The first issue of Sports Illustrated was published on August 16th, 1954 (only 3,078 weeks ago!). Baseball was the first sport featured on the coloured-printed cover (a Milwaukee Braves Vs. New York Giants game) of the magazine.
As a pioneer of sports media, Sports Illustrated launched the Sportsman of the Year award in 1954. A British track and field athlete was the first one to receive such award but throughout the years several individuals (most of them Americans) and a couple of teams have received this accolade. Some of them however have been largely discredited afterwards due to substance-use and abuse matters (Lance Armstrong and Mark McGwire) or have been involved in sex-related indignities (Tiger Woods).
Comparatively untarnished sportsmen have also been awarded this honour, such as Orel Hershiser, Michael Jordan, Cal Ripken Jr. and of course “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky.
Jimmy Collins in 2010 wrote this about Sports Illustrated:
If you say Sports Illustrated today you think of a magazine jam packed with coverage and articles on every possible sport known to man. Many immediately think of the Swimsuit Issue. But whatever comes to mind when you hear the name, Sports Illustrated was not always so well received and it took quite some time for the magazine to catch on.
In the early 1930s and 1940s there were two attempts from different companies called Sports Illustrated that failed miserably. Sometime later a man named Henry Luce who was the patriarch of Time decided that it would be a good idea to start a magazine dedicated to sports. Many of Luce’s closest advisors warned him that this was not a good undertaking but Luce felt that the time was right. Jimmy Collins.
Funny you should mention the Swimsuit Issue, Jimmy boy! That’s all most of our readers really care about, so let us remember some of the models who have appeared in such distinguished publication:
August 16th, 2013.