Spring training with the Chicago White Sox, 1957 (Google Images)
It's a great week to be alive because pitchers and catchers have finally reported. It's the week we wait for every winter, the first sign that baseball is on the horizon. It's a week worthy of celebration.
And it's been that way for a long time. We're often reminded of baseball's rich and glorious past, and of all the great men who played then. And while we may feel like we have a pretty good sense of what those men and those times were like from reading through old statistics, looking at baseball cards, and seeing the more famous photos over and over again - for those of us who weren't alive to actually remember the times, of course - we're still missing a pretty substantial piece of the picture.
Like spring training. Which is what makes the Google archive of the photographs from Life magazine so welcome. With just a few clicks, we can be taken back decades to see some more candid moments and get a sense of what things were really like.
(Click "Read More" to continue reading.)
In celebration of the official start of spring training this week, I leave you with this link to the Life magazine photo archives of "spring training", along with links to a few choice photos. Don't be shocked by the amount of shirtless men you're about to see - I'm sure they're safe for work...
- Walter O'Malley plays cards with Frank Shaughnessy, 1964 (from this issue)
- Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst have their own spring training, 1960 (from this issue)
- Pee Wee Reese wrestles with Fred Fitzsimmons, 1942 (from this issue)
- Boston Braves rookie on clubhouse steps, 1949 (from this issue)
- Billy Pierce reminds you that "Spring training can be rough on your hair"
- Eddie Stanky's wife welcomes you to the beach party