What was the moment I fell in love with sports? In no certain order, here they are. Yes, both of us, you and me, have missed the action.
My first game, USC vs Notre Dame in the LA Coliseum
It was back in 1956, and the big stars were Jon Arnett for USC, and Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung, the only player from a losing team to win the Heisman. My Mom bought me a new outfit just for the game, wool slacks, and a stadium coat. I was only ten, but going with my Dad was the treat of a lifetime.
My first MLB game, the Giants at old Seals Stadium
My Aunt and Uncle let me invite a friend to go to our first major league ballgame in 1959. The highlight was watching the standout rookie, Willie McCovey, and the great player of all time, Willie Mays. Seals Stadium was not much bigger than a bandbox, but we did not care. And we almost caught a ball!
My first NBA game of “giants” in San Francisco
On a whim, a bunch of us from my college dorm decided to drive to San Francisco to watch the local product, Bill Russell, now a big star for the World Champion Celtics, play against Wilt Chamberlain of the Warriors. The game was held in the old Civic Auditorium in downtown SF. Little did we know that would be their last matchup as a Warrior, back in 1965.
My first football game as a Cal man
My Golden Bears played Missouri with All American, Johnny Roland. My Bears won, with our own All American candidate, QB Craig Morton. But the thrill of sitting in the student section at Memorial Stadium, learning the yells, participating in the halftime card stunts, and looking at the pretty coeds was most memorable!
Of course, since then, I have been fortunate to attend most of the world’s great sporting events: Wimbledon, US Open (golf and tennis), the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the Masters, the Kentucky Derby, the Indy 500, the Final Four, the World Series, the NBA Finals. Anything left to do? Yes, to see my Cal Golden Bears in the Rose Bowl on January 1st.