O'Malley (left) and Rickey (right) both had visions of how to expand baseball. In O'Malley's case, however, purchasing a plot of land to the northwest of Downtown Los Angeles would lead to the loss of a generation of potential latino Dodger fans.
While not the first latin player in baseball, Valenzuela's fast rise to stardom in Los Angeles bridged the gap between the Dodgers and the Hispanic community, and eventually led to more widespread international scouting efforts.
A statue of Jackie Robinson with Pee Wee Reese putting his arm around him at Crosley Field stands in front of MCU Park at Coney Island in Brooklyn today as a symbol of courage and diversity in baseball. Image source: thegrio.com