Bump Holman stands in front of the DC-3 with Lee Pike, his first flight instructor and first co-pilot with the Dodgers in 1954. Holman got his commercial pilot’s license at the age of 18. Photo by Barney Stein The Brooklyn Dodgers Convair 440 Metropolitan twin-engine plane was purchased on January 4, 1957. The Dodgers took delivery of the plane in mid-March. At the time of purchase, Dodger President Walter O’Malley announced to Associated Press, “This is the first time a major league club has bought an airplane.” Dodger President Walter O’Malley and Dodger Director Bud Holman are on the steps of the 44-seat Dodger Convair 440 Metropolitan twin-engine plane. Holman’s son Bump is visible in the cockpit window. O’Malley added to the order of Eastern Air Lines to purchase the plane directly through the Convair factory, with the assistance of his friend Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, President of Eastern. Bud Holman served as a Director of the Dodgers and was Eastern’s representative at the Vero Beach Airport. The Dodgers became the first major league baseball team to own their own airplane, as they purchased a Convair 440 Metropolitan twin-engine. From left to right, Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, President of Eastern Air Lines, Dodger Director Bud Holman, Dodger President Walter O’Malley and Dodger Director James Mulvey show a model of the Convair 440. The Dodgers made the purchase of the airplane on January 4, 1957, piggybacking on Rickenbacker’s order of airplanes for Eastern.
Dodger President Walter O’Malley and Dodger Director Bud Holman are on the steps of the 44-seat Dodger Convair 440 Metropolitan twin-engine plane. Holman’s son Bump is visible in the cockpit window.
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1957 — The Brooklyn Dodgers order a Convair CV-440 Metropolitan for $775,000, becoming the first major league baseball team to buy an airplane. Thanks to Dodger-owner Walter O’Malley’s friendship with Eastern Air Lines president Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, the Dodgers are able to piggyback onto an Eastern order to get a plane directly from the Convair factory in San Diego. With the exception of having auto-pilot (which Eastern refused in those days) the Dodgers’ 44-seater is identical to the 20 planes Eastern purchased, even down to the Eastern duck hawk logo on the tail, but with Dodgers titles, of course. Sadly for Brooklyn fans, the plane would play a key role in O’Malley’s moving of the team to Los Angeles later that year.
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