The best L.A. sports moment for 2009 is … you pick again … and we’ll give you ours


The 2009 L.A. Sports Awards won’t be given out until Feb. 19, at the just opened JW Marriott at L.A. Live, but you can have a say in it.

Voting is taking place at the L.A. Sports Council’s official site (linked here) and ends on Jan. 31.

Each Southern California pro team, university and association nominated its top three moments for 2009. The moment — it’s defined as “anything from a specific instant in time — such as a winning goal, hit or shot — to a special event, individual or team record, or career achievement.” It must have taken place in the local area or by a local athlete or team.

If you want our opinion, the best moments we picked:

== Angels: Down to their final strike in Game 3 of the American League Division Series, the Angels scored three runs in the ninth inning off Jonathan Papelbon to defeat the Boston Red Sox, 7-6, at Fenway Park. The two-out rally, capped by Vladimir Guerrero’s two-run single, gave the Angels their first-ever playoff series victory over Boston (October 11).

== Chivas USA: In qualifying for the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season, the Red-and-White faced off against the rival Galaxy in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. Before 25,218 at Home Depot Center, Chivas USA got goals from Maicon Santos and Maykel Galindo and came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw (November 1).

== Clippers (skipped it)


== Dodgers: Ramirez’ Pinch-Hit Grand Slam. On the night a bobblehead doll in his image was given away to all fans, Dodger slugger Manny Ramirez blasted a pinch-hit grand slam home run into the Mannywood section of Dodger Stadium to break a 2-2 tie, sending the sell-out crowd into a frenzy and prompting a curtain call. The Dodgers won the game 6-2 and honored Ramirez’s feat with a “curtain call” bobblehead at a September game (July 22). Yes, ahead of Loretta’s NLDS walk-off hit after they rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat St. Louis in Game 2 of the NLDS.

== Ducks: Center Todd Marchant scored in the third overtime period to even the Conference Semifinal series against Detroit at a game apiece. Goaltender Jonas Hiller stopped 59-of-62 shots as Anaheim won its fifth straight overtime game against the Red Wings, 4-3 (May 3).

== Galaxy: After battling the Houston Dynamo over 120 minutes and two power failures, they scored twice in extra time for a 2-0 win in the Western Conference Championship, at Home Depot Center. The win gave the Galaxy their first berth in MLS Cup since 2005 (November 14).

== Horse racing: Before a crowd of 58,845, Zenyatta’s devastating last-to-first victory in the 1 miles, $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita is considered by many to be the most dramatic performance in Breeders’ Cup history. In her first-ever start against males, she ran her undefeated record to a perfect 14 and thus stamped herself as a leading candidate for Horse of the Year honors. Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and trained by John Shirreffs, Zenyatta is owned by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame producer Jerry Moss and his wife Ann (November 7).

== Kings: Luc Robitaille, the Kings’ all-time leading goal-scorer and the highest-scoring left wing in NHL history, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch and Lou Lamoriello. Robitaille was inducted in his first year of eligibility (November 9).


== Lakers: They won their 15th NBA championship, defeating the Orlando Magic 4 games to 1 in the Finals, including a clinching 99-86 victory in game 5, at Orlando. Phil Jackson won his 10th title as an NBA head coach, surpassing Red Auerbach’s 9 for the most in NBA history (June 14).

== Motorsports: Jimmie Johnson won his third straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pepsi 500, making him Auto Club Speedway’s all-time winningest Cup driver with four victories. The win moved Johnson into first place in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title, which he later clinched for an unprecedented fourth straight year, breaking a tie with Cale Yarborough for most consecutive championships (October 11).

== Sparks: Three-time WNBA MVP, two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie played in her final regular season game at Staples Center. Playing on “Lisa Leslie Court” against the Minnesota Lynx, she led the Sparks to a 90-61 victory. (September 11).

== Tennis: Sam Querrey and the Bryan brothers won the L.A. Tennis Open championships on the same day, at UCLA. Querrey’s victory in the singles helped catapult him to the 2009 U.S. Open Series title, while Bob and Mike Bryan won a record-breaking fifth L.A .Tennis Open doubles title en route to reclaiming the world’s #1 doubles team ranking for 2009 (August 2).

== UCLA (passed, the three choices were pretty lame)

== USC: (the lesser of three unremarkable achievements:) The Trojans men’s basketball team wins its first Pac-10 Tournament title and third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. Coming off a 65-55 semifinal upset of No. 15 UCLA, the Trojans defeated the No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devils 66-63 in the tournament final at Staples Center (March 14).

The Greatest Moments concept started in 1995 when the L.A. Sports Council had the 100 Greatest Moments in Los Angeles Sports History. Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series Game 1 homer was voted the No. 1 moment.

Past winners for the moment of the year:
2005: USC wins the football national championship
2006: Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game
2007: The Anaheim Ducks win the Stanley Cup
2008: Manny Ramirez’ “Mannywood” phenomenon

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