SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR: ALL HONOR TO THIS GLADIATOR
I nominate as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S Sportsman of the Year Sal Maglie, the indomitable old pro who gave us baseball's finest hour in the 1956 pennant stretch drive. Maglie, in my opinion, merits this recognition because he has made the full circle from the game's-the-thing youngster to money-is-all pro, only to become once more the athlete driven by the spirit of the game.
There were times last season when a perceptive ear could hear the old man's joints protest the strain, but so intensely consumed was he with his mission on the mound that he conquered all with the singular fierceness of his determination. All honor to this gladiator, this survivor of a thousand arenas, this slayer of a thousand lesser men, who achieved his ultimate triumph through resources of spirit and skill 10 years in the making.
SPORTSMAN: HE STANDS ALONE
This time there can be no discussion. John Landy is the only worthy candidate. His inspiration to his fellow athletes, taken with the magnitude of his own achievements, make him stand alone in sports.
JANE RIPLEY STORM
SPORTSMAN: RELUCTANT CREDIT
I do not quite agree with the self-nomination of Avery Brundage for the Nobel peace prize, but I think the man deserves the almost equal distinction of becoming your Sportsman of the Year for 1956. Before your readers cream me for this seeming heresy, reflect: did he not stage the Olympics in a world torn with strife, with a feeling of brotherhood toward all? Does he not symbolize the trend of 1956 toward less commercialization in sports? It would not break my heart to hear of Avery's resignation but, nevertheless, credit where credit is due.
SPORTSMAN: IN MEMORIAM
I nominate Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the finest of athletes and the most courageous of women....
SPORTSMAN: LOOK TO THE OLYMPICS
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S Man of the Year must surely have been seen in action in Melbourne. Hoad's failure in the U.S. championships ousts him, Hogan has still to notch up that fifth Open, while old age seems at last to have caught up with Archie Moore. Unfortunately, no Zatopek was seen in these Olympic Games, so a number of competitors must come in for careful screening. The following must be in the line-up: Kuts, Morrow, Delany, Campbell, Mimoun and Brasher. The best all-rounder must be Campbell; the decathlon winner must always be included in the final analysis. Brasher made it the hard way, while Delany won the race of the Games. Still, I think the man of the year rests between Morrow, the fastest human on earth, and Kuts, the Iron Man from Russia. I would give it to Kuts.
FINBARR M. SLATTERY
Asdee, County Kerry, Ireland
?For the editors' choice, see SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S Jan. 7 issue.—ED.
OLYMPICS: STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE
The Olympic coverage was great, simply great. Too bad the team didn't do as well as SPORTS ILLUSTRATED did in covering the contests.
ROBERT BURKHARDT JR.
OLYMPICS: EXPERT INSIGHT
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S articles concerning the 1956 Melbourne Games were of such calibre as I have never seen before. I speak specifically of their insight into the world situation today and their expert coverage of the Games.
OLYMPICS: TRACKMEN YOUNG AND OLD
It is agreed by all that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is the best magazine of its kind ever published, and has put out some great issues, but I think the Olympic issues are the greatest of all.