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Koufax vs. Scully: Vote in the final round of our baseball icon regional

Vin Scully and Sandy Koufax in 2016.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. The fourth round of voting in the baseball regional of our “Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History” tournament is over, and we received more than 30,000 votes. Today, voting in the final round begins. To see the entire baseball regional, click here.

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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.

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2. With each matchup, there will be a link for you to click on to vote. You also can 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 noon Sunday. 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 final round of the basketball regional, you can take part by clicking here.

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

No. 1 Sandy Koufax vs. No. 2 Vin Scully

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 in the third round, 90.1%-9.9%
Defeated No. 5 Fernando Valenzuela in the fourth round, 77.8%-22.2%

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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%
Defeated No. 3 Tommy Lasorda in the fourth round, 91.8%-8.2%

Vote via Polldaddy

Don’t forget to vote

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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. To see the entire baseball regional, click here.

NFL

Don Shula, who on his way to becoming pro football’s winningest coach also fielded the only unbeaten team in NFL history, has died, the Miami Dolphins announced Monday. He was 90.

“Don Shula was the patriarch of the Miami Dolphins for 50 years,” the team said in a statement. “He brought the winning edge to our franchise and put the Dolphins and the city of Miami in the national sports scene.”

The cause of death was not immediately known, but a source told the Miami Herald that it was not related to the novel coronavirus.

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Shula, who was only 33 when he stepped into his first head coaching job, coached only two National Football League teams, the Baltimore Colts and the Miami Dolphins, and he ended his career with a 347-173-6 record. He also posted the NFL’s only perfect season — 17-0 with the 1972 Dolphins — and six Super Bowl appearances. He won two, capping that historic 1972 season with a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins, then beating the Minnesota Vikings a year later in Super Bowl VIII.

CLIPPERS

Ownership of the Forum has formally changed hands, removing an obstacle in the way of the Clippers constructing their own arena nearby. A group controlled by Clippers owner Steve Ballmer completed its purchase of the Forum from Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. on Monday.

The close of escrow came six weeks after Ballmer-backed CAPSS LLC announced it had agreed to pay $400 million in cash not only for the arena, but also to resolve all litigation related to MSG’s fight to block a new Clippers arena in Inglewood.

Renovations by MSG reconfigured the Forum, the former home of the Lakers and Kings, into a music-only venue. CAPSS LLC will continue to operate the Forum for music and entertainment only, using a new entity, Forum Entertainment LLC. According to the new ownership, Geni Lincoln and Mike Fallon, who ran the building’s operations under MSG, will continue in those roles while reporting to Gillian Zucker, the Clippers’ president of business operations.

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BILL PLASCHKE

An excerpt from Bill Plaschke‘s column on the relationship between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

So how, in 22 years, did Bryant go from being the object of Jordan’s ridicule to the focus of Jordan’s tears? How can a “little Laker boy” become someone about whom Jordan later said, “When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died?”

It was all Kobe. It was quietly, almost secretly, one of his greatest accomplishments. It epitomized his evolution as a person and led to the general outpouring of affection upon his death.

Instead of pushing back against Jordan, Bryant reached out. Instead of showering him with bitterness, Bryant showed only respect. It was eventually how he treated many of those whom he admired throughout his life. If he thought he could learn from you, despite your criticisms of him, he would seek you out and embrace your wisdom and grow from his mistakes.

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Jordan was the first and prime example of this underrated willingness of Bryant to humble himself. Even as Jordan was surely ripping him around the NBA, Bryant was coming to him for help, asking for advice on everything from footwork to shot selection to strategy. Even as Jordan showed little interest in mentoring or tutoring anyone who might one day surpass him. Bryant continued to bug him, so much that he actually started imitating him. Look at old videos, listen to the old interviews — Bryant not only shoots and moves like Jordan, sometimes he even sounds like him, complete with the cursing.

Bryant countered Jordan’s resentment with deference and admiration, and eventually he forged a brotherhood whose powerful existence was a testament to Bryant’s resilience as a person. In trying to be like Mike, he finally won over Mike.

Read the entire column by clicking here.

BORN ON THIS DAY

1941: Hockey player Alexander Ragulin (d. 2004)

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1941: Football player Terry Baker

1970: Basketball player LaPhonso Ellis

1971: USC/NBA star Harold Miner

1972: Former King Žigmund Pálffy

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AND FINALLY

On this day in 1978: Pete Rose gets his 3,000th hit. 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 houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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Go beyond the scoreboard

Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.

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