The 1973 Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Awards banquet wasn’t lacking for starpower. Flyers legend Bobby Clarke, who became only the ninth player in NHL history to score 100 points with his 104-point 1972-73 campaign, was one of the honorees. So too was Penn State running back and newly-minted Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti. The featured speaker that evening was Joe Paterno, who at the time was the biggest name there was in Pennsylvania sports. One of the award recipients was a jockey named Mary Bacon, who was named the most courageous athlete of the year for repeatedly overcoming brutal injuries suffered on the track. At the podium, Bacon accepted the award, shrugged, and said she wasn’t that courageous. She was just doing what she loved. Bacon received the award at the height of her fame. She had been granted her jockey’s license just four years earlier, and in the years since had not only become a highly successful and pioneering rider, but a true American celebrity. She appeared in the pages of Vogue, made it on the cover of Newsweek, captured the attention of sportswriting heavyweights and Hollywood screenwriters alike, posed for Playboy, and scored a sponsorship from Revlon. Her… Read full this story
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