Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. The fourth round of voting in the wild-card regional of our “Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History” tournament is over, and we received more than 18,000 votes. Today, voting in the final round begins. To see the entire wild-card regional, click here.
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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.
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.
So without further ado, let’s get to the final round of the football 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 final round of the baseball regional is here. For the final round of the football regional, click here.
Biggest Icon in L.A. Sports History, wild-card regional (final round)
No. 1 Jackie Robinson vs. No. 11 Jim Murray
Jackie Robinson: He never played pro baseball in L.A. and was a multisport 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%
Defeated No. 20 Billie Jean King in the fourth round, 89.3%-10.7%
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%
Upset No. 2 Wayne Gretzky in the fourth round, 56.8%-43.2%
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. You can see the entire wild-card regional by clicking here.
BORN ON THIS DAY
1929: Baseball manager Dick Williams (d. 2011)
1933: Football player Johnny Unitas (d. 2002)
1950: Boxer Tex Cobb
1957: Volleyball player Sinjin Smith
1978: Basketball player Shawn Marion
1984: Former Dodger James Loney
DIED ON THIS DAY
2011: Golfer Seve Ballesteros, 54
Game 7 of the 2002 World Series. Watch it here.