News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

‘Time Jockey ’: Flashback

by Joe Castillo

Back in Time  … I recently went to an estate sale and bought a couple of sections from an old L.A. Times. I enjoy looking back at the news of past days as there are items that come up today which started way back yesteryear. As I found them interesting to read, I thought I’d shared them with you. The first section I read was from the Sports Section dated December 27, 1989. Starting at page 5, I read some rather interesting news. The Lakers won the previous night against the Sacramento Kings by a score of 104-102. Magic Johnson, Byron Scott, James Worthy and Michael Cooper were still on the team. The Kings had lost eight in a row but this game they played like a team on a mission.  Johnson finished with 27 points, Scott with 26, Worthy had 19 and A.C. Green had 16, a well-balanced scoring attack and the Kings were no match. The Lakers were 20-6 and had the best record in the NBA. The Clippers were 9-15 and their top scorer was Charles Smith. Oh how the times have changed for our local basketball teams. In college football, All-American tailback Emmitt Smith was running hard for the University of Florida. He finished the 1989 season with over 1,500 yards rushing including 316 against New Mexico. Smith would go on to become an MVP of a couple of Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and was subsequently voted into the Football Hall of Fame.  The USC football coach was Larry Smith who had just guided his team into the Rose Bowl against the University of Michigan. This would be the third consecutive Rose Bowl trip for the Trojans but they had lost both previous games. Santa Anita had just opened and the results of the second day were posted. The greatest jockey colony was running at The Great Race Place. The group included Hall of Famers Eddie Delahoussay, Laffit Pincay Jr., Chris McCarron, and future Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, who is still riding today. The day brought in over 50,000 fans which would be a season high attendance in today’s weak attendance turnout. Of course I had to review the section called ‘The Day in Sport’ which lists the details but no article for sport events across the world. What caught my eye was the Junior Invitational Golf Tournament results at Industry Hills. In the boys ages 12-13 category, Tiger Woods playing for Industry Hills won with a score of 71. It was the lowest score for any junior golfer in any age bracket on the final day. The Sports Section was 10 pages in length which is more than double today’s LA Times Sports Section and included a number of more interesting columns. It’s always interesting to see what it was like yesterday in order to see how far we’ve come since then but things have to change and it’s usually for the best, even change to the LA Time Sports Section….

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