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To all of you—A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It's never been more of a pleasure to say it, and for one reason, because it gives me a chance to tell you of some of the things to come in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED—things we hope and believe will contribute to making 1958, in sport, as happy a new year as there has ever been.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED South...We start right off in our next issue with what is in a way June in January, presenting a full and footloose guide to the tremendous playground which extends from Hawaii in the West across the continent to the Lesser Antilles in the East. Winter is warm, the livin' is easy and the vacationist is monarch of all he surveys. There will be an illustrated map. As an introduction, Horace Sutton will define the carefree and occasionally appalling categories of vacationists you may expect to find in the various garden spots. Whatever your tastes, you will certainly be able to identify yourself with (or against) some of them, whether you are a skin-diver, sun-bather, or stargazer, and whether you are able to join them in person or have to stay behind, nose against some northern grindstone. Our footloose sportsmen from all over have also combined to pinpoint the new resorts and new hotels, the golf courses, the sports available, the clothes to wear. Carleton Mitchell, the owner of the sensational racing yawl Finisterre, will describe a delightful procedure for Caribbean cruising in an article on sailing Finisterre around and about the Bahamas in a lazy kind of way.
The South by Air...In the following issue, Bill Mauldin, who by choice travels these days in a flying machine rather than by jeep, begins a three-part report on the pleasures, perils and perquisites of a grand tour of the Caribbean in a Piper Apache with two pre-teen sons and a somewhat forbearing copilot. It all ends happily, naturally, because the Mauldin sense of humor is still intact.
Sport in Japan, Soccer in Sweden, Racing in Venezuela...Sport and travel of course overlap in myriad manners; more and more the evidence indicates that travel is in itself a sport. One thing is certain-covering the world of sport means covering the world. And this brings up some other stories that are on the calendar for 1958: a report on sport in Japan by Herbert Warren Wind, who found in that densely populated country a new and almost incredible enthusiasm for the classic athletics and games of the West; the '58 European Games in Stockholm, now because of the intense participation of the Russians probably second only to the Olympics in importance among track events-which Roger Bannister will cover; also in Stockholm, in June, the World Soccer Cup matches; and along about April, the opening in Caracas of what will be, until something better comes along, the supreme and ultimate in race tracks.
New Faces...In the past, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has published the writings of eminent authors like William Faulkner, Robert Frost, John P. Marquand, John Steinbeck and many others. Adding their names to this list next year will be James Jones with a two-part article on skin-diving, which takes on added interest as a companion piece to the recent series on the same subject by Clare Boothe Luce; Nelson Algren with a Runyonesque tour of the comparatively unexplored universe of the two-dollar bettor; Erskine Caldwell telling of a Rocky Mountain fishing trip; and Joel Sayre describing his own trip down the Grand Canyon in a rubber boat—not only a cliffhanger, but as well an exceptional description of how the human spirit responds to the challenge of natural forces.
Track and Trout...Next year will bring many PREVIEWS, two of them brand new. The first of these, scheduled for January, will be a comprehensive introduction to the indoor track season. Then along about the end of March or the beginning of April comes a unique opening to the trout season, featuring a special section on seven little-known trout streams in the U.S. that deserve, and no doubt will now get, greater fame. Outstanding fishing writers, including Ed Zern, John McDonald, Sparse Grey Hackle and Roderick Haig-Brown, will reveal the secrets of these streams and a distinguished group of artists will illustrate them.
Boxing...Two items of special note in boxing: an inquiry by Martin Kane into the present moribund state of boxing in our colleges, with recommendations for corrective measures; and a "scouting report" on the champion and leading contenders in the six divisions from heavyweight to featherweight.
Play ball!...Baseball, with franchises shifting and minor leagues sinking, has never been in a more critical period. Early in the year Robert Creamer takes a searching and long-range look at the whole subject of how baseball came to its present stage and where it can possibly go from here. Wherever it's going, the season starts in April, as sure as a full moon brings high tides; and that means our third annual Special Baseball Issue. The first of a four-part series begins in it this year, a series which will contain information of first importance to players of all levels of skill and of top interest to every fan. Written by five of the foremost major league players active today and illustrated by artists like Tony Ravielli and Robert Riger, it will be a clearly descriptive expositon of the national game as it is currently played and practiced in the majors, covering pitching, hitting, outfielding, infielding, catching and base running.
That's a start on 1958, anyway. But among and beyond these promised and projected stories also lies another entire year of the fast-breaking news of the events of sport, the scheduled, the unscheduled and the unpredictable, which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, as always, will be reporting in every issue as they happen.
With all of that—and reasonable assurance that we'll have a Kentucky Derby, an Indianapolis "500," an Army-Navy game, a round of golf, powder snow on the mountains and a brisk wind in the sails—I'll say it again. Happy New Year!