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Morning Briefing: Cody Decker is king of this minor feat

Cody Decker
Cody Decker competing in the World Baseball Classic in 2017.
(Lee Jin-man / AP)

Cody Decker got to do something most only dream of doing: Retire after hitting a walk-off home run.

That was the scenario Friday night when Decker hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the triple-A Reno Aces a 10-9 win over the Sacramento RiverCats.

It was Decker’s 204th minor league home run, making him the active leader. After the game, he announced he was done.

“I never really knew I’d get the chance to do it,” Decker told TahoeOnStage.com about retiring after hitting a winning home run. “It was a really special night and one of the best of my career, something I’ll never forget. The fact I got to share it with these teammates, you can’t beat it.”

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Decker played in 1,033 games for 13 teams in 11 minor league seasons. Decker played in only eight games in the majors, all with San Diego in 2015. He went 0 for 11.

Someone is going to have to break the news to him that by retiring he is no longer the active leader in minor league home runs. The all-time leader is Mike Hessman, who hit 433 home runs in 19 minor league seasons.

Sports poll

With all the free-agent moves in the last few days, the NBA Western Conference will be really deep next season. Most oddsmakers have the Clippers favored to win the conference title. Who do you think will win? Vote in our poll at poll.fm/10358770 (or click here if you are reading this online) or email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. Results will be revealed next week.

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Results from last week’s poll: We asked “Is the U.S. women’s soccer team arrogant or just having fun?” After 3,668 votes, here are the results: Just having some fun, 77.5%. Arrogant, 22.5%

Your favorite sports moment

What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Here’s the next one in our occasional series. Email me your favorite sports moment (houston.mitchell@latimes.com) and it might run in a future Morning Briefing.

Our next one comes from Gordon Pattison of Los Angeles:

“I have lived in L.A. 66 of my 73 years and have seen many of the greatest sports events during that time. I could vote for any of them and they would be worthy, but I will single out one that may seem obscure now.

“It was the summer of 1964 when I had finished my freshman year at USC. The U.S. vs USSR track meet was held in Los Angeles that year. This meet occurred every year alternating between U.S. and USSR venues. We were in the height of the Cold War so tensions were high, and a lot of national pride went into the rivalry. The USSR had won all of the previous meetings and were favored again.

“The meet was held in the Coliseum over two days in an atmosphere reminiscent of the Olympics. I managed to get two tickets, taking my girlfriend who is now my wife of 49 years. Dallas Long and Fred Hansen set world records. Valeriy Brumel won the high jump, but Ralph Boston was edged out in the long jump. For me the highlight of the meet was the improbable win of young Gerry Lindgren in the 10,000 meters against veteran Soviet distance runners. He steadily pulled ahead and with each lap, it became apparent he would win an event we never thought we had a chance of beating the Soviets.

“As he rounded the track, each lap seemed like a victory lap. The crowd came to its feet as he passed, cheering and clapping in what was maybe the first “wave.” I will never forget the sheer joy of that moment. We went on to beat the Soviets for the first time since the meets began in 1958. USA! USA!”

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