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NOTEBOOK : Chamberlain, Grich, Wrightman, Spitz Stars Will Add Sparkle to Sportswalk

October 01, 1987|Alan Drooz

The latest additions to the San Pedro Sportswalk will certainly heighten the illustrious honor roll along 6th Street.

The Sportswalk, in its ninth year, will add 7-foot-2 basketball great Wilt Chamberlain as well as baseball star Bobby Grich, Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz and professional football player Tim Wrightman in induction ceremonies Oct. 19.

Their sidewalk plaques will be unveiled at 6th Street and Harbor Boulevard, where they will join 31 previous honorees, including Jim Thorpe, Tracy Austin, Evelyn Ashford, John Wooden, Sugar Ray Robinson and Bill Shoemaker. Many of those inducted grew up in the harbor area.

Chamberlain, one of the most dominant players in basketball history, was a prep sensation in Philadelphia and starred at the University of Kansas. His most sensational seasons came early in his career with the Philadelphia Warriors. he averaged 50 points in one season and scored 100 points in a single game. But his teams had their best seasons later in his career, and he helped the Lakers win their first National Basketball Assn. title in Los Angeles in 1972 when he was teamed with Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. Chamberlain has since been an easily recognized figure at local sporting events, competing in beach volleyball tournaments and sponsoring track meets.

Chamberlain easily outstretches Jamaal Wilkes, Tom Hawkins and Willie Naulls--all in the 6-foot-6 range--as the tallest inductee.

Grich, who grew up in Long Beach, retired from baseball last year after a career as a shortstop and second baseman for the Baltimore Orioles and California Angels. In his 17-year major-league career, Grich tied for the league lead in home runs in 1981 and is one of the few second basemen to hit 30 homers and 100 runs batted in for a season. He helped lead the Angels to the three division titles they have won.

Spitz, the sensation of the 1972 Olympics, won seven gold medals in Munich.

Wrightman, a former star tight end at Mary Star of the Sea and UCLA, is a member of the Chicago Bears.

Inductees are selected by a committee of sportswriters, broadcasters and civic leaders. Olympic medalists, star collegiate players and professional sports figures are considered.

Induction ceremonies for the four will begin at 11 a.m., with each athlete unveiling his plaque in the sidewalk. A luncheon will follow aboard the cruise ship S.S. Azure Seas. Lunch tickets are $20 and may be purchased through the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, 390 West 7th St.

Paul Clark of Inglewood turned 47 on Saturday, and his sons gave him an unusual present.

Shortly after noon, son Brad played for St. Bernard's football team in a 24-19 victory over Miraleste. At about the same time, Bruce played for El Camino College in a 34-25 victory over Bakersfield. Brian, a senior at Cal State Northridge and starting center on the football team, helped lead the Matadors to a 13-0 victory over Sonoma State.

The elder Clark managed to be on hand for the St. Bernard and Northridge games.

He was pleased with his version of "My Three Sons."

"All on the same day, they all played, they all won and I saw two of the three. It was a hell of a birthday," Clark said. "You might say it made my day."

Around the horn: Loyola Marymount University freshman Dawn Moon suffered a separated shoulder and will red-shirt the rest of the volleyball season. . . . Lee Hoven, the Pepperdine volleyball setter from Mira Costa High, leads the West Coast Athletic Conference in assists. . . . Another Mira Costa alumna, Wendy Fletcher, is among the leading hitters on UCLA's highly ranked volleyball team.

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