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Wyman Gets Her Diamond

A Little League field is dedicated to the ex-city councilwoman who helped bring the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.

July 22, 2003|Kathleen Flynn | Times Staff Writer

In 1953, when Rosalind "Roz" Wyman became the youngest person elected to the City Council, the 22-year-old began her first term by fighting for a major league baseball team for Los Angeles.

In 1958, she got her wish, and the former Brooklyn Dodgers came to town.

Wyman's crusade, begun 50 years ago, has won her recognition in another baseball league. On Monday, the city named a Little League field at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center the Roz Wyman Diamond in a ceremony filled with stories of the tenacious woman who had a lot to do with bringing the Dodgers to Los Angeles.

The Wyman diamond became a reality after the Dodgers Dream Foundation and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks repainted and rebuilt the backstop and bleachers and added a new scoreboard. This is the fourth field the Dream Foundation has helped to improve in the city.

Mayor James K. Hahn, City Councilman Jack Weiss and members of the Dodger organization told a small crowd of family and friends about Wyman's achievements and how her desire for a Los Angeles sports team became such a huge success.

"Without Rosalind Wyman, the Dodgers wouldn't be in Los Angeles, and the stadium would not have been built," said Peter O'Malley, former Dodger president.

The speakers recalled how Wyman wore out 13 pairs of shoes knocking on doors to get herself elected in 1953 and how she fought for a major league sports team while pregnant with her first child. Wyman saw the Dodgers win the game that took them to the World Series in 1959, even though she had just given birth to another child five days before.

A "major league team is just so important for this city," Wyman said. "It can bring together the Eastside with the Westside."

Earlier this month, developer Alan Casden, who has put in a bid to buy the Dodgers, said if his bid were successful, he would move the Dodgers out of their stadium in Chavez Ravine and into new quarters near Staples Center.

"I don't know what will happen," Wyman said. "I personally would hate to see the stadium go down, but as long as L.A. has baseball, I'm happy."

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