Jackie vs. Billie Jean? Gretzky vs. Jim Murray? Vote in fourth round of wild-card regional

Wayne Gretzky
(Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the tournament.

The third round of voting in the wild-card regional “Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History” is over. Time to start voting in the fourth round, as we are down to the final four in this regional.

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.


If you missed the fourth round of basketball, baseball and football, you can click here to vote in the basketball regional, click here to vote in the baseball regional and click here to vote in the football regional.

So without further ado, let’s get to the fourth round of the wild-card regional, with the second-round results after approximately 14,000 votes. Voting ends at midnight Wednesday. Remember, you can vote by email by clicking here, on Twitter by clicking here, or you can click on the link after each matchup.

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Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History, wild-card regional (final four)

No. 1 Jackie Robinson vs. No. 20 Billie Jean King

Jackie Robinson: He never played pro baseball in L.A. and was a multi-sport star at UCLA, so we moved him to the wild-card category. Robinson was the school’s first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. He was one of four black players on the Bruins’ 1939 football team, which went 6–0–4. In track and field, Robinson won the 1940 NCAA title in the long jump at 24 feet 10¼ inches. Baseball was Robinson’s worst sport at UCLA, as he hit .097 in his only season.

How he got here
Defeated No. 32 John Force in the first round, 93.9%-6.1%
Defeated No. 16 Rogie Vachon in the second round, 92.4%-7.6%
Defeated No. 9 Luc Robitaille in the third round, 88%-12%

Billie Jean King: King won 39 Grand Slam event titles in tennis: 12 in singles, 16 in doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. She was born in Long Beach and attended Long Beach Poly High and Cal State Los Angeles. She is a pioneer in women’s sports and is currently a part owner of the Dodgers. King is an advocate for gender equality and has long been an advocate for equality and social justice.

How she got here
Upset No. 13 Rob Blake in the first round, 81%-19%
Upset No. 4 Oscar De La Hoya in the second round, 50.7%-49.3%
Upset No. 12 Rafer Johnson in the third round, 55%-45%

Vote via Polldaddy

No. 2 Wayne Gretzky vs. No. 11 Jim Murray

Wayne Gretzky: The greatest hockey player of all time, Gretzky expanded the hockey audience in the L.A. area and made the Kings a force to be reckoned with after he was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers.


How he got here
Defeated No. 31 Bob Baffert in the first round, 93%-7%
Defeated No. 15 Dick Enberg in the second round, 65.6%-34.4%
Defeated No. 23 Arthur Ashe in the third round, 72%-28%

Jim Murray: The sports columnist worked at The Times for 37 years and was frequently the first place people turned when picking up the paper each morning. He was named National Sportswriter of the Year 14 times and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990.

How he got here
Defeated No. 22 Ryan Getzlaf in the first round, 87.4%-12.6%
Upset No. 6 Tiger Woods in the second round, 54.9%-45.1%
Upset No. 3 The Williams Sisters in the third round, 55.6%-44.4%

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.


One day after Major League Baseball gave teams freedom to handle ticket refunds however they wished, the Angels on Wednesday announced the team had been working to return the cost of ticket purchases or offer credit to fans for games indefinitely postponed by the coronavirus pandemic since spring training was canceled in mid-March.

So, in effect, it’s business as usual for the Angels.

“We still remain hopeful there will be a 2020 season,” Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey said in a statement. “Our policy has not changed since spring training. We continue to work with fans one-on-one to respond to their requests.

“If games are not played or played in an empty stadium, Angels baseball will continue to work with fans on a credit for a future game or a refund based upon the fan’s request.”


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell volunteered to give up his salary starting April 1 as part of cutbacks amid the coronavirus crisis, the NFL told The Times, and will not accept a paycheck until the league resumes normal operations.

“The NFL is not immune to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is our obligation to take responsible steps to protect the business and manage through this crisis as effectively as possible,” Goodell wrote in a leaguewide memo, according to the Associated Press.

“These decisions were difficult and we know these measures will cause hardship for those impacted. I encourage everyone to continue to identify ways of operating more efficiently and reducing costs. If we do that, I believe that furloughs and compensation reductions can be limited, or in time even reversed.”

Goodell signed a five-year extension in 2017 worth as much as $200 million in total value.


1891: Tennis player Pat O’Hara Wood (d. 1961)

1918: Tennis player Don McNeill (d. 1996)

1949: Former Dodger Phil Garner

1961: Basketball player Isiah Thomas

1966: Football player Dave Meggett

1975: Race car driver Elliott Sadler


The Lakers’ top 10 moments. Watch them here.

Until next time...

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