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Dodger Owners: The Timeline

October 11, 2003

YEARS: 1889-1897

OWNERS: Charles H. Byrne, Joseph Doyle, Ferdinand Abell

HISTORY: In 1888, the Brooklyn franchise's name is changed from Grays to Bridegrooms for the seven players who married that season. The Bridegrooms won an American Assn. championship the next season and in 1890 moved to the National League, also winning a championship.


YEARS: 1898-1902

OWNERS: Charles H. Ebbets, Ferdinand Abell, Harry Von Der Horst, Ned Hanlon

HISTORY: Upon Byrne's death in 1897, Ebbets was elected as club president and entered into a partnership with Baltimore's Von Der Horst and Hanlon.


YEARS: 1902-1908

OWNERS: Charles H. Ebbets

HISTORY: Citing financial difficulties, Von Der Horst, Hanlon and Abell sold their shares to Ebbets in 1902, making him the sole owner of the franchise, then known as the Superbas.


YEARS: 1908-1925

OWNERS: Charles H. Ebbets, Edward J. McKeever, Stephen W. McKeever

HISTORY: BTD Ebbets bought land in Flatbush -- where Ebbets Field was built and first used in 1913 -- and took on partners Edward and Stephen McKeever to soften the financial blow.


YEARS: 1925

OWNERS: Edward J. McKeever, Stephen W. McKeever, and heirs of Charles H. Ebbets

HISTORY: Ebbets died on April 18. At Ebbets' funeral, Edward McKeever fell ill with pneumonia, and died within a week.


YEARS: 1925-1938

OWNERS: Stephen W. McKeever, and heirs of Edward J. McKeever and Charles H. Ebbets

HISTORY: BTD Stephen McKeever died in March 1938, leaving the team to his daughter, Marie Mulvey. The team, which had been nicknamed the Robins (for longtime manager Wilbert Robinson) since 1914, became the Dodgers for good in 1932.


YEARS: 1939-1943

OWNERS: Marie Mulvey and heirs of Edward J. McKeever and Charles H. Ebbets

HISTORY: Team prospers under Executive Vice President Larry MacPhail's innovative leadership.


YEARS: 1944

OWNERS: Walter F. O'Malley, Branch Rickey, John Smith, Marie Mulvey and heirs of Charles H. Ebbets

HISTORY: Ed McKeever's stock is put up for sale by heirs. Branch Rickey, Walter O'Malley and John Smith buy the 25% interest for $347,000.


YEARS: 1945-1950

OWNERS: Walter F. O'Malley, Branch Rickey, John Smith, minority shareholders

HISTORY: In 1945, Rickey, O'Malley and Smith buy 50% of the team from the Ebbets heirs for $750,000, to amass 75% control of the team. Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in 1947.


YEARS: 1950-1975

OWNERS: Walter F. O'Malley, various minority shareholders

HISTORY: In 1950, O'Malley wrestles majority control of the team from Rickey, amassing 66.2% of the franchise. The Dodgers win their first World Series title in 1955 and O'Malley moves the team to Los Angeles in 1958.


YEARS: 1975-1979

OWNERS: Walter F. O'Malley

HISTORY: BTD In 1975, O'Malley assumes complete ownership of the Dodgers by acquiring the final 33.8%.


YEARS: 1979-1997

OWNERS: Peter O'Malley

HISTORY: Peter O'Malley assumes ownership upon the death of his father. The Dodgers win their fifth and sixth World Series championships while under the O'Malley family's ownership in 1981 and 1988.


YEARS: 1998-2003

OWNERS: News Corp.

HISTORY: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. purchases the Dodgers for $311 million. The Dodgers fail to make the playoffs in any of the six seasons under this organization's ownership.

Research by Los Angeles Times; Sources: Los Angeles Dodgers,, and Los Angeles Times Archives, Times Wire Services, NYC Sports Commission

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