The world of sport in 1963 was characterized by a brilliance that came from dozens of outstanding performances: the nationwide interest in Kelso's victories, the spectacular baseball season that culminated in Sandy Koufax' achievements in the World Series, the amazing continued story of the triumphs of young Jack Nicklaus in golf, the seemingly endless development—both in player skill and national interest—of professional football. These achievements and other major contributions to sport in 1963 are exemplified by the champions pictured on these and the following pages. With all their variety of skill and performance, they possess a common factor: the zestful dedication to sport that the late President Kennedy loved. All together, they contributed to something lighthearted and graceful in the time that reflected the President's own personality.
The second season of Navy Quarterback Roger Staubach fulfilled the promise of his brilliant sophomore beginning—All-America on all major teams, star of Navy's unprecedented fifth consecutive victory over Army. This matter-of-fact, untemperamental performer passed for 1,474 yards and ran another 418 yards in leading Navy to one of its finest football records.
When Jim Clark began to drive racing cars as a teen-ager, he outperformed his teacher, a driver with racing experience. Now Clark is 27 and he is outperforming everybody. A small, dark-haired, wiry Scotsman who is devoid of theatrics, he won the world championship in 1963 in a natural climax to 10 years of patient and careful daring in a maximum-risk sport.
Mrs. Richard C. duPont qualifies as the sportswoman of the year, not just for her enviable role as the owner of four-time Horse of the Year Kelso, but—and equally important—because she is a heartening holdover from an almost bygone era, an era when horsemen loved both horses and sport in proper perspective. Allaire duPont raced Kelso often enough (12 times), spaced his races well, never ducked a challenge. When he lost (three times) there was no alibi. And no owner won more graciously than Mrs. duPont.
January 6, 1964
Don Schollander, a 17-year-old A student at Santa Clara High School in California (his mother was his first coach when he was 9), became the first person in history to swim the 200-meter freestyle in less than two minutes. Then he repeated his feat and bettered it. He set a new world record (1:58.8) in July, broke the two-minute barrier four times in August and at Osaka on August 24 broke his own record with 1:58.4. A startled Japanese writer compared him to a hydroplane—"He just skims over the water."
Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics ended his sixth full season in professional basketball by winning the NBA's Most Valuable Player award for the fourth time. (In the other two seasons his fellow players voted him runner-up.) A genius at blocking opponents' shots, this 6-foot 10-inch center, who could outjump much taller men if there were that many around, has been primarily responsible for the emphasis on defensive techniques that has lately emerged as the most significant trend in the sport.
Jim Whittaker began mountain climbing in the Cascades near his native Seattle when he was a 14-year-old boy scout. At that time, he was shy, intense and a fine natural climber. Now a big-boned (6 feet 5 inches, 210 pounds) man of 34, he is still shy, intense—and also America's most celebrated climber. After 12 years as a guide in Mount Rainier National Park and numerous climbs in the Rockies and Alaska with his twin brother Lou, he became the first American to climb Mount Everest.
Only 23, Jack Nicklaus has arrived in the lean, smiling world of King Arnold Palmer as a stocky, powerful prince of golf. His seemingly phlegmatic attitude is a young man's mask that conceals the kind of determination and insistence on victory usually associated only with Palmer himself. In 1963, his second year as a pro, he won the Masters and the PGA, collected $100,000 in official prize money and displayed such power and finesse that his opponents shudder at the prospect of what he may do next.
Despite a wobbling, bowlegged style that was a source of constant embarrassment to his coaches, Robert Lee Hayes twice ran the 100 in 9.1, one-tenth of a second faster than Frank Budd's world record. A muscular, 21-year-old junior, Hayes is also a lightning-fast 220-yard man and a star halfback at Florida A&M, where he led the team in scoring. He may play professional football when his days as an amateur sprinter are over—but not before he has a go at the Olympic sprint record this year in Tokyo.
Even if Sandy Koufax had not won 25 regular-season games and had not beaten the New York Yankees twice in the World Series, setting strikeout records as he did so, 1963 would have provided a remarkable chapter for his biography. Recovering from a finger injury, he towered over the rest in a season dominated by pitchers. He carried the Dodgers to a pennant and a world championship and may well have established Los Angeles as a baseball dynasty that will be as lasting and as formidable as that of the Yankees.
Gary Anderson taught himself target-shooting and began small-bore and free-rifle competition in 1958. He was a good teacher. In 1962 he set three records at the world shooting championships in Cairo as he broke Russia's 10-year domination of world individual marksmanship titles. In 1963 the Presbyterian divinity student won two gold medals at the Pan American Games, and the late President, at a White House ceremony, awarded him the first medal ever given by the Government for international shooting competition.
NEW MARKS FOR OLD PROS AND YOUNG AMATEURS
1 Throughout the world of sport, athletes spent the past year doing things no one had been able to accomplish before. Cleveland Fullback Jimmy Brown (right), pro football's finest runner, gained 1,863 yards on the ground, a new alltime season high. And for New York bald old Y.A. Tittle threw a record 36 touchdown passes while setting a new career mark for total pass completions of 1,971.
2 Mary Mairs is the perfect equestrienne—pretty, genteel and skillful. At the Pan American Games she defeated both male and female competitors to win the gold medal for individual performance.
3 At 14, Billy Spencer of Sarasota, Fla. was the youngest member of the U.S. Water Ski Team. He was also the best, leading the team to the world championship and himself taking the all-round title.
4 Blonde, blue-eyed Mickey Wright won 14 of the 29 golf tournaments she entered this year. "It's a case of if I win, well," she says, "I was supposed to. If I don't, it's 'What's the matter with Mickey Wright?' "
5 Last season, 18-year-old Henry Sprague III was the North American Junior Sailing champion. Moving up in 1963, he took the North American single-handed title, then national honors in the Finn class.
6 Two and a half years ago a cute art student named Anne Batterson tried sport parachuting for the first time. By last fall, she was U.S. women's champion and winner against 16 nations in Yugoslavia.
7 Detroit long had treated auto racing as tempting but not quite respectable until Ford's Lee Iacocca put his company onto the track, swept U.S. stock events and changed the design of Indianapolis cars.