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The Sports Report: 100 years of Coliseum events and memories

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From David Wharton: Rock concerts and auto races. Community festivals. Motocross championships that require an army of dump trucks hauling dirt.

Every time something other than football or soccer comes to the Coliseum, every time the carefully tended grass gets trampled or smothered or torn up, Scott Lupold feels uneasy.

“Plenty of sleepless nights,” Lupold says. “I’m a worrier by nature.”

As grounds manager at the stadium, Lupold is responsible for maintaining a pristine field. His venue isn’t the only one that must adapt to various configurations; consider how often Crypto.com Arena switches from basketball hardwood to hockey ice to floor seating for shows.

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But, in the 100 years since it opened, the Coliseum has needed to learn a few tricks when it comes to morphing from standard turf to such unexpected surfaces as dirt, asphalt, ice and even snow.

The Coliseum wasn’t built for just one purpose,” says Frank Guridy, a Columbia University professor who studies the civic impact of stadiums and arenas. “It’s a good, old-fashioned, single-tiered facility big enough to accommodate a bunch of different things.”

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One hundred years at the Coliseum: Much more than a sports venue

USC, Dodgers and the Rolling Stones: Readers share their favorite Coliseum moments

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ANGELS

From Bill Shaikin: Half a century ago, the greatest of all the Angels broadcasters punctuated his call of every victory with four of the most famous words in franchise history: “The halo shines tonight!”

Dick Enberg’s exclamation point was not a hokey catch phrase. It was a fact.

The “Big A” is not just a nickname for Angel Stadium. There is an actual big A in the parking lot. It is 230 feet tall, topped by a halo that lights up, visible to fans as well as to motorists on three nearby freeways.

When the Angels win, the halo lights up. When the Angels lose, the halo is dark.

Until now, that is. Now, when the Angels lose, the halo still lights up.

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Angels defeat the Chicago White Sox on walkoff wild pitch

DODGERS

From Helene Elliott: This is what it has come to for the Dodgers’ rotation as June winds down:

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Throw somebody — anybody and sometimes any bodies — out there four times, and on the fifth day wait for Clayton Kershaw to rescue the Dodgers.

It’s not a formula for long-term success. But it’s how they’ve had to operate lately, with injuries forcing them to dig deep into their farm system and the recent ineffectiveness of 2022 All-Star Tony Gonsolin threatening to become a problem.

The Dodgers needed a better version of Gonsolin than they got Sunday against Houston. He wasn’t precise, wasn’t commanding enough in a five-inning, 61-pitch outing. He wasn’t involved in the decision in their 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Astros, who were booed as lustily as ever by fans at Dodger Stadium, but he put his team in a 4-1 hole by leaving splitters for Jeremy Peña, with a runner on base in the second inning, and Jose Abreu, also with a man on in the fourth inning, to each launch 400-plus feet.

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‘I’m capable of more.’ Miguel Rojas pushes to be the complete player the Dodgers need

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1890 — Canadian boxer George Dixon becomes first black world champion when he stops English bantamweight champion Edwin “Nunc” Wallace in 18 rounds in London, England.

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1903 — Willie Anderson captures the U.S. Open with a two-stroke victory over David Brown in a playoff.

1914 — Jack Johnson wins a 20-round referee’s decision over Frank Moran at the Velodrome d’Hiver in Paris.

1924 — Walter Hagen wins his second British Open. Hagen finishes with a 301 to edge Ernest Whitcombe by one stroke at Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake, England. Hagen, who won in 1922, was the Open’s first winner born in the United States.

1936 — Alf Padgham beats Jimmy Adams by one stroke to win the British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

1950 — Chandler Harper wins the PGA championship by beating Henry Williams Jr., 4 and 3 in the final round.

1959 — Mickey Wright beats Louise Suggs by two strokes for her second straight U.S. Women’s Open title.

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1971 — JoAnne Carner wins the U.S. Women’s Open with a seven-stroke victory over Kathy Whitworth.

1979 — Heavyweight Muhammad Ali confirms that his 3rd retirement is final (it isn’t).

1988 — Mike Tyson KOs Michael Spinks in 91 seconds, in Atlantic City.

1990 — NBA Draft: Syracuse power forward Derrick Coleman first pick by New Jersey Nets.

1992 — Top-seeded Jim Courier, the Australian and French Open champion, loses 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to qualifier Andrei Olhovskiy of Russia at Wimbledon. It’s the first time in Wimbledon history that a qualifier beat the top seed.

1998 — NHL Draft: Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) center Vincent Lecavalier first pick by Tampa Bay Lightning.

1999 — Juli Inkster shoots a 6-under 65 to win the LPGA Championship, becoming the second woman to win the modern career Grand Slam. Pat Bradley won her Grand Slam 13 years earlier.

2001 — NBA Draft: Glynn Academy center Kwame Brown first pick by Washington Wizards.

2006 — Roger Federer wins his record 42nd straight grass-court match, beating Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to open his bid for a fourth consecutive Wimbledon championship. Federer breaks the record he shared with Bjorn Borg, the five-time Wimbledon champion who won 41 straight matches on grass from 1976-1981.

2008 — Zheng Jie completes the biggest victory of her career at Wimbledon, beating new No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-4 in the third round. The 133rd-ranked Zheng’s victory, her first against a top-10 player, is the earliest exit by a top-ranked woman at Wimbledon since Martina Hingis lost in the first round in 2001.

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2010 — Cristie Kerr cruises to a 12-stroke victory in the LPGA Championship in one of the most lopsided wins at a major. Kerr leads wire-to-wire, closing with a 6-under 66 for a 19-under 269 total. Kerr breaks the tournament record for victory margin of 11 set by Betsy King in 1992 and matches the second-biggest victory in a major.

2013 — NBA Draft: UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett first pick Cleveland Cavaliers.

2021 — Nelly Korda beats Lizette Salas by 3 strokes to win the Women’s PGA Championship. The win is Korda’s first major title.

—Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally...

Mike Tyson knocks out Michael Spinks in 91 seconds. Watch and listen 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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