Friday, October 22, 2010

Windows to the Past: Walt Disney - Baseball Fan

Like many of his Hollywood contemporaries, Walt Disney was a fan of the local minor league baseball team, the Hollywood Stars, as evidenced by this photograph from 1940.  Disney's name is featured on a metal plaque in the bleachers of Gilmore Stadium, where the Stars played from 1939 until 1957.  The baseball team's owners actively solicited investments from Hollywood celebrities and a number of sources have indicated that Walt Disney was among the team's stockholders.

The ballpark, located near Beverly Boulevard and Genesse Avenue, was built by oil tycoon Earl Gilmore who was also responsible for the nearby Pan Pacific Auditorium. That structure's iconic designs inspired the entrance plaza at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.