Top SI Covers of the 1960s
Ever wonder how and why a fish strikes? SI tackled this question in a July 1961 cover story.
Ernie Banks and Pete Rose
In baseball's first season of division play, the Cubs and Reds (led by Ernie Banks and Pete Rose, respectively) were both locked in tough races. The Cubs led the East for most of the season, but lost 17 1/2 games to the Mets in the last quarter of the season to finish second. In the NL West, Rose posted his best offensive season, but saw his club finish third.
Sports Illustrated enlisted the help of legendary surfer Phil Edwards -- the first to surf Hawaii's Banzai Pipeline -- to demonstrate surfing's "east coast boom." The boom may have been overstated.
Wilt Chamberlain and Al Maguire
How could coaching the most dominant force in the NBA, Wilt Chamberlain, be a problem? For Frank Maguire, it was figuring out how to develop and properly use the 7-foot-2 center.
In this 1964 cover story, Dan Jenkins writes about the latest in a rich history of football movies. In this one -- 'John Goldfarb, Please Come Home' -- Shirley MacLaine plays a cheerleader who scores the winning touchdown in a game played in the desert.
Poker may be all the rage now, but in May 1960, Americans were playing bridge and admiring one of the nation's top players, Charles Goren.
Drafted by the Celtics and the NFL's Cleveland Browns out of Ohio State, John Havlicek revolutionized the sixth man role in the NBA and, according to Red Auerbach, was "the guts of the team." A 13-time All-Star, Havlicek played the fourth-most games in league history.
When most people see a beautiful woman in a swimsuit on the cover of SI, they think one thing -- swimsuit issue. That wasn't true of the November 1962 cover, however, which featured California skin diver Mary Anderson.
Even in 1963, the Cowboys were America's team, and SI wondered if Dallas' D could win in the east.
St. Louis Cardinals
World Series champs in '67, the Cardinals (the highest-paid team in baseball history at the time) looked poised for back-to-back championships in their matchup against the Tigers. Even with '68 MVP and Cy Young Award-winner Bob Gibson (22-9, 1.12 ERA, 268 strikeouts), the Cardinals fell in seven games.
Culture and society has changed drastically since the '60s, but one thing remains certain: Americans love Texas girls.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama coach Bear Bryant treated his team's meetings with Tennessee as their biggest game of the season. In 1967, the matchup pitted his sixth-ranked Crimson Tide against the No. 7 Volunteers. Tennessee cruised to a 24-13 win and eventually to the SEC championship.
Two years after his induction into the Hall of Fame, Ted Williams teamed up with SI's John Underwood to explain the "Science of Hitting." The 14-page story (which included frame-by-frame shots of Williams' swing) led to a book by the same name two years later -- a volume Tony Gwynn credits for his own hitting success.
As big men like Lew Alcindor started dominating college basketball in the '60s, some coaches looked for ways to limit the height advantage. The NCAA had already widened the foul lane and eliminated dunking to no avail, so Wake Forest coach Jack McCloskey suggested they raise the baskets from 10 feet to 12 feet.
Before there was And-1 or players being praised for their style, Celtics point guard Bob Cousy and his "bruising ballet of pro basketball" was all the rage.
Everyone loves a hockey fight, and in 1964, few players were tougher than Bobby Hull and the rest of the big, bad Blackhawks.
With the career Grand Slam (all four majors) already under his belt, 27-year old Jack Nicklaus sprinted off to a fast start in the '67 U.S. Open at Baltusrol. Nicklaus's 275 broke Ben Hogan's 19-year-old, 72-hole scoring record, and gave Arnold Palmer his second consecutive runner-up finish.
New York Knicks
With a young nucleus of players, including Willis Reed, Bill Bradley and Walt Frazier, the New York Knicks took their show almost 20 blocks south for the start of the '68 season, and christened the present-day Madison Square Garden on top of the city's Penn Station.
In his final season at USC, O.J. Simpson rushed for 1,709 yards and 22 touchdowns on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy by 1,750 points -- the largest margin in history. But, as this SI cover asks, Is his future in Hollywood or the NFL?
When Celtics center Bill Russell appeared on this 1965 cover, he had already earned eight championship rings. He went on to win a ninth that season, and two more before he retired. A five-time NBA MVP and 12-time All-Star, the 6-foot-10 Russell was the centerpiece of Boston's decade of dominance.
John F. Kennedy
In December 1960, as John F. Kennedy was about to take office, SI featured the president-elect (pictured here with wife, Jacqueline) on the cover with his thoughts on the importance of physical fitness.
Casey Stengel was among baseball's most popular figures from his playing days with the Brooklyn Dodgers to his time managing in New York. This cover, shot during spring training in 1962, shows Stengel before his first season managing the Mets.
Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston
More than a year after their first meeting, Muhammad Ali (who, between fights, changed his name from Cassius Clay and converted to Islam) and Sonny Liston held their second title match. The ending of the second fight remains one of the most controversial in boxing history. The quick, chopping right that put down Liston became known as "the phantom punch" and is still a point of contention as to whether it actually knocked out the challenger.
Despite suffering a serious knee injury during his senior season at Alabama, Joe Namath was selected in both the NFL and AFL drafts in 1964. He went on to sign, at the time, the richest contract in pro football history ($400,000), but provided immediate returns, winning the 1965 AFL Rookie of the Year Award.
Two weeks after defeating the Cowboys in the Ice Bowl, the Green Bay Packers cruised to a 33-14 win over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. Packers players hoisted Vince Lombardi onto their shoulders after the game, which ended up being the last he would coach in Green Bay.