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BOSTON RED 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

BOSTON RED SOX

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

THE MANAGEMENT
Hall of Fame Shortstop Joe Cronin runs Millionaire Owner Tom Yawkey's club, takes criticism of impatient Boston fans quietly and without complaint. Manager Mike Higgins, a big, quiet Texan who once played a mighty fine third base for Red Sox, also shrugs off critical barbs, handles his sometimes irritating team with an almost saintly patience. Dave Ferriss is one of best pitching coaches in game. Veteran Del Baker coaches first, Jack Burns third. Paul Schreiber is batting practice pitcher.

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

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S RED SOX

STRONG POINTS
Most valuable player on Red Sox is Ted Williams, though-some critics (see page 101) insist that the slow, weak-fielding, individualistic Williams is a drawback to Sox chances of success. Williams is still a magnificent hitter, and his presence in batting order for even half a season is definite plus factor for Red Sox. Jimmy Piersall and Jackie Jensen, regulars, and Substitutes Gene Stephens, Faye Throneberry and possibly Rookie Marty Keough round out one of best outfields in baseball. Piersall's marvelous fielding is something to see: he is The Pitcher's Friend. The three outfield subs are indicative of Boston's remarkable depth in reserves. Red Sox catching, which had been deteriorating along with Sammy White's batting average, was strengthened last year by the maturing Pete Daley and will be strengthened further this season by presence of Haywood Sullivan, 6-foot 4-inch rookie. Tom Brewer (19-9) and Frank Sullivan (14-7) are two topflight starting pitchers, and Ike Delock (13-7) is a tower of strength in relief. All things considered, however, a big, hard-working Pennsylvania Dutchman named Dick Gernert, who hit .291 as part-time player last year, could turn out to be big man for the Sox this season, whether he plays at first base, at third base or as an alternate for Williams in left field.

WEAK SPOTS
Pitching is limited. There is no real left-handed strength; starters behind Brewer and Sullivan are either erratic or inexperienced; and Delock is almost alone in bullpen. Real danger spot (and possible reason for shaky pitching) is the infield, which has been nagging pain in Boston's back since decline of Johnny Pesky and Vern Stephens and retirement of superb Bobby Doerr. Sox have had different men at shortstop for seven consecutive opening days (Stephens, 1950; Boudreau, 1951; Piersall, 1952; Boiling, 1953; Lepcio, 1954; Joost, 1955; Buddin, 1956), and it is all but certain there'll be eighth (Billy Klaus or the 22-year-old bonus baby, Billy Consolo) this year now that Don Buddin is in service. Klaus, who sparked 1955 team in their thrilling midseason drive up through the standings, was shifted to third base last year. Despite mess at short, infield is weakest at second, most often in recent years the property of versatile Billy Goodman, a skilled if not powerful hitter but inadequate fielder for so vital a position.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
Haywood Sullivan, the big catcher, was one of best-looking rookies in Florida. Brooklyn-born Ken Aspromonte came along fast in training to give Klaus and Consolo a battle for the open shortstop post, lost out by narrow margin, could be recalled if he is needed. Peppery, hustling Gene Mauch, 31-year-old "rookie," first appeared in majors in 1944 and has had chances with five different National League clubs. Despite brilliant minor league performances, Mauch has never quite made it, but hopes for solving Boston's gnawing second-base problem rest largely on his shoulders.

THE BIG IFS
Shortstop and second base, the secondary pitching, and Ted Williams' general state of health are all question marks. If Mauch can give Boston skilled performance at second, and Billy Klaus or Billy Consolo can do same at short, all they'll have to do is hit just a little better than their weight to give Sox big lift, for tight fielding around the middle of the infield could cause considerable improvement in performances of second-line pitchers. As for Williams, a repeat of last year's performance would be most satisfactory.

OUTLOOK
Because Red Sox, led by Williams and Jensen, always score enough runs, anticipated improvement in their defense (and consequent decline in opponents' runs) should turn Boston into solid contender this year. This is best-balanced team in league after Yankees, with good bench and crew of potentially great young players who have been itching for a chance to get into the ball game. Let one sparkplug—like, say, Gene Mauch—set them off and they may suddenly explode into genius and become the team New England prays for.

SPECTATOR'S GUIDE

Oddly shaped but most attractive, this is great park in which to view game. It is hard to find really bad seat in the rambling one-level stands. Sun blisters bleachers in center and right fields, but in "wet-cold" Boston this can often be comforting. To discover why Ted Williams spits at the fans, sit in section along the left-field line and listen to the more pungent comments. Special "skyline" boxes wing out from either side of rooftop press box.

Ushers are plentiful, courteous and helpful, and may not accept tips. The 18 refreshment stands are easily accessible from most seats for a quick snack. Frankfurters and beer are staples, plus "tonic" (New England talk for soda pop). Some local fans complain about special out-of-town or out-of-state parties who, proper Bostonians say, tend to overenjoy themselves to the discomfort of others.

Subway from nearby Kenmore Square station connects with all parts of Greater Boston, as well as to all New England via railroad, bus or airplane. It's easy to drive to Fenway area anal there's supposed to be parking space for 8,500 cars in vicinity, but don't rely on it; parking ranges from 25¢ to $1. Leaving park area after game can be difficult. Taxis are comparatively few, and if it is day game, downtown working crowd heading for home invariably clogs way.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOSAMMY WHITEPHOTOMICKEY VERNONPHOTOJIMMY PIERSALLPHOTOTED LEPCIOPHOTOFRONT OFFICE: Joe CroninPHOTOMANAGER: Mike HigginsPHOTOTOM BREWERPHOTOIKE DELOCKPHOTOTED WILLIAMSPHOTOBILLY GODMANPHOTOJACKIE JENSENPHOTOFRANK SULLIVANPHOTODICK GERNERTPHOTOBILLY KLAUSILLUSTRATIONILLUSTRATIONFENWAY PARK
Capacity 34,819
Ticket information: COpley 7-2525
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BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1956 record

3

Norm Zauchin

1B

.214

4

Jackie Jensen

RF

.315

6

Mickey Vernon

1B

.310

7

Billy Consolo

IF

.182

8

Pete Daley

C

.267

9

Ted Williams

LF

.345

10

Billy Goodman

2B

.293

12

Ted Lepcio

IF

.261

22

Sammy White

C

.245

25

Dick Gernert

OF-IF

.291

35

Billy Klaus

SS

.271

37

Jimmy Piersall

CF

.293

38

Gene Stephens

OF

.270

14

Ike Delock

P

13-7

15

Willard Nixon

P

9-8

17

Mel Parnell

P

7-6

18

Frank Sullivan

P

14-7

20

Bob Porterfield

P

3-12

23

Tom Brewer

P

19-9

39

Dave Sisler

P

9-8

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

games behind

1956

4

84

70

13

1955

4

84

70

12

1954

4

69

85

42

1953

4

84

69

16

1952

6

76

78

19

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1956

Williams

.345

Brewer

19-9

1955

Williams

.356

Sullivan

18-13

1954

Williams

.345

Sullivan

15-12

1953

Goodman

.313

Parnell

21-8

1952

Goodman

.306

McD'ott

10-9

home runs

runs batted in

1956

Williams

24

Jensen

97

1955

Williams

28

Jensen

116

1954

Williams

29

Jensen

117

1953

Gernert

21

Gernert

71

1952

Gernert

19

Gernert

67