Friday, September 7, 2012

Leading Off: Hughes' face-lift stirs up plenty of memories - Sacramento Bee

We're rolling out the red carpet for timeless Hughes Stadium, which hosts its first sporting events today since being refurbished.

Welcome back, old friend.

The venerable stadium on the Sacramento City College campus is one of the most storied facilities in the region. If only the cinderblock walls could talk.

In its 84 years, Hughes has featured:

• Midget car races on dirt tracks in the 1930s, including plenty of crash-and-burns and ambulance appearances.

• Sacramento- McClatchy high school Turkey Day football crowds of 28,000 in the 1940s.

• The 49ers going 5-1 in preseason games in the 1950s and '60s.

• The Raiders' first victory in 1960, and Al Davis coaching the Silver and Black in a 1965 game.

• Small-college football championships in the 1960s-'70s, featuring San Diego State coaches Don Coryell, John Madden and Joe Gibbs.

• The record 100-yard sprints on "The Night of Speed" in 1968 on the hard, red clay.

• The Solons yanking dozens of home runs to short left field in the 1970s in front of large crowds despite being lovable losers as last-place teams.

• Pig Bowl crowds of 25,000 in the 1980s.

• A record crowd of 41,000 soaking up "China Grove" with the Doobie Brothers in 1981.

Today, Sacramento City plays De Anza in women's soccer at 3 p.m., followed by the football team taking on state-ranked American River at 7 p.m.

It's a new era for Hughes, but the memories will remain for generations.

What to watch

High school football, "Final Quarter," 11 p.m., FOX40: The Bee's Joe Davidson sizes up the Grant-Burbank game.

Today's poll

What is your favorite Hughes Stadium memory?

• Prep/college events

• Track meets

• NFL exhibitions

• Solons baseball

• Concerts

• Other

Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to

Thursday's poll results

Who will win more games this season?

• Giants: 66%

• A's: 34%

Total votes: 128

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

â€" Joe Davidson Twitter @SacBee_JoeD

• Read more articles by Joe Davidson

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