Willie Mays spring training, 1954

Alfred Eisenstaedt—TIME & LIFE Pictures/Getty Images

Willie Mays and teammates in the dugout, spring training, 1954.

Not published in LIFE. Willie Mays and teammates in the dugout, spring training, 1954. “Life on the Giants wouldn’t be the same without Willie,” Mays’ friend and roommate Monte Irvin once said. “Just being around him keeps me young and full of spirit . . . but I wish he’d let me sleep a little longer in the morning.”

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