Stan Musial and Ted Williams are baseball's heroes of the year, in the epic-saga sense. Roy Sievers' is the rags-to-riches story. Mickey Mantle and Henry Aaron are the productive geniuses. But with them, and fully entitled to his share of adulation, is this season's hero of the single moment—Lew Burdette, pitcher for the Milwaukee Braves.
Lew Burdette's "moment" comprised three games, distributed over eight days. His setting was the World Series, the greatest of all American sporting events. His achievement was the best World Series pitching performance in 52 years. With the nation watching, Burdette three times defeated the titans, the New York Yankees, twice shutting them out. His final victory, the ultimate moment, gave ecstatic Milwaukee its first baseball championship of the world.
TEX MAULE nominates
Notre Dame's young coach, in two years, has passed the twin tests of sportsmanship extraordinarily well. He bore unreasonable adversity in 1956 with grace but not with resignation; he bore unreasonable success in 1957 with modesty and a strong pride in his accomplishment. He engineered football's major upset when he ended Oklahoma's streak of victories and he did it by sound and intelligent coaching and a quality of quiet inspiration which, all season long, had the Notre Dame football team playing well over its head. Football had other heroes, certainly: Jimmy Brown, Cleveland's great rookie fullback; John Crow, Texas A&M's multipurpose halfback; Ned Oldham of Navy, Lou Michaels of Kentucky, Jim Phillips of Auburn. But Terry Brennan of Notre Dame was football's sportsman of the year.
JEREMIAH TAX nominates
This shy, soft-spoken wizard of the court is simply the finest basketball talent the world has ever seen. Sportsmanship, however, is the prime reason for this nomination. For five years Cousy has led the pro league in assists. This means that he has contributed—more than anyone else—to the excellent records of his Celtic teammates by setting them up for scores. In a game which places a high premium on individual brilliance, as measured by points scored, he has been and remains the perfect team player. Other names deserve a vote—Bob Pettit, Bill Sharman, Bill Russell, Neil Johnston. But it is not too much to say that in his person Cousy has epitomized the skill, the sportsmanship, the cooperative effort which—all together—make basketball an exciting spectacle for growing millions every winter season.