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A Gathering of Greats
The 20th Century Sports Awards
Posted: Wednesday November 24, 1999 10:58 AM
By using the drop-down menus above or below, you'll see the 42 athletes who represent the best
of this sporting epoch, six nominees in each of seven categories for our 20th
Century Sports Awards. How did we narrow 100 years of extraordinary achievement
to that small number? With blood, sweat and tears. More arduous still is the
task of choosing a winner in each category. But we will: They will be announced
on Dec. 2 at Madison Square Garden during a live broadcast on CBS at 9:00 p.m.
ET. On that same evening we will also crown our Sportsman or Sportswoman of the
Century. There is yet another group of
athletes deserving of special accolade, and we will honor them as well that
night, under the banner of "Athletes Who Changed the Game." This
superb septet comprises Peggy Fleming, whose skating artistry launched a golden
era in her sport; Billie Jean King, who battled for the betterment of women's
tennis and all women's sports; Arnold Palmer, who took golf out of the country
clubs and gave it to the public; Pelé, whose dazzling skills kick-started soccer in North America and raised the game's standards around the globe;
Richard Petty, the benevolent King who popularized NASCAR; Jackie Robinson, who
famously and courageously broke baseball's color line; and Bill Russell, who
taught the NBA how to play defense and how to win. In all, then, we salute 49 men and women. What we're
really saying, to all of them, is
Illustration by Matt Mahurin
Photographs by (clockwise from upper left): Neil Leifer; Baseball Hall of Fame; Corbis; Archive Photos; Corbis; James Drake; AP
Issue date: November 29, 1999
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