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NEW YORK YANKEES

April 15, 1957
April 15, 1957

Table of Contents
April 15, 1957

Doug Ford And The Masters
Events & Discoveries
Scouting Reports
American League
  • Seven times in the past eight years the Yankees have won the pennant; in '56 they could have started to print their World Series tickets in July. Yet Casey Stengel now comes up with a ball club he says is better than any of the others. Unless you are a Yankee fan, it looks like a long season ahead

  • The Indians have been in a second-place rut for five of the past six years. Although most major league cities would happily settle for much less, in Cleveland the frustration of always being the runner-up has come to a head. A new manager has been added, but once again it looks like second best

  • For five straight years the Sox have finished third. Now they have a new manager and some promising rookies but all else is the same: with one hand they must claw their way up toward the Yankees and Indians, with the other hold off the Tigers and Red Sox from below. That's asking too much of two hands

  • The Boston Red Sox are New England's pride and despair. Annually hope rises that this year the Sox will finally unseat those top-dog New York Yankees, and annually there is frustration. But, even so, hope rides high again on such as Ted Williams, Jim Piersail, Tom Brewer and a dozen bright young men

  • This is the team they said last winter might shake up the Yankees—but that was last winter and now no one is quite so sure. The Tigers are good, only there aren't enough of them; where Casey Stengel experiments to find out which player is best, Jack Tighe must experiment to find a player good enough

  • The Baltimore Orioles have improved steadily in their three seasons in the American League. There has been a continuous flow of ballplayers, coming and going, as Manager Paul Richards has tried to field a winning club. This year the team has a more permanent look, but there is still a lot to be done

  • The Senators finished seventh a year ago which, on the record, may have been an even greater miracle than the pennant triumphs of the 1914 Braves and the 1951 Giants. They had the worst fielding in the league and by far the worst pitching. Only a couple of big sluggers saved them from the bottom

  • This will be Kansas City's third season in the major leagues. The first year was one grand party: a lively, eager team fought for victories all year long. But last season was quite different: the team was listless, as well as bad, and finished a dull, dreary last. Kansas City fans expect something a good deal better in 1957

National League
  • The old, old Dodgers have been the class team of the National League for a decade. Cracks have appeared in their armor, but it is fondly hoped in Brooklyn (and Los Angeles) that bright young players will fill such gaps. In the most unlikely event that they do there'll be yet another Yankee-Dodger World Series

  • Now it is next year. With a superb pitching staff built around the great trio of Spahn, Burdette and Buhl, and boasting some of the league's best ballplayers in Aaron, Mathews, Adcock and Logan, the Braves are prepared to make a strong bid for the pennant they missed by the narrowest of margins last September

  • The personable, colorful, lively Redlegs are the most popular ball club in the National League. Last season strong hitting, brilliant fielding, shrewd managing and an astute front office combined to lift them to third place after 11 dismal years buried in the second division. Now they have their eyes on the pennant

  • Improved by trades and boasting one of the most impressive starting lineups in the league, the Cardinals are hungry for a pennant. Yet the bench is weak, their pitching can hardly equal the Dodgers or Braves, and the Redlegs have more power. It may be a long, tough climb from fourth place first

  • It's seven years now since the youthful Philadelphia "Whiz Kids" stole the National League pennant. They have grown old in the interval, and none too gracefully at that. A slowly dwindling band of truly topflight players has heretofore saved the club from utter disgrace, but who knows if they can do it again

  • The Giants looked better toward the end of 1956, moving from the cellar to sixth in the last five weeks of the season. Then the armed forces took regulars Jackie Brandt and Bill White, and regular Catcher Bill Sarni had a heart attack during spring training. Yet despite all the team still shows plenty of spirit

  • Last year the Pirates spent nine glorious and dizzy days atop the National League. This, however, was in June, and at season's end they were seventh. They may not spend even one day in first place in '57, but the Pirates are a young ball club on the way up and they aren't going to finish seventh either

  • After 10 years of bitter frustration in the depths of the second division, Owner Phil Wrigley swept the club clean during the winter and reorganized from front office down. Despite this broom treatment of last year's cellar team, the Cubs' tenure in the bleak second division is assured for another year

Sport In Art
Fame Is For Winners
Figuring It Out
Fisherman's Calendar
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

NEW YORK YANKEES

Seven times in the past eight years the Yankees have won the pennant; in '56 they could have started to print their World Series tickets in July. Yet Casey Stengel now comes up with a ball club he says is better than any of the others. Unless you are a Yankee fan, it looks like a long season ahead

THE MANAGEMENT
George Weiss may be the smartest general manager in baseball; certainly he is the most successful. And whatever he hands Casey Stengel to work with, the Yankee manager molds into a pennant. Whether Casey is a genius, too, or merely gets good mileage out of great material, isn't too important just as long as he wins pennants. Unlike Stengel, who never played in American League, his three coaches are all former Yankee stars: Bill Dickey (first), Frank Crosetti (third), Jim Turner (pitching).

This is an article from the April 15, 1957 issue Original Layout

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S YANKEES

STRONG POINTS
Yankees have four: pitching, catching, infield and outfield. Of these, pitching is least impressive, but Stengel will get along with Whitey Ford, Don Larsen, Johnny Kucks, Tom Sturdivant, Art Ditmar, Bob Turley, Bobby Shantz, Bob Grim, Tommy Byrne and perhaps a youngster or two like Ralph Terry or Al Cicotte or Jim De Palo. Yogi Berra is best catcher in baseball, which he has to be to keep Elston Howard on the bench. Bill Skowron at first base hit .308 and 23 home runs, yet platoons with left-handed Joe Collins; both were pressed to beat out Marv Throneberry, who ripped 42 home runs at Denver. No one makes the double play better than Billy Martin, yet he has to hustle to fight off slick-fielding Bobby Richardson, a 21-year-old with a .328 average in Triple-A. Versatile Gil McDougald hit .311 and in his first season at shortstop played the position as if he had been born there. Yet McDougald can't ease up either; there is a hungry young man named Tony Kubek around (.331 at Denver) who has been leading entire squad at plate this spring. If Andy Carey, despite his defensive excellence at third, fails to regain his batting eye, one of Stengel's fast shuffles could replace him with Martin or Richardson or one of the shining young rookies or even Skowron. And, while on the subject of the infield, one shouldn't forget Jerry Coleman, once a Yankee regular and still capable of playing 154 games for most teams in the league. Mickey Mantle, baseball's No. 1 citizen, is in center field, and little more can be said about Mantle. Hank Bauer is in right. Team is set, at least two deep, at every position except left field.

WEAK SPOTS
Only one is position mentioned above, and although this is the one spot where the Yankees are not set, they are five deep there. Stengel can make his selection from list which includes Enos Slaughter, Howard, Norm Siebern and Rookies Kubek, (a very versatile young man) and Woody Held. Casey's probable solution will be to start with Kubek and try them all; considering the cast, most managers would like to have that left-field problem.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
In February Yankees sent a crowd of people who couldn't make the team to Kansas City, where they were needed, and in exchange received two pitchers who might help very much indeed: Ditmar and Shantz. Ditmar lost 22 games last year, but this was for Athletics and he also won 12; with Yankees figures could easily be reversed. Shantz, Most Valuable Player award winner with his 24-7 record in '52, has not been able since to win more than five games a season because of bad arm, but this spring he's been throwing hard and without pain. Anyway, Shantz is frankly a gamble, and Yankees are not famous for bad luck. Rookies include most of fine 1956 Denver team plus scattering from Richmond and Birmingham; those Casey can't use he can always recall in a day when—and if—they are needed.

THE BIG IFS
There are only two: Mantle and Berra. If something should happen to these unexpendables, Yankees might run into trouble. Mantle's legs, although always aching, have caused him to miss only 19 regular-season games in last three years, and nothing really ever happens to Berra. There has also been some question about Larsen's ability to continue pitching no-hitters, but this is academic; not Larsen nor Turley nor McDermott nor Byrne nor Grim looked too hot at times last year but someone named Kucks or Sturdivant always turns up. This year the someone could be Rookie Ralph Terry.

OUTLOOK
The Yankees can run, field, hit, throw. They have depth and good pitching and a wise old manager who refuses to subvert his blessings. Instead of waiting for the rest of the league to catch up, they have improved too, probably more than Indians, White Sox or Red Sox and at least as much as Tigers, who must make up 15 games to get close. "You should clinch the pennant by Mother's Day," it was suggested to Stengel. Casey shook his head. It was evident he had a much later date in mind—something around the Fourth of July.

SPECTATOR'S GUIDE

The "Home of Champions" is located at E. 161 St. and River Ave. in The Bronx, 25 minutes from midtown Manhattan by subway (Sixth Ave. "D" or IRT Woodlawn Rd.-Jerome Ave., 15¢). A cab is more comfortable (via FDR Drive) but costs about $3.50 with tip. Because of expressways, stadium can be reached by car from New Haven (2 hrs.), Trenton (1½ hrs.) and Valley Stream (45 min.). Parking facilities are adequate ($1 and up) but fantastic traffic snarls are likely to develop near the stadium both before and after big-crowd games.

Stadium is triple-decked, seats 67,000. Ramps to upper deck are wearing, often impassable. Best seats, of course, are boxes near dugouts (such as Toots Shor's on third-base side, where Joe DiMaggio sits) but good reserved seats can be found on third deck over infield ($2.10). Avoid seats toward rear of lower and second decks, since overhang obscures all balls hit skyward. Aisle seats are undesirable as latecomers and early leavers block view. Warning: some seats numbered in sequence (4-5-6) are actually in different rows.

Concessions are everywhere, vendors patrol stands. Rest rooms are sufficient and usually clean. Ushers dust seats, linger till tipped. Special convenience for season box holders: the Stadium Club, where drinks and dinner can be obtained before game.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOFRONT OFFICE: George WeissPHOTOMANAGER: Casey StengelPHOTOYOGI BERRAPHOTOGIL McDOUGALDPHOTOTOM STURDIVANTPHOTODON LARSENPHOTOBILL SKOWRONPHOTOWHITEY FORDPHOTOMICKEY MANTLEPHOTOART DITMARPHOTOJOHNNY KUCKSPHOTOELSTON HOWARDPHOTOHANK BAUERPHOTOBILLY MARTINILLUSTRATIONILLUSTRATIONYANKEE STADIUM
Capacity 67,000
Ticket information: CYpress 3-6000
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BASIC ROSTER

no

player

position

1956
record

1

Billy Martin

2B

.264

6

Andy Carey

3B

.237

7

Mickey Mantle

CF

.353

8

Yogi Berra

C

.298

9

Hank Bauer

RF

.241

12

Gil McDougald

SS

.311

14

Bill Skowron

1B-OF

.308

15

Joe Collins

1B

.225

17

Enos Slaughter

LF

.278

32

Elston Howard

C-LF

.262

34

Tony Kubek

IF-OF

minors

16

Whitey Ford

P

19-6

18

Don Larsen

P

11-5

19

Bob Turley

P

8-4

23

Tommy Byrne

P

7-3

28

Art Ditmar

P

12-22

30

Bobby Shantz

P

2-7

47

Tom Sturdivant

P

16-8

53

Johnny Kucks

P

18-9

55

Bob Grim

P

6-1

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

games
behind

1956

1

97

57

1955

1

96

58

1954

2

103

51

8

1953

1

99

52

1952

1

95

59

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1956

Mantle

.353

Ford

19-6

1955

Mantle

.307

Ford

18-7

1954

Noren

.319

Grim

20-6

1953

Bauer

.304

Ford

18-6

1952

Mantle

.311

Reynolds

20-8

home runs

runs batted in

1956

Mantle

52

Mantle

130

1955

Mantle

37

Berra

108

1954

Mantle

27

Berra

125

1953

Berra

27

Berra

108

1952

Berra

30

Berra

98