Whether his achievement was over an extended period of time or only for an hour or for an instant, it was such that his fellowmen could not fail to recognize it as the revelation of pure excellence.
It is with such a definition that we undertake each year the search for the individual most deserving of the title Sportsman of the Year and of the Grecian vase which symbolizes it. Since our first award, for the year 1954, the qualities of the men selected have refined and amplified the definition. And this year it is amplified again by the choice of NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle in a thesis (see page 22) which we submit with pleasure for the judgment of our readers.
This year's award is SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S 10th, and a proper time for looking back. Where are the Sportsmen of yesteryear and what have they been doing since?
Oregon State's flashing Terry Baker (year 1962) was a rookie quarterback this season with the Los Angeles Rams—and having customary new-boy trouble in the time he played: 11 out of 19 passes completed, four interceptions. Ohio State's Jerry Lucas (1961) has been a sensation for the Cincinnati Royals in shooting, rebounding and defense. Arnold Palmer (1960) banked a record $128,230 in tournament money for the year, last week was resting up for this week's $50,000 Los Angeles Open. Ingemar Johansson (1959), businessman citizen of Geneva, reiterated that he will not fight again, but had a nontitle event with Floyd Patterson during a visit to Sweden (see page 46). Rafer Johnson (1958), a Los Angeles businessman today, cherishes his Olympic decathlon gold medal won in Rome in 1960, serves as West Coast director of the international People-to-People Sports Committee. Stan Musial (1957) closed out his 23rd year of major league baseball with a National League record of 3,630 hits—and a score of other records—and settled back to become a St. Louis Cardinal vice-president. Bobby Morrow of Texas Christian (1956), who sprinted to three gold medals in the Melbourne Olympics, is an Abilene salesman for an oil-well-equipment company; his exercise nowadays is on a stationary gymnasium bicycle. Johnny Podres (1955), winner of 100 more ball games since he stood the Yankees on their heads in the 1955 World Series, is looking forward to his 12th season as a Dodger. And Roger Bannister, the original four-minute miler, Sportsman of 1954?
January 6, 1964
He is Dr. Bannister now, consultant in neurology to two London hospitals, age 34 and father of four. Said Bannister last week, in the lounge of his home, where SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S Grecian amphora is displayed over a bookcase: "Sport is judging what you can do, and what other people can do. Medicine is about that, too."
Exercise? A one-and-a-half-mile "trot" once a week around Hyde Park with his older youngsters. And, oh, yes, said Bannister with a gesture toward the clubs in the hallway: "Golf. A sign of the times—but I don't think I'm in the handicap class yet."