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Few players were more exciting than Willie Davis

Willie Davis was not the best player ever to wear a Dodgers uniform, but he ranked among the most exciting. …

Nobody darted from first base to third faster than Davis. …

The greatest center fielder in Los Angeles Dodgers history, the captivating “Three Dog” was a three-sport star at Roosevelt High, where he was an All-City pick in basketball and baseball, once ran the 100-yard dash in 9.5 seconds and won the 1958 City long jump title with a leap of 25 feet 5 inches, which would have been a national record had it not been wind-aided. …

A documentary, “Biography of a Rookie: The Willie Davis Story,” was one of award-winning producer David L. Wolper’s earliest projects, with narration by a then-little-known Mike Wallace.

Speaking of Wolper, who produced the opening and closing ceremonies at the 1984 Olympics, he was honored Tuesday by the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games. ...

Puzzling Lakers lulls are nothing new, but each one seems to trigger a higher level of anxiety than the last. …

Ron Artest’s short-lived blond hairdo brought to mind Dennis Rodman, who probably would be enshrined at the Basketball Hall of Fame if administrators in Springfield, Mass., weren’t afraid he’d show up for the induction ceremony in a gown. …

In severing ties with Mike Dunleavy, the Clippers said in a news release that they wanted to win “now.” …

It’s about time. …

Ben Roethlisberger seems intent on forging an identity as the world’s oldest, most recognizable frat boy. …

The question no longer is whether the Kings can finally end their eight-year playoff drought, but rather, how long can Jonathan Quick & Co. stay alive once they get there? …

When Arizona State basketball Coach Herb Sendek says the Pacific 10 Conference is “probably much better than we are perceived nationally,” that’s not saying much. …

USC has not pulled out of the Pac-10 women’s basketball tournament, which opens Thursday at the Galen Center. …

During the three-year Lew Alcindor era, UCLA twice won national championships at Freedom Hall, which last weekend hosted its final Louisville home basketball game. …

Two of the buildings where UCLA won titles — St. Louis Arena and the Kingdome in Seattle — have been demolished. …

USC defensive mastermind Monte Kiffin was in Lincoln, Neb., last week comparing notes with Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini, who presumably told him that building a defense is easier when you’ve got a foundation such as Ndamukong Suh. …

Lane Kiffin was born in Lincoln. …

Former UCLA quarterback Patrick Cowan and his girlfriend, ex- UCLA All-American swimmer Katie Nelson, plan to spend the next year working at an orphanage outside Nairobi, Kenya. …

Regarding all-time great calls in sports broadcasting, several readers favor Vin Scully’s classic from 1959, when Carl Furillo was batting, Gil Hodges was on second base, Felix Mantilla was playing shortstop for the Milwaukee Braves and a World Series date with the Chicago White Sox hung in the balance: “Big bouncer over the mound, over second base. Up with it is Mantilla; throws low and wild. Hodges scores. We go to Chicago.” …

Maya Moore and the top-ranked Connecticut women’s basketball team are 14-0 against top-10 opponents, with an average margin of victory topping 26 points. …

Vince Lombardi, portrayed by Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine in the 1973 television movie “Legend in Granite: The Vince Lombardi Story,” will be played by Oscar winner Robert De Niro in an upcoming ESPN film. …

Oscar winner Jeff Bridges has portrayed a number of sports figures on screen, among them a high school football player in “The Last Picture Show,” a character based on pioneering NASCAR driver Junior Johnson in “The Last American Hero,” thoroughbred owner Charles Howard in “Seabiscuit” and, of course, bowler Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski in “The Big Lebowski.” …

Mel Bobich of San Pedro, in attendance for perfect games pitched by Don Larsen and Sandy Koufax, probably got a bigger thrill out of watching son John coach San Pedro High to a City basketball championship last week. …

Noting that Russian athletes finished last most often at the Vancouver Olympics, reader Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., e-mails to suggest, “That’s good news for the next Siberian Olympic team.”

jerome.crowe@latimes.com


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