Courage: to become a major league baseball pitcher despite a crippled hand; to return to professional golf with painful swollen legs after an automobile accident; to prefer to die rather than lose a leg to blood poisoning, and then to recover and become Supreme Commander of the European Theatre of Operations and President of the United States. ""Courage"" here involves enduring tremendous physical pain, followed by great (usually athletic) achievement; twice (Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson) it also means overcoming racial prejudice. ""But what is the really essential ingredient? If you ponder the story of Ben Hogan, whose build was bantam, whose skills were more a product of hard work than natural gifts, and whose relationship with lady luck was a sometime thing, the conclusion is inescapable: It's courage that makes the champion."" Uncourageous prose and unimaginative selection (twelve athletes, two war-hero presidents) make this collection uninspired and uninspiring.