Orel vs. Trout? Drysdale vs. Gibson? Vote in the second round of our baseball regional

Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser delivers against the St. Louis Cardinals in June 2000.
(Tom Gannam / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. I hope everyone washes their hands after reading this newsletter.

The first round of voting in the baseball regional “Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History” is over, and the response was overwhelming. We received over 20,000 votes in the baseball regional alone. Today, voting in the second round begins and the matchups are intriguing.

Some rules.

1. There are four regionals, with 32 people in each regional, seeded from No. 1 to No. 32. The winner of each regional will face off in the Final Four. Those two winners will meet in the championship round.

2. With each matchup, there will be a link for you to click on to vote. You can also send your picks by email by clicking here. Or you can vote on Twitter by clicking here.

3. When voting, ask yourself “When I think L.A. sports, whom do I think of first?” and vote for that person.

4. A brief sentence or two accompanies each entrant below. It is not meant to be an all-encompassing list of their accomplishments, just a brief reminder of why they are on this list.


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So without further ado, let’s get to the second round of the baseball regional. Voting ends at midnight Monday. Remember, you can vote by email by clicking here, on Twitter by clicking here, or you can click on the link after each matchup.

No. 1 Sandy Koufax vs. No. 17 Walter O’Malley

Sandy Koufax: The greatest pitcher in Dodger history who maintains a certain mystique 54 years after he retired.

How he got here: Defeated Jim Gilliam in the first round, 98.1%-1.9%.

Walter O’Malley: Brought the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958 and was a baseball power broker behind the scenes.

How he got here: Upset No. 16 Rod Dedeaux in the first round, 78.2%-21.8%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 2 Vin Scully vs. No. 18 Nolan Ryan

Vin Scully: The voice of the Dodgers for multiple generations.

How he got here: Defeated John Roseboro in the first round, 97.8%-2.2%

Nolan Ryan: Perhaps the best pitcher in team history. Should have won the Cy Young in 1973, when he pitched two no-hitters, struck out a record 383, completed 26 of 39 starts and had a save. I expect my former colleague, Chris Dufresne, to vote multiple times for him.


How he got here: Upset No. 15 Gene Autry in the first round, 56.1%-43.9%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 3 Tommy Lasorda vs. No. 14 Don Newcombe

Tommy Lasorda: One of the most famous managers in baseball history, he guided the Dodgers to four World Series, winning twice, and remains a fixture at Dodger Stadium.

How he got here: Defeated Fred Lynn in the first round, 95.2%-4.8%

Don Newcombe: He pitched only one season in L.A., but was a fixture at Dodger Stadium and counseled many Dodgers, and baseball players around the majors, on alcoholism. Deserves a spot here for that alone.

How he got here: Defeated Rod Carew in the first round, 56.9%-43.1%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 4 Don Drysdale vs. No. 13 Kirk Gibson


Don Drysdale: “Big D” was part of one of the best 1-2 rotation members in baseball history. Went on to a lengthy broadcasting career including stints with the Angels and the Dodgers.

How he got here: Defeated Vladimir Guerrero in the first round, 82.3%-17.7%

Kirk Gibson: He played only three seasons in L.A., but it felt like he single-handedly took the team to the 1988 World Series title and gave us what many say is the greatest moment in L.A. sports history.

How he got here: Defeated Jim Fregosi in the first round, 85%-15%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 5 Fernando Valenzuela vs. No. 21 Mike Piazza

Fernando Valenzuela: If you didn’t live through “Fernandomania,” it is virtually impossible to describe it accurately. He was a phenomenon. Why his number hasn’t been retired remains a mystery.

How he got here: Defeated Albert Pujols in the first round, 90.5%-9.5%

Mike Piazza: Dodgers fans are left to wonder what might have happened had Fox not traded Piazza to the Florida Marlins so early in his career. The best-hitting catcher ever.


How he got here: Upset No. 12 Walter Alston in the first round, 54.9%-45.1%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 6 Clayton Kershaw vs. No. 11 Maury Wills

Clayton Kershaw: The best pitcher of his generation, Kershaw has been an outstanding pitcher whose postseason reputation was restored a bit with news the Astros cheated.

How he got here: Defeated Garret Anderson in the first round, 91.9%-8.1%

Maury Wills: The man who helped reintroduce the stolen base to the majors, you could hear the entire stadium chanting “Go! Go! Go, Maury Go!” whenever he reached base.

How he got here: Defeated Jaime Jarrin in the first round, 64.4%-35.6%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 7 Orel Hershiser vs. No. 10 Mike Trout


Orel Hershiser: “The Bulldog” had a season for the ages in 1988, when he set the consecutive scoreless innings record, won the Cy Young Award and was MVP of the NLCS and World Series.

How he got here: Defeated Tim Salmon in the first round, 89.5%-10.5%

Mike Trout: The greatest current player who, at this rate, could end up being the greatest player of all time.

How he got here: Defeated Willie Davis in the first round, 82.6%-17.4%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 8 Mike Scioscia vs. No. 9 “The Infield”

Mike Scioscia: You could argue he should be seeded higher that this. Not only was he a valuable member of two World Series title teams with the Dodgers, he managed the Angels to their first, and so far only, World Series title.

How he got here: Defeated Don Sutton in the first round, 72.7%-27.3%

“The Infield”: Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey. They played together longer than any infield in history. Went to four World Series together. It seemed only right to put them in the tournament as a unit.


How they got here: Defeated Bobby Grich in the first round, 85.5%-14.5%

Vote via Polldaddy

Don’t forget to vote

You can vote one of three ways: Click on each individual Polldaddy link above, click here to vote via email (with all your picks in one email) or vote here via Twitter.


1917: Baseball labor negotiator Marvin Miller (d. 2012)

1936: Golfer Bobby Nichols

1941: Baseball player Pete Rose

1963: Basketball player Cynthia Cooper

1963: Golfer Meg Mallon

1966: Baseball player David Justice

1966: Baseball player Greg Maddux

1967: Hockey player Steve Chiasson

1969: Former Angels manager Brad Ausmus

1995: Football player Baker Mayfield


2019: Basketball coach John MacLeod, 81


Pete Rose becomes the hit king. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.