Today, pitchers and catchers reported to Sarasota and Ed Smith Stadium to begin spring training for the Orioles. The world is a little better for it, I'd like to think. I went searching for an image that embodied this time of year and I found Jeffrey Hammonds politely signing what appears to be a Spring Training preview from some newspaper or another. Of course, that's Rafael Palmeiro on the front page, along with a Cardinals player who I believe to be Gregg Jefferies (an odd choice in hindsight, but he did hit .342 the previous season). I'm guessing that this was a St. Petersburg paper, as the O's and Redbirds shared Al Lang Stadium for Grapefruit League purposes from 1991 through 1995.
It's not easy to tell in this way-foily scan, but the teammate signing autographs in the background is none other than Cal Ripken, Jr. Who else would it be?
So play ball already!