"Getting to first base" is a universal idiom now, as much a part of the language of romance—or business—as it is of baseball. In the sport itself, the 90 feet to first remain the prime challenge for every man who steps to the plate. It is a tantalizing distance that takes even the fastest about 3.5 seconds to run—or just the time it takes for most balls hit to the infield to be fielded and thrown to first for a close play. So close are those plays that umpires use both sight and sound to arrive at a decision; they watch the runner's feet and listen for the blunt slam of the ball in the first baseman's glove. The race between man and ball, viewed in a unique manner or from an interesting angle as it is on the following pages, can be a provocative scene. On a rare occasion, too, it results in a portrait of remarkable grace, like this one of Mickey Mantle straining his powerful though oddly fragile legs in battle with the immutable dimensions of the diamond.
MULTIPLE EXPOSURE CATCHES BROOKS ROBINSON SWINGING AT THE PLATE, STRAINING AT MIDPOINT AND BEATEN AT FIRST
PITCHER BILL DAILEY BEATS VIC DAVALILLO TO FIRST BUT DROPS THROW