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Fierce fighting in Cuba, near riot as Colts win over Giants, December 29, 1958

December 29, 2008 |  6:00 am
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Creswell, Ore., farmer Harry Holt helps bring 107 Eurasian children from South Korean for adoption in the United States.


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The Colts defeated the New York Giants to win the NFL championship in what some people called the greatest game of all time. But the top story in The Times' sports section that morning was about crowds at Los Angeles sports events.

I'm sure it was a big deal at the time, how successful 1958 had been for all sports in L.A. Successful as in how many people showed up.

Sports editor Paul Zimmerman broke down the top sports and crowds. Horse racing was the top-drawing sport, with 4,608,919 people attending events over 263 days.

Baseball was second in town, thanks to the new kids from Brooklyn. According to Zimmerman, the Dodgers drew 1,845,556 to the Coliseum. About 816,000 more fans attended games for free or with discount tickets.

The numbers also show how sports in L.A. have changed. Football ranked third, thanks in large part to the Rams, followed by motor racing and boxing.

As for the NFL game, The Times covered it all including what read like a riot in Baltimore: "An unruly mob of victory-frenzied fans made a shambles of a welcome home celebration for the Baltimore Colts tonight and caused a near panic on a jammed runway of Friendship International Airport."

--Keith Thursby

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