A man in his time plays many parts, especially if he makes a career of baseball. He begins as the wide-eyed, fresh-faced recruit, occasionally cocky, more often awed by the crowds and the seasoned regulars with whom he now travels on equal terms. All being well, the rookie stays around to become a star himself, eventually carrying the burden as lightly as he signs a breakfast food testimonial. If he is more than a mere athlete, if he shows a talent for handling people, pitchers and perplexities, then he stays on to coach and perhaps to manage a rising generation of rookies destined to go through the same process. Mark Kauffman caught all stages of this process as baseball's cast of characters waited in the wings for the 1956 season's opening. An old campaigner, manager Bucky Harris of the Tigers, is shown on the bench with two of his rookies on the page opposite, and on the pages following are other studies by Kauffman of the look of rookie, star and veteran.
ROOKIE'S BIG GRIN OF ANTICIPATION
Jack Brandt had reason to smile as the St. Louis Cardinals headed north after their spring training in Florida. Frank Lane, the club's general manager, announced that the International League's rookie of the year in 1955 had been purchased from Rochester and that the young outfielder would be carried on the Cardinals' 1956 roster.
OLD PRO'S BIG CHAW OF TOBACCO
Rocky Bridges, utility infielder of the Cincinnati Redlegs, could chew contentedly as his club prepared for the opening of the season. Capable of doing almost any job satisfactorily (he is shown pitching batting practice below), Rocky was secure in the knowledge that there are many times when a team is only as strong as its reserves.
A SLUGGER'S MIGHTY ARM
This season, as last, the most fearsome sight to be faced by National League pitchers will be the naked menace above. It is, of course, the arm of Ted Kluszewski of Cincinnati. It drove out 47 home runs during 1955 season.
CATCHER'S GNARLED HAND
Three World Series and six All-Star Games helped to twist and batter the fingers (opposite page) of 41-year-old Walker Cooper, now back with the St. Louis Cardinals after playing 10 years with five other big league clubs.