While 2020 was generally a downer of a year, it was filled with exciting moments for Southland sports fans — but what was the best moment of all?
The Los Angeles Sports Council Foundation Monday revealed a list of what its panel of experts has determined to be the top moments in local sports from the past year, with a final ranking set to be released during this year’s LA Sports Awards.
Here is a list of the moments making the grade, listed in alphabetical order by team:
— Angel City FC: All-star investor group announces formation of National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) franchise set to begin competing in 2022 (July 21);
— Angels: Albert Pujols hits his 661st and 662nd home runs to pass the legendary Willie Mays for fifth on MLB’s all-time home runs list (Sept. 18);
— Chargers: Quarterback Justin Herbert throws for 4,336 yards and 31 touchdowns in his first season in the NFL, capping a remarkable season that earned the 22-year old the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and NFL Pepsi Rookie of the Year honors;
— Clippers: Clippers President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank was named 2019-20 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year (Oct. 8) after leading the front office to shape a roster headlined by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George;
— Dodgers: Dodgers win the World Series for the first time since 1988, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays, four games to two (Oct. 27);
— Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw strikes out six in game five of the World Series (5.2 innings) to set a new all-time postseason record for strikeouts with 207 (Oct. 25);
— Lakers: Lakers defeat Miami, 106-93, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals – held in the “NBA Bubble” in Orlando – to earn the club’s 17th NBA title (Oct. 11)
— Lakers: Anthony Davis hits game-winning three to lift the Lakers to a 105-103 win over Denver, giving the team a 2-0 lead in the NBA Western Conference Finals (Sept. 20);
— LAFC: MLS international Diego Rossi, 22, wins the 2020 MLS Golden Boot, leading the league with 14 goals in just 19 appearances. Rossi is the youngest player in league history to win the award and LAFC is the first Club to ever produce back-to-back Golden Boot winners after Carlos Vela took the title in the 2019 season. (Nov. 8);
— SoFi Stadium: Rams open SoFi Stadium, LA’s new indoor-outdoor, 70,000-seat venue, with a Rams 20-17 win over Dallas on Sunday Night Football (Sept. 13); and
— UCLA: Senior Kyla Ross repeats as Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year, becoming only the second back-to-back winner in conference history (March 25).
The final ranking of the best moments in local sports of the past year will be revealed from SoFi Stadium during the LA Sports Awards, which will be televised on Spectrum SportsNet on an as-yet-undetermined date in March.
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