The Golden Ages of Los Angeles Sports History
Testimonial by Rudy Hiers
The 60’s through the 70’s were what are now considered the “golden age” of Los Angeles sports history; and it was simply a wondrous place in time, and a wondrous area, for a young sports fan to grow up. The UCLA basketball Bruins, led by John Wooden, were in the middle of their legendary run of titles, including 7 straight. The USC football Trojans, led by John McKay, would win 3 national titles in 6 years from 1968-1974. The USC baseball Trojans led by Rod Dedeaux were winning 7 national titles in 10 years from 1968 to 1978. The Lakers, led by Hall Of Famers Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt Chamberlain, were in the NBA finals 9 times in 11 years from 1962-1973. The Dodgers, led by hall of famers Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, and Tommy Lasorda, would visit the World Series 6 times. Then, there were the Rams. Ahhh yes, the Rams.
I was just starting to get my first taste of sports, thanks to television and radio, and as I look back on it now, I couldn’t have been any luckier, because the LA airwaves were filled with legendary voices. Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, Dick Enberg, and Gil Stratton to name just a few. The magic they weaved with their words and descriptions brought a little 6 year old boy who snuck his transistor radio under his pillow each summer night, listening to the exploits of his heroes as he went to bed, into worlds of championship dreams every night, where once asleep, he imagined himself roaming the diamond at Chavez Ravine, standing on the gridiron of the LA Coliseum, and running up and down the hardwood of the Fabulous Forum.
I hold a special place in my heart for all the gentlemen listed above, and many I did not mention, for they were the artists that painted the canvas of my imagination, and helped mold and shape that little boy, into the sports fan he is today.