The once immutable aspect of baseball is changing now, and rapidly. This season brand-new teams of rather old men will represent the American League in Los Angeles and Washington, the old Washington Senators having migrated to Minnesota. For all that change, baseball is the same. The split-second grace of a batter's swing or a pitcher's delivery, the familiar swooping, turning movement of an infielder starting a double play—all will ornament the game again. Here and on the following pages, in color and black-and-white photographs, are some of the chief artisans of baseball's timeless beauty.
The doughty little relief pitcher of the world champion Pittsburgh Pirates throws every ball with all his small might, his body quivering after the pitch like a just-fired catapult.
The Most Valuable Player in his league last year shows the level power of his swing, his strong body perfectly graceful in the aftermath of a home run.
Cap pushed back, hair tousled, the devil-may-care young right-hander who pitches for the lively young Baltimore Orioles grins cheerful defiance at the world.
The Cleveland Indians' flashy star takes off for first base after a hit, his face set in a thin grin. He has speed, flamboyance, style, and extraordinary competence as well.
Baltimore's fine young All-Star third baseman creates one of the classic positions in the familiar choreography of baseball, his body stretched in a long, clean line of effort. He missed here; he doesn't miss often.
The New York Yankees' slugger is also an exceptionally deft bunter. Here he is away in a driving sprinter's start, the ball barely off the bat as he takes his first step.
He swings with utter violence—and misses with utter finality. Because of this complete and daring commitment, even a Minoso strikeout has unforgettable flair.
The big man of the St. Louis Cardinals squints into the sun, his strong face reflecting the quiet confidence of the superb athlete—a fearsome hitter, an almost impeccable fielder.
The shortstop and captain of the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates, batting champion of the National League and Most Valuable Player in the league, is the nearest thing to an indispensable man on the talent-rich Pirate roster.