Play by Play
Play by Play
Los Angeles Sports Photography 1889-1989
by David Davis
Imagine Wilt Chamberlain mano a mano with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at The Forum. And Ben Hogan teeing off, Billie Jean King chasing down a lob, Fernando Valenzuela looking skyward. How about Cassius Clay, before he became Muhammad Ali, weighing in at the Olympic Auditorium, and Don Drysdale throwing his fastball at Van Nuys High, and Evelyn Ashford running beneath the Olympic flame at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Now, turn the pages and see how L.A.'s top newspaper photographers captured these and other superstar athletes in the city's most important sports moments. This is Play by Play: Los Angeles Sports Photography 1889-1989.
Basketball, baseball, football, soccer, boxing, golf, horse races, auto races, bodybuilding, surfing, tennis–the action unfolds before your eyes. Replay the most unforgettable moments in a city that has hosted seven Super Bowls, two Olympic Games, numerous World Series, World Cups and L.A. Opens. It's sports at its swaggering, competitive best.
These vintage images have historic relevance beyond southern California. Here's baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson as a standout collegiate athlete at UCLA. Here's track star Babe Didrikson, the first superstar female athlete, winning gold medals at the 1932 Olympics. Babe Ruth being wooed to Hollywood. And a pre-Terminator, pre-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at Joe Gold's original gym.
Award-winning sportswriter David Davis selected more than two hundred images from the Los Angeles Public Library Photograph Collection for the exhibit "Play by Play." This companion book features the top images from that dynamic exhibit, showcasing the athletic prowess of a city known for glamour and glitz. Here, sports takes center stage—and overwhelms and entertains and excites.
For every sports fanatic who can't get enough sports in their lives—and for those who want to remember it like it was—Play by Play: Los Angeles Sports Photography 1889-1989 is the whole sports story, L.A. style.