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CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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 MANAGEMENT
Handsome young Charles A. (Chuck) Comiskey II, who shares executive office of vice-president with brother-in-law John Rigney, was quick to name Al Lopez as manager to succeed Marty Marion last fall. Lopez, never below second in nine seasons at Indianapolis and Cleveland, is quiet, easygoing, frankly expects to miss that Cleveland pitching but still likes White Sox speed. His coaches are Ray Berres and Don Gutteridge, holdovers from '56 White Sox staff, John Cooney and Tony Cuccinello.

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

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S WHITE SOX

STRONG POINTS
This is a team built around theory that a good defense is best offense; it is superbly equipped to make a few runs go a long way. Pitching is good, with left-hander Billy Pierce (20-9) certainly one of the best in the business. Jack Harshman (15-11) is not far behind. Dick Donovan is better than last year's 12-10 record shows and Jim Wilson can probably be counted on for another 15. Adequate relievers are ancient Ellis Kinder, Paul LaPalme and Dixie Howell. Outfield is surpassed by none: Minnie Minoso hit .316 in left, Larry Doby, despite injuries and a miserable start, drove in 102 runs, and Jim Rivera can beat you half a dozen ways with his speed and great arm and determination at the plate. If they need any help, it could be present in person of one of this year's most sensational spring training discoveries, a rookie named Jim Landis who has good power, speed and a major league arm. Presence of Landis also enables Lopez to experiment with Minoso at third base if this becomes necessary. Catching rests in steady hands of Sherman Lollar, long a master receiver and last year a better hitter (.293) than ever before. There aren't many fancier second base combinations than little Nellie Fox (who can also point to a .294 lifetime average) at second and the 1956 Rookie of the Year, swift Luis Aparicio, at short. Defensively the ball club is very tight and, on the bases, they still like to run.

WEAK SPOTS
Most serious need of White Sox exists at corners of infield. Big Walt Dropo hit only .266 and eight home runs last year, yet still manages to hold on to first base against competition of towering Ron Jackson, who spent part of '56 in minors, and two others who spent entire year down there—Norm Larker and Jim Marshall. Larker's spring play has probably earned him No. 2 spot. At third, Sox have about given up on weak-hitting Sammy Esposito, except in emergencies, hope to move solid Bubba Phillips, an outfielder, to the position along with his .273 batting average. So far, the tests have looked pretty good. But with starting lineup more or less set, there just aren't any reserves except Pinch-hitters Ron Northey and Dave Philley, and Les Moss to help Lollar with catching. Club also badly in need of power, since only outfield can hit the long ball. Experienced pitching, behind first four, includes only Bob Keegan, who Sox are still hoping will make that big comeback, and 36-year-old Gerry Staley.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
Sox made no trades, so only new faces belong to rookies. Although there aren't many of these, fortunately four may turn out to furnish considerable help. Landis, of course, is one. Another is Earl Battey, a husky catcher who has been a pleasant surprise with his hitting this spring. Jim Derrington is a 17-year-old whiz of a bonus pitcher that team has to keep on its roster anyway but might be tempted to retain even without the rule. Roger Howard, just out of service, is an ex-Michigan State bonus boy who has major league pitcher written all over him.

THE BIG IFS
Main question concerns health; if White Sox regulars stay sound and can keep from tiring under rigors of full season's play, club will be all right. Much depends upon Doby having another of his really big years. Then, if Donovan (15-9 in '55) and Keegan (16-9 in '54) can match or even exceed their previous best seasons, and Dropo just for once hits up to his potential, all would be very well indeed. But it is well to remember that over-all age of White Sox regulars is greatest in American League and most can be expected to become worse rather than better.

OUTLOOK
Ever since Paul Richards brought the White Sox into contention back in 1952, they have been hoping to catch the Yankees. But while New York forges on ahead, getting better year by year, Chicago only stands still and its players grow old. Now it is almost certainly too late and team must turn instead to a battle with pitcher-rich Cleveland, manpower-deep Boston and the growling young Tigers even to remain in the first division. With little power and inadequate reserves, even this could turn out to be too much of a job.

SPECTATOR'S GUIDE

This perfectly symmetrical playing field is surrounded, except in dead center, by double-tiered stands. Many feel that best place to sit is upper deck, anywhere between first and third. Bleachers and right field stands are for sun lovers.

Driving to park can be a real challenge. Streets jam up badly and parking lots are inadequate, can handle only about 3,500 cars. Season-ticket holders, however, are allowed to pay $50 annually for special reserved place in Comiskey's own adjoining parking lot. From the Loop it's best to take a cab (15 minutes, about $2), or Clark St. car (20¢) direct to park, or southbound El (from State St., 20¢) which leaves you four blocks east of home plate.

Andy Frain ushers are, as always, efficient and officious; there is no tipping. Plenty of accessible refreshment stands. Spécialité de la maison: tasty kosher red hots. There are only about a dozen rest rooms, not, sad to say, in the best possible shape. There are also other discomforts: aisles and ramps are narrow, impeding egress. Kindled by an abundance of beer, hot tempers often erupt, so brawls are frequent. Caution: check tickets for location before buying. There are "box seats" in the outfield and in the deep recesses of upper deck. Another warning: park is only 15 blocks from stockyards, which seem much closer when wind is from west.

View this article in the original magazine

ILLUSTRATIONPHOTORON NORTHEYPHOTOBILLY PIERCEPHOTOORESTES MINOSOPHOTOJIM RIVERAPHOTOFRONT OFFICE: Charles ComiskeyPHOTOMANAGER: Al LopezPHOTOLARRY DOBYPHOTOLUIS APARICIOPHOTODICK DONOVANPHOTOSHERMAN LOLLARPHOTOJACK HARSHMANPHOTOJIM WILSONPHOTONELSON FOXPHOTOWALT DROPOILLUSTRATIONCOMISKEY PARK
Capacity 46,550
Ticket Information: WAgner 4-1000
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BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1956 record

1

Jim Landis

OF

minors

2

Nelson Fox

2B

.296

3

Fred Hatfield

3B

.261

5

Bubba Phillips

3B

.273

6

Dave Philley

OF

.247

7

Jim Rivera

OF

.255

8

Walt Dropo

1B

.266

9

Minnie Minoso

OF

.316

10

Sherm Lollar

C

.293

11

Luis Aparicio

SS

.266

12

Les Moss

C

.244

14

Larry Doby

CF

.268

32

Ron Northey

OF

.354

48

Sam Esposito

3B

.228

15

Bob Keegan

P

5-7

19

Billy Pierce

P

20-9

21

Gerry Staley

P

8-3

22

Dick Donovan

P

12-10

27

Ellis Kinder

P

5-1

29

Jack Harshman

P

15-11

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

games
behind

1956

3

85

69

12

1955

3

91

63

5

1954

3

94

60

17

1953

3

89

65

11½

1952

3

81

7.3

14

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

Pitching

1956

Minoso

.316

Pierce

20-9

1955

Kell

.312

Pierce

15-10

1954

Minoso

.320

Trucks

20-10

1953

Minoso

.313

Pierce

18-12

1952

Fox

.296

Pierce

15-12

home runs

runs batted in

1956

Minoso

21

Doby

102

1955

Dropo

19

Kell

81

1954

Minoso

19

Minoso

116

1953

Minoso

15

Minoso

104

1952

Robinson

22

Robinson

104