The Sports Report: Charles White wants to reunite with USC

Charles White shows his Trojan spirit.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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

From Bill Plaschke: The Heisman Trophy winner wanders through halls of nothing in a house of nowhere.

“Fight on,” he says.

The man who ferociously rushed for more yards than anyone in USC history aimlessly meanders around the walkers and wheelchairs of his fellow residents in the memory care unit of a south Orange County assisted-living facility with one thing on his diminishing mind.

“I love USC,” he says.

He is wearing what he wears virtually every day, Trojans gear, head to toe, from the cardinal cap to the gold shirt to the cardinal sweatpants to the cardinal-and-gold watch. He is never recognized, but that’s OK, because, for now, he still recognizes himself.

He knows he is Charles White, and he knows what he accomplished for his beloved university.


“I know I once did something good, something great, something fantastic for USC,” he says.

He knows he won the Heisman, was named the Rose Bowl most valuable player twice, and was a member of the 1978 national champions.

“Everything I did in football, it was all USC,” he says.

He knows he lost the trust of the Trojans family after years of drug and alcohol abuse led him to sell his Heisman, disengage from the program and become a virtual outcast.

“Sometimes I went to the devil,” he says.

Then, 10 years ago, he was diagnosed with dementia, probably caused by all those football collisions, the resulting traumatic brain injury probably contributing to his life of addiction.

Read the rest here.

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From Jack Harris: Freddie Freeman is an All-Star after all.

After initially being snubbed from the National League roster, Freeman was added as an All-Star replacement Sunday night, giving the Dodgers their sixth All-Star selection this year as they host the midsummer classic for the first time since 1980. Freeman was selected by Major League Baseball to replace New York Mets outfielder Starling Marte, who will be inactive for the game.

Freeman had a strong All-Star case when the original teams were announced last week, and has only added to his credentials since.


After entering the break on a 16-for-24 tear at the plate, Freeman raised his season batting average to .321 (fourth best in the majors), his on-base-plus-slugging percentage to .927 (seventh) and his RBI total to 59 (13th best).

He is MLB’s hits leader with 114, after playing all 90 games during the first half for the Dodgers.


Elliott: Dodgers have better days ahead while Angels find themselves in ugly situation

Hernández: Dodgers should trade prospect Diego Cartaya if it lands them Juan Soto

‘Just write it all’: The notebook routine that helped make Tyler Anderson an All-Star

Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson added to the All-Star Game roster



From Sarah Valenzuela: Angels outfielder Mike Trout has decided he will not play in this year’s All-Star Game because of an injury, but he still plans to attend the event.

Trout sat out his fourth consecutive game because of upper back spasms Saturday. This is the third time Trout has withdrawn from the Midsummer Classic, scheduled for Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, because of an injury.

Seattle Mariners first baseman Ty France will replace Trout on the AL roster, MLB announced Sunday.

Trout has been dealing with back issues since the team’s series in Miami last week.

He was pulled from the middle of the Angels’ game against the Houston Astros on Tuesday because of back spasms. Interim manager Phil Nevin said after that game he didn’t like the way Trout was moving in center field and noticed him trying to stretch his back after his second at-bat.


From Sam Farmer: The mullet, the mallet, both were exquisite for Cameron Smith on Sunday as he started the back nine of the Old Course with five birdies in a row and pulled away for victory in the British Open.

The affable Australian, whose Joe Dirt hairstyle makes him identifiable from two par-five holes away, overtook fan favorite Rory McIlroy and held off a late surge by Cameron Young to finish the major championship at 20 under par.


Sizing up the Claret Jug after the trophy presentation, Smith said: “I’m definitely going to find out how many beers it can hold, that’s for sure.”

He later estimated it would hold two beers, and that he probably would celebrate with “about 20 Claret Jugs.”

The leaderboard was dual overhead Cams, as Young finished second at 19 under. One shot behind him was McIlroy, who has yet to win that elusive fifth major after collecting four in quick succession early in his career.


Cameron Young duels to the British Open finish, falling one stroke short


From Myah Taylor: As “The Star Spangled Banner” sounded, tension extended through their arms and into their clinched, black-gloved fists. Tommie Smith and John Carlos wanted the world to know America’s great stain.

But it was not rigidness as displayed in the gold and bronze medalists’ hands that placed the American sprinters onto the podium at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. It was relaxation.


Their coach at San Jose State, Bud Winter, cultivated a new sprinting technique. No more tensed jaws. No more balled fists. Instead, open palms. A smooth gait. A softened face for optimum speed.

The breakdown of Winter’s running revolution kickstarts “Legacy of Speed,” a new podcast from Malcolm Gladwell, a New York Times bestselling author. Inspired by the iconic photo of Smith and Carlos at the 1968 Games, the podcast explores the rise of San Jose as “Speed City” and the background of the sprinters’ protest after their 200-meter run performance.


U.S. women’s track making strides with new wave of athletes


Jose Cifuentes scored to lead LAFC to a 2-1 win Sunday over Nashville.

Cifuentes’ game-winning goal came in the 46th minute to put LAFC (13-4-3) on top 2-1.

LAFC also got a goal from Christian Arango.

Hany Mukhtar scored for Nashville (8-7-6).

Nashville outshot LAFC 12-10, with three shots on goal to five for LAFC.


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1896 — James Foulis wins the U.S. Men’s Open golf championship at Shinnecock Hills, Southampton, N.Y.

1927 — Ty Cobb of the Philadelphia Athletics doubles off the glove of Harry Heilmann for his 4,000th hit.

1951 — Jersey Joe Walcott, at 37, becomes the oldest fighter to win the world heavyweight title with a seventh-round knockout of Ezzard Charles at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.


1970 — San Francisco’s Willie Mays gets career hit number 3,000 off Montreal’s Mike Wegener in the second inning.

1975 — The trial of Dave Forbes, the first pro athlete to be indicted for a crime committed during play, ends in a hung jury. Forbes, of the Boston Bruins, was indicted for excessive force used on an opponent. Forbes’ victim was Henry Boucha in a game on Jan. 4 against the North Stars at Minnesota. The prosecution decides not to seek a retrial.

1987 — New York’s Don Mattingly ties Dale Long’s 31-year-old major league record when he homers for the eighth consecutive game in the Yankees’ 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers.

1993 — Greg Norman shoots a 64 on the final day to set a record with a 13-under 267 and wins the British Open. Norman wins by two strokes over defending champion Nick Faldo.

1995 — Britain’s Jonathan Edwards breaks the 10-year-old world triple jump record, leaping 59 feet in the Salamanca Provincial meet. Edwards tops the previous mark of 58-11½ set in 1985 by Willie Banks of the United States.

1999 — Jean Van de Velde’s triple bogey on the 72nd hole sets the stage for Paul Lawrie to become the first Scotsman to win the British Open in his native land since Tommy Armour in 1931. Lawrie, 10 strokes behind when the final round began, wins the four-hole playoff over Van de Velde and Justin Leonard, making birdies on the last two holes to complete the biggest comeback in a major.


1999 — David Cone dazzles the Montreal Expos, throwing the 14th perfect game in modern history to lead the New York Yankees to a 6-0 victory.

2005 — In Oklahoma City, the United States loses a tournament title game for the first time since 1997, falling 3-1 to Japan in the championship of the inaugural World Cup of Softball. The Americans, which lost to Canada earlier in this tournament, lost to Australia 1-0 in the championship game of the 1997 Superball, held in Ohio.

2010 — Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa shoots a 1-under 71 for a seven-stroke victory at 16-under 272 in the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Lee Westwood of England finishes second.

2021 — Colin Morikawa wins the Open Championship 15-under par at Royal St. George’s by two strokes over Jordan Speith. It was Morikawa’s second major championship win after his 2020 The Masters win.

And finally

Willie Mays gets his 3,000th hit. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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