Photo Friday: Vintage Spring Training

In some ways, I’m still not caught up from vacation, because I hadn’t intended to skip two slide-show Fridays. The plan was to have this one in the bag for two weeks ago, then resume with the weekly collections the following week. Clearly, didn’t happen.

At least it’s still spring training, though these images fit more toward the beginning of camp. Back in February, I bought the March 3, 1958, issue of Sports Illustrated and the April 5, 1948 issue of LIFE magazine on eBay because they had photo spreads — and covers — dedicated to spring training. They’re fun images to look at, especially because, until recently, Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg was still used (by the Rays) and Vero Beach was still the Dodgers’ home. Now, both are retired, at least as spring facilities. More images can be found at the Google LIFE photo archive, and SI on Getty, plus 39 covers at

I’ll dig up something for next week and then hopefully will have fresh batches of photos throughout the season. I might not get to a game a week, but I definitely have the archives to come up with something to post each Friday, as long as I stay on top of things. I don’t expect I’ll choose to do any more that aren’t my own shots. This was a one-off look back at what spring training used to be.

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