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Original Issue


For the revelation of pure excellence in mind and body

This Grecian Vase, or amphora, is the trophy that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED awards to its Sportsman of the Year. The original, which dates from about 510 B.C., is on permanent display in the Time & Life Building in New York. A reproduction is given each year to that individual who, in the opinion of the editors, has most closely approached the degree of excellence suggested by the ancient Greek concept of arete—a unity of virtues of mind and body to which the truly complete man of every age must aspire. Victory in sport may have been his, but it is not for victory alone that he is honored. Rather, it is for the way he has competed, his manner, his attitude, the regard in which he is held by his rivals and his friends. Whether it was over an extended period of time or only for an hour or an instant, his performance was such that his fellow men could not fail to recognize it as the revelation of pure excellence—arete. His achievement, if only at the instant of rising above himself, was the ageless ideal that in giving his absolute best in body and spirit he was honoring all men. Past winners of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's Sportsman of the Year award are listed at the right. The story of the unique individual who is the Sportsman of the Year 1958 begins on the next page.

1954 Roger Bannister
1955 Johnny Podres
1956 Bobby Joe Morrow
1957 Stan Musial