There is a tacit assumption that SI's Sportsman of the Year carries himself with honor and dignity, ennobling his sport. Then along come two remarkable women who carried someone else, restoring faith not only in sport but in human nature.
You already have forgotten their names, assuming you knew them in the first place. They were "those softball girls" who played for some D-II school "out West." You couldn't have picked
Let's rewind the tape and remember why we still cling to the notion that sports can reveal character and, in some cases, even build it:
On April 26,
Holtman, the Central Washington senior first baseman, the school career leader in homers, had another idea. After obtaining the approval of the umpires, she and Wallace, the shortstop, locked their arms under Tucholsky, hoisted their diminutive opponent -- Tuchosky is 5-foot-2 -- and carried her around the bases. When they came to a bag, Tucholsky would delicately extend her left leg and tap it. They circled the bases, this wholesome trinity, Tucholsky finally touching home plate and Holtman and Wallace leaving her to the care of her applauding Western Oregon teammates. Not one of
The names of Holtman and Wallace have faded, but their act of uncommon grace and exemplary sportsmanship should live forever, preserved in amber along with the SI Sportsman of the Year Award. (I would have considered Phelps -- but only if he had resuscitated French swimmer