Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history
||Talk about a period piece! This polyester outfit from Bullock's Wilshire has been listed on EBay. Bidding starts at $9.99.
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Sam Yorty wins the mayor's race, but ...
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... loses to Tom Bradley in 1973 after a particularly dirty campaign.
Looking back, it's easy to see why the Angels hired a former Dodger executive to run the team and he hired a former Dodger scout and coach as manager. The Angels were going nowhere fast in 1969, an expansion year when new weak teams should have allowed established clubs a little breathing room.
Instead, the Angels were dead last in their division and owners of a 10-game losing streak when General Manager Dick Walsh decided to end the Angel career of Bill Rigney, the only manager the franchise had known. Harold "Lefty" Phillips, who had been with the Dodgers for 17 seasons, replaced Rigney.
The Angels weren't the only team filled with Dodgers. The San Diego Padres were in their first season and were being built by longtime Dodger executive Buzzie Bavasi. He hired former Dodger coach Preston Gomez as manager and the coaching staff was sprinkled with ex-Dodgers.
Would the Dodgers make much of a difference in Anaheim? Here's how The Times' Ross Newhan put it: "On a bright, warm day in Anaheim, they changed managers for the sake of changing managers."
Rigney, whose roots were in the Giants' organization, had a long run for a manager of an expansion team. He was manager of the year in 1962, when the Angels flirted with a pennant and finished a remarkable third. After leaving the Angels, he managed in Minnesota and San Francisco.
Phillips said of Rigney: "He was a very sound manager. I'd say that 95 percent of the time I agreed with the way he did things. The other 5 percent you could go either way."
The Angels lost their last game with Rigney, 10-0, to Detroit. They won their debut with Phillips, beating Cleveland, 2-1.
May 28, 1959: Ed Hopkinson during practice before the U.S.-England match.
Peter Young writes:
I'm a regular reader of your blog, and I've e-mailed you a few times before with praise for the blog and a correction or two.
I've just realized that on Thursday it's 50 years since I attended my first big soccer match in the U.S.A. It was U.S.A. 1 England 8 at the old Wrigley Field on May 28, 1959, attended by 10,000. I believe the match was arranged on very short notice as the England team finished a tour of South America and Mexico. The dirt baseball paths were in front of one of the goals, which made things a bit difficult for the teams.
It was perhaps the first time a European national team had visited Los Angeles for a full international match. And it was one of only a few games the U.S.A. national team played in the Fifties.
Ten years ago I posted a story on the match on my England team website. You can find it at http://www.englandfootballonline.com/TeamInteractive/Features/FeaturesFirst.html
It was my first visit to Los Angeles, and I remember the experience as if it was yesterday. But I would love to have whatever the press of the day had to say about the game.