Bobby Morrow, Texas' Olympic sprint champion: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Sportsman of the Year (see page 6). Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees' golden boy: Associated Press male athlete of 1956. Pat McCormick, Olympic double gold-medal-winning diver at Helsinki and Melbourne: AP female athlete of 1956; Amateur Athletic Union Sullivan trophy. Bowden Wyatt, brawny tutor of Tennessee's undefeated Volunteers: Scripps-Howard newspapers' football coach of 1956. Dewey Halford, of Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (small college) football coach of 1956. Floyd Patterson, mint-new heavyweight champion: Ring magazine boxer of 1956. Frank Gif-ford, versatile New York Giants' halfback: National Football League player of 1956. Jim Swink, standout TCU back, used as decoy this season: Swede Nelson football award for sportsmanship. Jerry Tubbs, All-America Oklahoma center: Knute Rockne award of Washington's Touchdown Club for football lineman of 1956.
George Byers, Columbus auto dealer, waited all day for winds to calm, led mass assault on world hydroplane records on Inland Waterway at Hollywood Beach, Fla. Byers raised his seven-liter mark from 125.436 mph to 133.39. Kansas City's Sid Street upped his 266-cu.-in. record from 127.864 to 132.60. Ronald Smith, Mount Holly, N.J., sped 111.641 mph in 225-cu.-in. boat; Carlo Roncallo, Miami, added fourth record of 37.664 mph in 36-cu.-in. runabout (Dec. 27).
Tineke Lagerberg, latest of Holland's teen-age (15) swimming phenomena, lowered American Shelley Mann's 2:44.4 world clocking for 200-meter butterfly to 2:42.3 at Bussum, The Netherlands (Dec. 30).
January 7, 1957
New York Giants won first NFL championship since 1938, rubbing it in 47-7 over Chicago Bears before 57,000 frostbitten fans in Yankee Stadium. Stone-wall Giant defense, anchored by Andy Robustelli, Rosy Grier, pinned Bear attack, while Backs Frank Gilford, Mel Triplett, Chuck Conerly and Alex Webster had field day (see page 50).
Georgia Tech's Yellow Jackets denied Pittsburgh revenge for 1956 Sugar Bowl defeat, stung game Panthers 21-14 in Gator Bowl as Coach Bobby Dodd kept clean eight-game bowl record (see page 51). Stanford's pass master John Brodie spurred West to 7-6 upset over East in Shrine game. Oklahoma power helped North upend South 17-7 in Shrine all-star match in Orange Bowl, Blues trounced Grays 14-0 in Montgomery, Ala. all-star game. Small-college leaders Montana State and St. Joseph's of Indiana slogged to scoreless tie in mud at Little Rock in NAIA Aluminum Bowl (see below).
Coaching musical-chairs season warmed up as ex-Oklahoma star Darrell Royal jumped second contract in 10 months, left $17,000-a-year Washington U. post for longer pact (five years) and "more of that other stuff" at Texas U.
Australia's Wunderkinder, Lew Hoad and Ken Rose wall, rocked Americans in opening singles, rolled on as anticipated to blank U.S. in Davis Cup tourney 5-0 for second straight year. But Houston's slashing Sammy Giammalva, in Challenge Round debut, delighted Adelaide, Australia crowds, lifted lagging U.S. hopes for future. Hustling Jack Kramer immediately signed Rosewall to $65,000, two-season, tax-free pro contract with fringe trimmings, continued siege of reluctant Hoad (see page 45).
Pancho Gonzales won top pro ranking for fourth consecutive year.
Basketball's bumper holiday spree kept ball bouncing from coast to coast. In top events undefeated Kansas unleashed awesome Wilt Chamberlain, whose 45 points helped destroy Colorado 80-54 in Big Seven tourney; Lennie Rosenbluth led undefeated North Carolina to Dixie Classic victory over Wake Forest 63-55; surprising Manhattan College took New York's Holiday Festival games with 86-79 defeat of Notre Dame (see page 46).
Boston Celtics, with welcome newcomer Bill Russell living up to San Francisco and Olympic notices, kept NBA Eastern Division driver's seat. Rochester retained Western perch.
Boxing's skeletons rattled in San Antonio, where No. 3 welterweight Art Aragon lost a patsy, and Los Angeles, where Promoter Babe McCoy was suspended for life (see page 14).
Detroit Red Wings invaded Boston, bounced upstart Bruins from NHL lead, promptly lost it back in Detroit.
Traffic Judge, route-going 4-year-old son of famed Alibhai, winner of Withers, Woodward Stakes at 3, brought fifth highest price in Thoroughbred history. E. Barry Ryan and L. P. Doherty of Lexington, Ky. bought him for $362,345 from estate of Clifford Mooers.
Thoroughbred racing in 1956 had biggest and best year. Record 30,174,322 customers poured record $2,231,528,140 into pari-mutuel maws, from which states claimed record $164,418,294.
Harness racing, like Thoroughbred sport, had best year yet. Betting reached $543,857,847; attendance 10,533,133; states' revenues $38,074,639.
Billy Haughton, hell-for-leather sulky pilot, was leading money-winning driver for fifth straight year, with $572,945; won most races (167) for fourth straight.
BORN—To Jim Lee Howell, silver-haired New York Giants football coach, and wife Susan; son Mark, in New York.
MARRIED—Ensign George Welsh, heady quarterback of Navy's 1955 Sugar Bowl-winning "team of desire"; to Sandra Hubicsak, of Bedford, Pa.
APPOINTED—John Hay (Jock) Whitney, New York financier-sportsman; as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain.
DIED—Carmen Palmiero, 19, promising 6-foot-5 Penn State sophomore basketball player; in Pennsylvania Turnpike auto accident near Lebanon.
DIED—Charles Francis Coe, 66, onetime Navy Fleet welterweight boxing champion, author, lawyer, journalist; in Palm Beach.
DIED—Brother Herman, 75, director of athletics and onetime teacher of Babe Ruth at St. Mary's Industrial School, Baltimore; of heart ailment, in Baltimore.
DIED—Robert Sterling Clark, 79, sportsman-art collector whose Thoroughbred Never Say Die in 1954 gave U.S. first English Epsom Derby triumph in 40 years; of stroke, in Williamstown, Mass.