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19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
October 22, 1956
WORLD SERIES:REPORTS AND CONVICTIONS
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October 22, 1956

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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EARLY RECOGNITION

Sirs:
My faith in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has been fully restored. At long last the precocious, brawling brat, pro football, is actually being recognized as the youngster most likely to succeed (SI, Sept. 24 and Oct. 8).

Two pro features already and October just begun! This is heady stuff and we're drinking deeply.
JACK RIEHLE
Colden, N.Y.

THE WOMAN WHO LED THE WAY

Sirs:
We Americans took Babe Didrikson Zaharias for granted for a long time.
But now she has gone, and perhaps it is time for the nation, and the world, to see this woman in retrospect in her proper place in the sports world.

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.
THOMAS H. GALEY
Tulsa

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