Sport: Walter in Wonderland

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The man with the ample jowls swiveled happily in his seat. Cigar ash dribbled over his shirt front, and his several chins bobbled as his tight little mouth widened into a smile. Everywhere he looked he saw money. There in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum were 78,672 paying customers for the first home game of the Los Angeles Dodgers; no larger crowd had ever watched a single regular-season baseball game anywhere. So far as the Dodgers' President Walter Francis O'Malley was concerned, his team had already conquered Southern California.

In a city...