic medal sport, beginning with the Barcelona 1992 Games. Softball would follow at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

“Peter O’Malley helped to shape and lay the foundation for baseball to develop into a global sport,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.

O'Malley, a forward-looking visionary, helped evolve the game into the international product that it is today. He was one of the first owners to look beyond US borders for talent, with high-profile signings in the 1990s, such as Japan's Hideo Nomo, Korea's Chan Ho park and Mexico's Ismael Valdez, which influenced the practices of MLB clubs.

In 2015, O'Malley received Japan's Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1937, O'Malley graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1960.

His father, Francis O'Malley (1903-1979), had moved the Brooklyn Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB) to Los Angeles in 1968. Peter took over as president of the Dodgers from his father on 17 March 1970. During his tenure, the Dodgers won the 1981 and 1988 World Series and five National League pennants (1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1988). He sold the club to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in 1998 for over US$ 300 million.

The WBSC awards with the Order of Honour those who have acted in such a way as to illustrate the ideals of baseball/softball and their outstanding merits in favour of the development of the sport and who have rendered exceptional services to baseball/softball.