A plaque in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s Court of Honor recognizing former Councilwoman Rosalind Wyman for her significant contributions to the stadium’s legacy was unveiled Thursday, four days before her 91st birthday.
Wyman was among the leaders in the effort to bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles. The team played at the Coliseum from 1958-61.
She also persuaded John F. Kennedy to give his acceptance speech for the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination at the Coliseum. In the speech, Kennedy used the term “The New Frontier” for the first time. It would become a label for his administration’s domestic and foreign programs.
In her role as a member of the Coliseum Commission, Wyman also was instrumental in getting the Lakers to move to Los Angeles.
The plaque honoring Wyman was the 64th in the Court of Honor, which honors individuals with connections to the Coliseum and the since-demolished Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
Others honored with plaques include Jackie Robinson, retired Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, the late USC football coach John McKay, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and the late Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who was also instrumental in the Dodgers’ move to Los Angeles.
Wyman was elected to the council in 1953 at the age of 22, the youngest person elected to the body and the second woman, representing the Westside’s Fifth District, winning what the Los Angeles Times described at the time as a “door-to-door, housewife-to-housewife campaign.”
During that campaign, Wyman called for bringing Major League Baseball to Los Angeles and was among the leaders in the effort to bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles. She is the only surviving person involved in negotiating with then-Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley to bring the team to Los Angeles.
“If it wasn’t for the work of (Wyman), Dodger history and the history of Los Angeles could be very, very different,” former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley told the City Council at a 2012 meeting in support of an effort to have the Palms Recreation Center named for Wyman, which was approved later that year by the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners.
“No one deserves more credit … for the Dodgers being here, for Dodger Stadium and for the Major League Baseball teams to come to the West Coast.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said at the 2012 meeting that Wyman “changed the face of Los Angeles, having made it a major league city by helping to bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles.”