Getting Close to the Sun and the Stars

March 04, 1963

The season of snow-glutted driveways and rich sauces is over, and the players of the major leagues, sluggish as bears, stretch and grunt and cavort in Florida's annual and primal phenomenon: spring training. As for those fellows with the cameras, it's their season to stand at field level with the stars, joshing and carrying on with nervous intimacy while a ransom of 35mm Tri-X film records the early form of bat breakers—and bat boys. And when a player isn't running around or throwing a ball in serious preparation for the coming pennant race, a yo-yo is just the thing to while away a few sunny, idle moments.

The sharp twang of Iron Mike is heard again in the batting cage as a hitter toughens his blistered hands and tries to sharpen up the old batting eye.

Hits, runs and errors don't count in the palm tree circuit, but the game is baseball and that's enough to bring a crowd hustling into the park.

Jostling along the baselines or queuing up outside, spectators pick their spots with tropical informality.

SEVEN ILLUSTRATIONSBILL CHARMATZ

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)