This issue marks the fourth birthday of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. Four years ago when we started out we could not be sure of much. "But," we said in the announcement of our publication, "one thing is sure: the world of Sport is a wonderful world, and everyone enters it with joy."
We entered it that way, and the evidence from our charter subscribers and first readers soon indicated that they did, too. Having entered, we began to learn more about it, of course; and these four years have been in one sense years of exploration and discovery—as, I think, all good years must be.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED never had desire or design to confine the wonderful world of sport within rigid boundaries. Quite the contrary. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED was conceived in the conviction that sport is an expanding part of an expanding universe.
We began at a time in history—the first time—when sport had become a dominant theme in a changing way of life. Its qualities and its ideals, its simple pleasures and satisfactions, its impetus to improvement and perfection, its humor, its prescriptions for strength in both body and mind were inseparable from the daily scene. And far from being frivolous, as some people suspected and others insisted—they were quite evidently a force for good.
August 10, 1958
What Sports Illustrated has discovered, more important perhaps than anything else, is how quickly the world of sport is expanding and in how many different directions.
It is, for example, insufficient to tell the story of a World Series by reciting the scores, or of the Olympics by listing the medal winners. Likewise, it does not tell the story of sport to sum up, no matter how accurately or perceptively, the many sports we know by name, from baseball and basketball, hockey and horse racing to sailing and swimming.
For sports seems upon examination constantly larger than the sum of its parts. As it expands it affects, and is affected by, such basic elements as food and clothing, shelter, travel, customs and health. Sport, in fact, beyond its specific activities and events, has become an essential component of living itself.
And Sports Illustrated, going on 5, hopes to keep reporting it that way—along with the scores, the players and the condition of the track.