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January in Aviation History

An aviation connection to baseball history

On January 4, 1957 aviation played a prominent role in baseball history when the Brooklyn Dodgers became the first major league team to buy its own airliner. Dodger owner Walter O’Malley’s friendship with Eastern Airlines owner Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker facilitated a deal for the Dodgers to piggyback an order of a Convair 440 Metropolitan to an order of 20 of the planes that Eastern was purchasing from the Convair factory. The price was $775,000, and the ball club took delivery in April of 1957. The “rest of the story” in baseball history is that O’Malley moved the club to Los Angeles after the 1957 season (accompanied by the New York Giants moving to San Francisco).