Los Angeles Times to Publish on March 30 Special Section Chronicling 125 Years of Southern California Sports History

LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2006 – The Los Angeles Times on March 30 will publish a 30-page features section chronicling 125 years of Southern California sports history, from the star athletes, coaches and teams that have built the region's sports dynasties to the events that put Southern California on the world's sports stage.

The section is the first in a series of eight special features or themed sections marking The Times' 125th anniversary covering Southern California. On April 30, The Times will publish a special Real Estate/Home section looking at Southern Californians' unique relationship with their homes. That will be followed on May 21 by special coverage in the Calendar section focusing on how Hollywood and movies have been entwined in the city's history. Other features will focus on California's car culture, higher education, fashion trends and the people who made Southern California what it is today.

The March 30 Sports special section will include a gallery of some of the greatest sports photos from The Times' archives and a sports timeline extending from the beginning of USC football in 1888 to Kobe Bryant's 81-point romp against the Toronto Raptors earlier this year.

Features and commentary:

  • Retrospective: Jim Murray – Columnist Bill Plaschke considers it a distinct honor to be told "You're No Jim Murray." One of the few sportswriters to win a Pulitzer Prize, Murray was the most popular journalist in the newspaper's 125-year history.

  • Angelenos and Their Sports – Sports in Los Angeles was and remains casual, individual and personal, writes Columnist Patt Morrison. Still, Angelenos and their sports are a match made on the 50-yard line, at home plate and at center court.

  • A Conversation with John Wooden – Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden is perhaps the most famous sports persona in Los Angeles. At 95 years of age and with a mind shaper than those of most 25-year-olds, Wooden the sports fan talks about UCLA basketball and more.

  • People Who Have Passed Our Way – A who's-who of those who left a larger-than-life mark on Los Angeles' sports scene.

  • The Perpetual Olympics Town – A look back at the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics that put Los Angeles on the world's sports stage and the region's aggressive bidding efforts to bring home even more Olympic gold.

  • L.A.'s Sports Dynasties – From Walter Alston's Dodgers to the Showtime Lakers, from John Wooden to Kobe and Shaq to Pete Carroll's USC Trojans, Los Angeles is a dynasty of dynasties.

  • Horse Racing – Once the sport of kings in a city that loved its thoroughbred royalty, horse racing is now a dying breed.

  • Boxing – Los Angeles has produced some of the sport's most recognizable figures. While they all lived here, they rarely fought here. With no major boxing venues remaining in Los Angeles, these renowned boxers pursued the bright lights of Las Vegas.

  • Venues – Southern California is a place so full of sports buildings, past and present, that it remains a Summer Olympics quick-fix. A look at the area's sports venues.

  • The Pacific Coast League – Long before the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim went to court over their name, the Angels of the old Pacific Coast League brought professional baseball to Los Angeles. But it was more than a minor league. It was a semi-major league, paralleling the major leagues on the East Coast.

  • Southern California's Oldest -- Some of the area's venerable events may not be the most famous but they are the most durable. The Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament may be the oldest of them all.

  • Sports Fashion – From Wilt's tight little shorts to Kobe's pajamas, from Yankee pinstripes to prison-bar faceguard helmets in the NFL, fashion in sports has really changed.

The Times' year-long anniversary celebration, leading up to Dec. 4, 2006, also includes community events in partnership with other prominent Southern California special events and institutions, a Publisher's Forum series highlighting The Times' journalism and other public speaking engagements featuring Times executives.

About the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing company, is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country and the winner of 37 Pulitzer Prizes. Celebrating this year its 125th anniversary covering Southern California, The Times maintains the largest newsgathering operation in California and publishes five daily regional editions: Los Angeles metropolitan area, Orange County, Ventura County, the San Fernando Valley and the Inland Empire of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The Times' website, www.latimes.com, features 50,000 content pages and is updated continuously with more than 3,000 stories posted daily. Latimes.com's award-winning arts and entertainment section, calendarlive.com, offers an extensive range of entertainment news reviews and Southern California's most comprehensive event listing. The Times also produces The Envelope, www.TheEnvelope.com, the entertainment industry's most comprehensive, year-round awards show website.

Additional information about The Times is available at www.latimes.com/mediacenter.

David Garcia

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