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Original Issue


Color photographs by Mark Kauffman show what it is like to stand up against Robin Roberts

In his six and a half seasons as a major-league pitcher, Philadelphia's Robin Roberts has faced roughly 7,000 batters. Probably none of them has had time enough at the plate to study the 27-year-old right-hander's form as deliberately as a reader is able to do on the following pages.

This month, though he has lost his last three games, Roberts is virtually certain to become the first big-league pitcher in 17 years to win 20 games five years in a row. The last man to do it was Carl Hubbell in the years 1933-37.

A college pitcher at Michigan State, Roberts signed with the Phillies for a $25,000 bonus in 1948. Ever since, he has been astounding opponents with his superbly controlled fast ball, a pitch he is able to throw with uncanny accuracy. So set yourself now as you face the husky (6 ft. 1½ in., 190 lbs.), glowering Roberts on these pages. Draw your bat back as he winds up for a hard one, high and inside. Swing for all you're worth. (If you do as well as the batter, you'll send a dribbler down the third-base line.)