Koufax vs. Fernando? Scully vs. Lasorda? Vote in the final four of our baseball regional

Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela delivers a pitch during a game in April 1984.
(Los Angeles Times)

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

The third round of voting in the baseball regional “Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History” is over, and we received over 19,000 votes. Today, voting in the fourth round begins.

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 fourth 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. If you missed the fourth round of the basketball regional, you can take part by clicking here.

The Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History, fourth round (baseball regional)

No. 1 Sandy Koufax vs. No. 5 Fernando Valenzuela

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

How he got here
Defeated No. 32 Jim Gilliam in the first round, 98.1%-1.9%
Defeated No. 16 Walter O’Malley in the second round, 93.8%-6.2%
Defeated No. 9 The Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey infield, 90.1%-9.9%

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 No. 28 Albert Pujols in the first round, 90.5%-9.5%
Defeated No. 21 Mike Piazza in the second round, 90.8%-9.2%
Upset No. 4 Don Drysdale in the third round, 64.9%-35.1%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 2 Vin Scully vs. No. 3 Tommy Lasorda

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

How he got here
Defeated No. 31 John Roseboro in the first round, 97.8%-2.2%
Defeated No. 18 Nolan Ryan in the second round, 92.9%-7.1%
Defeated No. 7 Orel Hershiser in the third round, 94.7%-5.3%

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 No. 30 Fred Lynn in the first round, 95.2%-4.8%
Defeated No. 14 Don Newcombe in the second round, 88.8%-11.2%
Defeated No. 6 Clayton Kershaw, 70.6%-29.4%

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.


The Lakers applied for and received a loan of about $4.6 million under the stimulus package that Congress passed in March, but the team says it returned the money to the federal government.

In a statement, the Lakers said once they “found out the funds from the program had been depleted, we repaid the loan so that financial support would be directed to those most in need. The Lakers remain completely committed to supporting both our employees and the community.”

The Paycheck Protection Program, part of the $2.2-trillion stimulus package, was designed to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic. It included $349 billion in loans for businesses with fewer than 500 employees that would be forgivable if the businesses used at least 75% of the funds on payroll and also retained or quickly rehired their staff.

A Lakers representative declined to specify why the organization applied for the loan, which is intended to help small businesses with modest resources, instead referring to the team’s statement about returning the loan.


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke exclusively to Los Angeles Times writer Sam Farmer after the league concluded its first virtual draft.

So how did you feel the draft went?

It came out better than any of us thought. I had told them a few weeks ago that I wasn’t going to judge this on ratings or normal numbers — attendance, obviously that was not a factor. It’s all going to be about, can we demonstrate that we can work from home safely, productively, which goes to the operation of the draft itself? And can we send the right tone and messaging. And finally, can we do something really to give back to our communities that are so much in need? I think those things we really hit.

What was important to do in order to make the teams comfortable with the format?

The most significant thing is, everybody is doing the same thing. It’s not like one team is going to be in their facility, and another team has got to sit and go through all this other stuff. We put redundancy behind their communications. We didn’t have one incident where we had to extend the clock or do anything unusual. In fact, it worked just as well as it worked during a normal draft. We had zero problems on that front.

Read the rest of Farmer’s interview with the commissioner by clicking here.


1941: Cyclist Lucien Aimar

1958: Golfer Hal Sutton

1964: Baseball player Barry Larkin

1966: Golfer John Daly

1967: Football player Pete Stoyanovich

1970: Hockey player Nicklas Lidstrom

1980: Cyclist Brad Wiggins


1993: Basketball coach Jim Valvano, 47

2014: Baseball coach Jack Ramsay, 89

2017: Former Dodger Luis Olmo, 97


The final hole of John Daly’s 1991 PGA Championship victory. 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.