"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." -- Rogers Hornsby
"Pitchers and catchers report today." For baseball fans, that's one of the sweetest phrases in the English language. Next to Opening Day of the regular season, Monday is the day that diehard fans look forward to most, the day that signals -- as Mr. Hornsby alludes to -- the imminent end of the dark days of winter and the coming of another glorious summer of America's Pastime.
In the spring of 1961, our friends over at LIFE gave 25-year-old Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek a camera and asked him to photograph his teammates, which that year included Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roger Maris and Whitey Ford. That team would go on to be seen as one of the greatest teams in baseball history.