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Babe Didriksen, Perhaps, Was Greatest of Them All

August 08, 1987

I enjoyed Rick Wallace's letter (Viewpoint, Aug. 1) on the top 10 sports figures. I agree with most of them. However, I find it amazing that one of the most logical choices was left off the list: Babe Didriksen.

Many experts consider her the greatest all-around athlete who has ever lived. Her feats are many. In 1931, she helped her team win the women's AAU track and field championships. She was its only member. In the 1932 Olympics, she set records in three events.

Few athletes have ever dominated a sport as she did golf. She once won 17 tournaments in a single year. In 1954, she won the women's open by 12 strokes while suffering from cancer.

In my opinion, no person before or since has done more to elevate the equality of women in sports. Those women making large amounts of money in sports have her to thank.

Perhaps the reason that she was so idolized during her era was that all of these feats came from a person who stood under 5 foot 7 and weighed only 125 pounds.

TOM FIPP

Huntington Harbor

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