For our special Sports Issue, The Nation asked a distinguished group of writers, thinkers and advocates to pay tribute to their sports heroes.

Among the many contributions are Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Jennifer Egan on tennis phenom Monica Seles, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban on Willie Stargell, filmaker John Sayles on Roberto Clemente, New Yorker writer Jane Mayer on Arthur Ashe and Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards on Carl Yastremski. 

The result is a package of moving mini-essays all expressing, in their own way, a feeling many of us share: pure love of the game. View all of their responses in this slide show of sports heroes.