Baseball: Signs of Spring

Can Mickey make it? Does life begin at 38? Will the Brat and the Professor come to blows? Can Super Jew and No Neck survive the jug test? Those were the weighty, provocative questions confronting every red-blooded American last week. It was that time again, and Poet Don Marquis was probably right when he rhapsodized: "Oh, what the hell, it's spring." Marquis, of course, was not a baseball fan.

The season's start was still three weeks away, but in New York, Mickey Mantle's conversion from outfielder to first baseman—and his subsequent stop...

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