Spring training is, essentially, a lazy time. No one overworks. Players report at 10 every morning, jog once around the field, take batting practice and then stand in clusters under the warm sun, shagging fly balls and trading winter stories. Soon enough, practice is over, with plenty of time left for a round of golf or a swim back at the motel pool with the wife and kids. The living is so easy, in fact, that when the Los Angeles Angels insisted their players ride bicycles to the ball park for exercise, it was big news. Even when the exhibition season starts, the pace is leisurely. Regulars play only a few innings, then sit along the edges of the field, caps removed, improving their suntans. Only the fans in the bleachers (right) take the games seriously. To them, this is the real baseball season and what happens up North later on is incidental. On the following pages Artist Ronald Searle takes a distinctive look at spring training in Arizona and California.
A foul ball in March looks as good as one in July
Part of spring training is sunning by the pool
Angels on wheels ride out to practice
No fence can stop the autograph hound
Even big winners pitch batting practice