This is part of a series of sports history articles celebrating the best in 2009 sports. This piece asks the question of which geographic fan base had the best year in ’08.
In 1988, our celebration of the best fan markets in a given year went to the city of Los Angeles. That epic year saw the Dodgers & Lakers both win titles, the USC-UCLA football rivalry have a great run and the Rams, still in their LA home, make it into the NFL playoffs. The sequel year was 2009. It didn’t quite reach those heights, but the sports fans of Los Angeles still had more to cheer than anyone in ’09.
It’s no surprise that the Lakers were again anchoring a big year for Hollywood sports. Kobe Bryant won his fourth championship ring, and this one was particularly significant—for the first time, Kobe was the leading man on a championship team, not playing the #2 man to Shaquille O’Neal.
There were no other championships, but no other market enjoyed multiple titles. Philadelphia had a good run—the Phillies made the World Series, the Villanova basketball team made the Final Four and the Eagles made the playoffs as a wild-card, but there was no championship.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles had supporting help to the Lakers. The city came oh-so-close to tasting an All-Hollywood World Series.
The Angels, under the leadership if Mike Scioscia, won their fifth AL West crown in six years and then took care of some demons, when they finally ousted the Boston Red Sox from the playoffs.
The Dodgers, with Joe Torre leading the way, won their second straight NL West title, and eliminated the St. Louis Cardinals in the Division Series. It was the last true contending team Torre would ever manage.
Both Los Angeles baseball teams came up short in League Championship Series play, but both enjoyed outstanding years and at least won a single postseason series. No matter who you rooted for in baseball, if you were a Los Angeles fan, you had a good year. And with that coming on top of a championship year for the Lakers, it made 2009 Los Angeles sports a year to remember.
Read more about the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers
Read more about the 2009 Los Angeles Dodgers
Read more about the 2009 Los Angeles Angels