The premier heroes of 1958 on the preceding pages accomplished extraordinary feats but they achieved their greatness in every case by winning over tough competitors. Else their triumphs would have been meaningless. The competitors they beat deserve recognition and so do leaders in sports like sky-diving that are too thinly populated to get much attention. A special commendation, then, to this supporting cast:
CAROL HEISS. She took the world's ice-skating championship again after being stricken ill.
WARREN SPAHN. This Milwaukee southpaw won 20 games for the ninth time in his career and won two out of three games from the Yankees in the World Series.
GLENN DAVIS. He set two world records during the year, 45.7 seconds in the 440-yard run and 49.2 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles.
January 5, 1959
PERCY CERUTTY. He trained Herb Elliott.
SUNNY JIM FITZSIMMONS. His superior training made Bold Ruler the top handicap horse of the year, though the colt never carried less than 133 pounds in winning five of seven starts.
GRAHAM MANN. Helmsman of the Sceptre in the America's Cup races, he was handicapped by his boat but admired for his seamanship, courage and grace.
PHIL HILL. This Californian won the Le Mans 24-hour race and Sebring's 12-hour race. He was also on the winning Italian Ferrari Grand Prix team.
JACQUES ISTEL. Sky-diving (free-fall parachuting) is a new sport in the U.S., and we were far behind countries like Russia and France until this naturalized American gave it a Billy Mitchell crusade. Now we are catching up with the rest of the world.
There are many others who warrant acknowledgment. Who can ever forget ARCHIE MOORE's bold stand in defense of his light heavyweight title against Yvon Durelle, how Archie saved his crown after four trips to the canvas by knocking out a far younger and supposedly stronger opponent? In harness racing there is BILLY HAUGHTON, leading driver-trainer for the sixth year in a row and leading money winner for the fifth successive year. One thinks of DAN ORLICH, who broke 399 out of 400 targets, including 50 pairs of double targets, for a new American trapshooting record; BOB MOSBACHER, who in 1957 won the International Gold Cup, symbol of the world class boat championship, and this year became North American men's champion in small-boat racing; and HARRY DE LEYER, who won eight jumping championships, three reserve championships and the Professional Horseman's Association high-point award on Snowman, a horse he bought for $80.
For one sportsman of the year, the days of competition are over. He is ROY CAMPANELLA, paralyzed in an automobile accident, whose courage and good cheer in the face of his personal disaster were an inspiration to all people, in and out of sport.