As I write this post on March 29th, Washington’s cherry trees have already bloomed . . . and gone . . . and another rite of spring has passed as well: baseball’s spring training! The 2012 Major League Baseball season commenced yesterday in Tokyo as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics (who got their revenge by beating the Mariners today).
For a number of weeks, teams have been getting back in shape and re-sharpening their hitting, pitching, fielding, and base-running skills in warm-weather climes such as Florida and Arizona. Most of us, alas, didn’t have the opportunity to travel to witness this annual occurrence, but will have to judge our team’s prospects by what we read in the sports pages or witness at the ball park or on television.
Here’s hoping that this spring finds you renewed and ready and getting in touch with your innermost Jim Thorpe or Babe Ruth!
- See some of the titans of yesteryear in the Library of Congress collection of early Baseball Cards dating from 1887 to 1914. The cards show such legendary figures as Ty Cobb stealing third base for Detroit, Tris Speaker batting for Boston, and pitcher Cy Young posing formally in his Cleveland uniform. Other notable players include Connie Mack, Walter Johnson, King Kelly, and Christy Mathewson.
- Drawn from the world’s largest baseball collection, the 2009 book Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress features more than 350 illustrations including vintage baseball cards, photos of famous players and ballparks, newspaper clippings, cartoons, and WPA baseball ads, in a history of baseball’s origins, rich heritage, and uniquely American character. You can view a sampling of the types of images featured in the book in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.