The masterly negotiator created the field of sports marketing by founding IMG, which represents more than 1,000 pros. SI called him the most influential man in sports.
He cherished the pitcher-batter duel as the essence of baseball and with his cerebral approach and chin-high kick won 363 games, the most by a lefthander.
He said he developed his big-windup bolo punch while cutting sugar cane as a child in Cuba. With it he thrilled crowds, won 107 fights and became welterweight champion of the world.
He built America's Team. The Cowboys' G.M. from '60 to '89, he had 20 straight winning seasons, won two titles and introduced scantily clad cheerleaders. Hall of Fame material.
In an era of racing champions, not one was more brilliant than Bid. Between 78 and '80 the gray colt's heart and speed led to 26 wins in 30 starts. Put to stud, he turned a magnificent white but sired no great ones. Jockey Bill Shoemaker once said, "He's the best horse I ever sat on."
"To be a catcher," the 13-year big leaguer once joked, "you have to be big and you've got to be dumb, and I qualify on both counts." At 6'1" the four-time All-Star was also one of the grittiest players in the game and led the Twins to the '65 World Series championship.
At one of Neilson's famous clinics, an NHL coach asked, "Why give information to people who might beat you with it?" The deeply religious Neilson was stunned; he never thought not to share. He coached seven teams—but the game, and the Lord, were his masters.
After she became the first woman to swim the English Channel in '26—and the first person to do it by crawl—New York City gave her a huge parade. Calvin Coolidge called her " America's best girl," but she was really its first female sports pioneer.
Snowboarding's first pro, and also its Michael Jordan, he was a four-time freestyle world champ. He was buried by an avalanche in his beloved backcountry.
The cheerful Englishman was an American soccer institution. He coached the U.S. men to the Olympic semis and led Portland's women to the NCAA title.