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Willie Mays Welcomes Us to Spring Training

New York Giants centerfielder Willie Mays has just won the MVP award, just won the World Series and just made The Catch that will live forever. He is the best player in baseball and by March of 1955, possibly its most famous. Yet amid the rites of Spring Training, the future Met is as accessible to a kid in search of an autograph as any ballplayer, which is to say very much so. No wonder so many kids — all eras, all ages — love the day pitchers, catchers and legends in the making report.

Photo courtesy of Americana the Beautiful: Mid-Century Culture in Kodachrome [1] by Charles Phoenix, a pretty a-Mays-in’ book in its own right.