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Two pro features already and October just begun! This is heady stuff and we're drinking deeply.
THE WOMAN WHO LED THE WAY
In the humble opinion of this writer, she must be evaluated as the most influential sports figure of modern times.
I first saw Mildred Didrikson in 1934, when she pitched three innings for the House of David against the Kansas City Monarchs. How she fared that day is not so important as the fact that she was a lone woman engaging in a man's endeavor, and doing it well. She was, in one sense of the word, a freak, and crowds of curious people gathered to see her. In the 22 years which have passed since that day, millions of American women have become athletes, and crowds gather to see them perform, not out of curiosity but from a real appreciation of their skill, their grace and their rightful place on our playing fields.
Babe led the way. While we marveled at her records, she was busy demonstrating something far more significant: that man is the superior athlete in muscular strength alone and that our women have the dexterity and the inner spirit necessary to compete in and thoroughly enjoy participation in sports of all kinds.
Today there are millions of Babe Didriksons. Few, if any, will ever equal the original Babe's accomplishments, but every one of them has the freedom and the sanction of the American public to try.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias unlocked the gates for the American woman to enter the courts, the links and the playing fields.