After USC plays at Stanford Stadium on Saturday, when will the Trojans return again?
Surely, USC will try to keep Stanford on its non-conference schedule in 2024 when the Trojans are in the Big Ten. Or maybe the Cardinal will be in the Big Ten too by then?
This is a rivalry that dates back to 1905, so an effort should be made to continue it. Besides, USC fans should really thank Stanford for last year’s 42-28 victory because it led to the dismissal of Clay Helton.
- If Stanford had fans, we could see if there will be any signs of hostility from Pac-12 fans on Saturday regarding USC’s move to the Big Ten.
I’d love to see some type of animus develop between Lincoln Riley and David Shaw but for that to happen, the game needs to be competitive. Remember the Pete Carroll–Jim Harbaugh feud? “What’s your deal?”
And John McKay couldn’t stand Stanford coach John Ralston.
“He felt they were a little arrogant,” long-time USC assistant coach Dave Levy told me. “Stanford gave him the needle. He used to say, `I like John Ralston when we beat them. I don’t like him when we lose to them.’ ”
McKay’s ire reached in the early 1970’s when he said after a game, “I’d like to have beaten them by 2,000 points. They have no class.”
That led to a priceless cartoon above from the Stanford Daily the following year, which shows USC leading Stanford, 1,992-0, and McKay telling Pat Haden if the Trojans score on the final play, “We go for two.”
The feud with Ralston even continued when McKay went to the NFL in 1976. McKay was in his first season coaching the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ralston coached the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos won, 48-13, and McKay refused to shake hands with Ralston. McKay accused Denver of running up the score.
“I have been in the other position a lot more than that horse’s ass,” McKay said of Ralston. “I don’t like any part of him. His day is coming.”
Ralston denied running up the score: “I guess John has forgotten about some of those games when his USC teams pounded on my Stanford bunch and on other Pacific Coast Conference opponents. I can’t ever remember him taking out O.J. (Simpson) when he had us on the run.”
I wonder if the Ralston-McKay feud played a role in this fight at the 1965 USC-Stanford game?
- USC students, ready or not, get the Bay Area weekender today. The rally will be at the Embarcadero Plaza tonight at 7. Will the band wear their uniforms?
- I got an email from a friend this week: “Damn, the cheapest USC homecoming tickets are like $75 before fees? I haven’t bought a ticket in so long that I forgot how much they cost.”
- USC baseball coach Andy Stankiewicz has 2 commitments from Gahr High School freshmen players: Right-handed pitcher/outfielder Bryce Morrison and shortstop Andres Gonzalez.
- Stankiewicz grew up in Cerritos and Gahr was his neighborhood high school. Gahr baseball coach Gerardo Perez is married to Kelly Inouye-Perez, who happens to be the UCLA softball coach.
- And now for some history:
The L.A. City Section did a nice job with its latest Hall of Fame Class.
The USC athletes inducted are wide receiver Hal Bedsole of Reseda High School; volleyball player Tim Hovland of Westchester; baseball player/coach Rene Lachemann of Dorsey, sprinter Billy Mullins of Hamilton and pitcher Barry Latman of Fairfax.
- Bedsole was a key member of the 1962 USC national champions and is in the College Football Hall of Fame. He caught two TD passes in the 1963 Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin and also played defense because players went two-ways.
He was the City Section player of the year in 1959. Bedsole came to USC as a QB but McKay thought he was too tall (6-foot-5) and made him a wide receiver. When McKay’s statue was erected at USC 50 years later, Bedsole visited the campus and kicked the statue. He still hadn’t forgiven McKay.
“Prince Hal” was known for not liking practices and at least one time wore dark glasses to practice. He frequently had injuries during the week.
“I’m injury-prone,” Bedsole told Sports Illustrated. “so Coach McKay lets me take it easy during the week.”
- Hovland was a 3-time (1979-81) All-American first-team pick who led USC to the 1980 NCAA title. The Trojans were runners-up in 1979 and 1981. Hovland made All-NCAA Tournament all three years. If you go by college accomplishments, he might be the best player in USC history. He also was a successful beach volleyball player.
- Mullins was the No. 1-ranked American 400-meter runner in 1978 and won the NCAA title in the event. He held the world record in the 400 in 1980 but the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Olympics cost him a chance for a medal.
- Latman was a major-league pitcher from 1957-67. He made the All-Star team in 1961 and 1962. In 1961, he went 13-5 for the Cleveland Indians. He threw a perfect game at Fairfax in 1954. Fairfax High School had three players in the 1959 World Series: Larry Sherry and Chuck Essegian (Dodgers) and Latman (White Sox).
Lachemann attended USC but signed a pro contract with the Kansas City Athletics when he was 19. He became more famous as a manager of the Seattle Mariners (1981-83), Milwaukee Brewers (1984), Florida Marlins (1993-96) and Chicago Cubs (2002).
His brother, Marcel, was a USC player from 1960-62. Their father was the head chef at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
Rene was the 5-year-old bat boy for the Crenshaw Post 715 American Legion team that won the national title at Tiger Stadium in 1951.
Sparky Anderson, who literally grew up in a house that is now part of the USC campus, was the shortstop. Billy Consolo, a pro baseball player from 1953-62, was the third baseman (he is also part of this City Section Hall of Fame class). Leonard Landy, a member of the Little Rascals’ “Our Gang,” movies, played first base and also played at USC. Rene’s older brother, Bill, was the catcher.
The coach was Benny Lefebvre, the father of Dodgers second baseman Jim Lefebvre (1965 Rookie of the Year). Benny was the director of Rancho Cienega Sports Complex in Los Angeles. Jim was 9-years-old at the time. Actor Dean Stockwell was 15 and attended all the games. People used to come up to him at games for autographs because he was a famous child star.
I’ve written about this amazing team here and here. Click the links if you want to read about Benny Lefebvre punching out a warden at Catalina Island who didn’t want to let him use the facilities for his baseball camp and how three decades later, Jim punched out Tommy Lasorda at KNBC. And there’s a famous Dean Stockwell-Errol Flynn story too.