“The USC Trojans’ speedy right halfback BOBBY ROBERTSON (# 28), who ended up directly involved in the most pivotal play of the entire contest late in the fourth quarter, finds himself confronted by a trio of determined UCLA Bruins tacklers — defensive back KENNY WASHINGTON (# 13), linebacker BILL OVERLIN (# 5) as well as left end WOODY STRODE (# 27) — during the legendary Pacific Coast Conference title game between two nationally-ranked, unbeaten ball clubs that was witnessed by a record-breaking crowd at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in southern California.”
Caption and photo (with defects) from https://lvironpigs.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/1939-ucla-vs-usc/ . Read about all the game details at the link.
Score: 0-0 tie at the December 9, 1939 game.
Image: undated photo of Seabiscuit and Red Pollard. By Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
“Late in the fall of 1939, Seabiscuit’s handlers made an almost inconceivable announcement: Seabiscuit would run again in the Santa Anita Handicap scheduled for March 1940… This time the horse would be seven years old, ancient by racing standards. Pollard, whose injured leg was still fragile, would ride him.”
Excerpt from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/biography/seabiscuit-biography/ .
Seabiscuit won the 1940 Santa Anita Handicap race.
Image: back of Wheaties cereal package.
“The year 1939 marks the centennial of the game which was invented and christened by General Abner Doubleday.”
Excerpt from https://www.loc.gov/resource/spalding.00179/?sp=15 . Click on the link to read the whole story.
You can page through Spalding’s 1939 Official Baseball Guide here: https://www.loc.gov/resource/spalding.00179/?sp=1 .
No one from southern California was inducted into the Hall of Fame but you can see who was: http://baseballhall.org/hall-of-famers/past-inductions/1936-1939#1939 .
Read about the “Casey at the Bat” poem here: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/poetry/po_case.shtml .
Image from http://www.fighttoys.com/Louis-Roper%20ticket.htm .
Joe Louis in his prime defended his world heavyweight title against Jack Roper in Los Angeles. Louis KO’d Roper in 2 minutes and 20 seconds into the first round. See the film at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5_2CcnYfBg .
“…the Cubs arrived at their Spring Training facility on Catalina Island in California. They were the defending National League champions. During the time the Cubs trained in California, in the years before a big league team had moved out west, the Cubs were the toast of Hollywood.
“Every year they were sure to get a visit from one big movie or radio star. In spring training of 1939, their visitor was the biggest dummy in America, Charlie McCarthy, along with his ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. There are three Cubs Hall of Famers in the picture. Can you spot them? Gabby Hartnett, Billy Herman, and Dizzy Dean. (Dizzy is the one right behind Charlie looking down on him).”
Excerpt and Acme file photo from http://www.justonebadcentury.com/todays-cubs-birthdays-march-3/ .
The first Pro Bowl was played in Los Angeles (at its Wrigley Field*, not the famous one in Chicago). Later in the year a patent was granted to a football with molded lacing and seams.
* http://la.curbed.com/2014/10/9/10038030/looking-back-at-five-of-los-angeless-longgone-old-stadiums — scroll down to see the history of the first field to bear the Wrigley name.