Tunney’s Retirement Nearly Lost in Shuffle
The guys working The Times’ night sports desk 71 years ago tonight scarcely knew where to begin.
That day’s top sports stories:
* Los Angeles was officially awarded the 1932 Olympics.
* Heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney announced his retirement.
* Lillian Copeland of Pasadena won the silver medal in the discus at the Amsterdam Olympics.
* USC announced that tickets for the best seats at the Dec. 1 game against Notre Dame at the Coliseum would increase $2, to $5.
* USC sprinter Charles Paddock, at the Amsterdam Olympics, had qualified for the 200-meter semifinals.
Paddock wound up atop the sports page, with a banner headline, an indication of how big track and field once was in this town. The $5 USC-Notre Dame ticket story got No. 2 play. Tunney was a one-column story above the fold, as was Copeland. Los Angeles’ being awarded the 1932 Olympics was below the fold, since most had assumed for months it would happen.
Tunney had defended his championship for the second time only four days earlier, an 11th-round knockout of Tom Heeney in New York.
Tunney had upset champion Jack Dempsey in a driving rain before 100,000 at Philadelphia in 1926 to win the title, then beat Dempsey again a year later in Chicago. His share of the purse in the rematch came to $990,000 so he wrote a $10,000 check to promoter Tex Rickard, who in turn wrote one to him for $1 million.
Also on this date: In 1957, the attraction of Downey High’s Randy Meadows and Anaheim’s Mickey Flynn in the same backfield drew 85,931 to the Coliseum for the North-South Shrine All-Star game. The two prep superstar running backs flopped, gaining a combined nine yards. . . . In 1954, Milwaukee’s Joe Adcock hit four home runs and a double against the Dodgers in Brooklyn. . . . In 1932, 80,184 turned out in Cleveland as Philadelphia’s Lefty Grove beat the Indians, 1-0, in the first game at $2.64-million Municipal Stadium. . . . In 1976, at the Montreal Olympics, U.S. boxers Michael and Leon Spinks, Sugar Ray Leonard, Leo Randolph and Howard Davis won gold medals. . . . In 1932, at the Los Angeles Olympics, Babe Didrikson broke the women’s world javelin record by 11 feet on her first throw, winning the Olympic gold medal.