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Class D baseball, which has seen the beginning (and, in some cases, the end) of many baseball careers, is the very rock bottom foundation of the national pastime. No place is more characteristic of the bush than Gainesville, Fla., 700 miles from the nearest big league city. The pictures on these and the following four pages present Gainesville's local G-Men in the strenuous and often seedy life that goes with this most primitive stage of baseball

Formal portrait of G-Men shows motley assortment of team uniforms along with hand-me-downs from affiliated Toronto

The bush league fan in Gainesville takes his baseball as seriously as his big league cousin

Whether he's a garage man, farmer or bank clerk, the local team is his pride and joy

Johnny Vandermeer (left), famed for two no-hitters, talks to rival manager as ball boys mark batters' box before game

Visiting players' wives relieve monotony and solve babysitting problem with an evening's talk fest at the ball park

Far from the concrete and steel stadiums of the majors, Gainesville's fans drift into wooden stands of Harris Field

Manager Red Dulaney ponders last night's mistakes while he burns refuse from the stands

The player's life is composed of many things including a washtub, soap and dirty uniforms