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WASHINGTON SENATORS

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

WASHINGTON SENATORS

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

THE MANAGEMENT
Calvin Griffith inherited the Senators from Clark Griffith, the "Old Fox," one of the shrewdest men in baseball history. Cal's shown a lot of energy since taking over but he hasn't had much luck. His manager, the loquacious Charley Dressen, is vastly experienced in baseball (managed Cincinnati and Brooklyn, latter to two pennants). Charley's coaches include Old Dodger Cookie Lavagetto and tough Ellis Clary. Boom-Boom Beck helps Dressen with the pitching staff.

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

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S SENATORS

STRONG POINTS
Senators have two low-average but powerful sluggers in Roy Sievers and Jim Lemon, and it's a good thing they do. They also have steady hitter in cheerful Pete Runnels, a versatile ballplayer who shifted around infield and finally ended up as first baseman. There's Veteran Eddie Yost at third, who has uncanny ability for making pitchers walk him, despite his .231 average; three fairly good catchers in Lou Berberet, Clint Courtney, Ed Fitzgerald; one superb starting pitcher, name of Chuck Stobbs, and one good relief pitcher, name of Bud Byerly.

WEAK SPOTS
Poor fielding and awful pitching. If it weren't for Stobbs (15-15, 3.60 earned run average) and Byerly (2.94 earned run average), Washington pitching staff would have established all sorts of records for absolute futility. Dressen prides himself on ability as instructor of pitching, but performance of Washington hurlers is not good testimonial, to put it mildly. Even when fine work turned in by Stobbs and Byerly is included in statistics, Senators' pitching staff had combined earned run average of 5.33 per game, which is almost unbelievably bad. Senator pitchers gave more bases on balls than anybody else, more home runs than any staff except Baltimore's (despite spaciousness of Griffith Stadium playing area), made more wild pitches and more balks. They were even softest touch in league for run-scoring sacrifice flies. Part of blame for this aromatic record could be attributed to fielding. Neither Lemon nor Sievers is first-class outfielder, Runnels is not first baseman by trade, Yost is slowing up some at third. Shortstop and second were passed back and forth among half dozen aspirants last year, and that fluid situation was never really solidified, though Jerry Snyder and Herb Plews were about best to appear at short and second. The trouble is, Senators have no one who makes the big pitcher-saving play.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
Most of young players on this squad have been up and down a few times between parent club and minor leagues. Lyle Luttrell and Jose Valdivielso, for example, have both played long stretches at short with Washington. Both have looked brilliant at times, awful at other times. Outfielders Carlos Paula, who hits hard but who doesn't seem too interested in baseball, and Dick Tettelbach, who cares very much but who doesn't hit hard, were in camp for another look. Outfielder Neil Chrisley is genuine rookie, and hopes are high he'll repeat with Washington good year he had with Louisville. Management also fondly hopes that some of young pitchers (Abernathy, Brodowski, Clevenger, Hyde, Wiesler, for example) will do something to improve mound situation. Bonus Player Jerry Schoonmaker, who played on U.S. baseball team in 1955 Pan-American Games, is hope for future.

THE BIG IFS
It seems reasonable to assume that established players such as Lemon, Sievers, Yost, Runnels, Stobbs, Byerly and the three catchers will do about as well this season as they did last. This is cheering, but not cheering enough because both Kansas City and Baltimore, Washington's immediate rivals, seem considerably improved over last season. In order for Senators to stay with Athletics and Orioles, pitching (which in Washington is spelled I-F) absolutely must get better. Pedro Ramos and Camilo Pascual, two Cuban right-handers who have endeared themselves to Dressen, are being counted on very heavily. Last year Ramos gave up 5.27 runs per game, Pascual 5.86. The Senators have reasonably fair hitting, but they're not a six-run-per-game team by long shot. Q.E.D.: Ramos and Pascual had best improve. Then, too, young pitchers must take up more of slack.

OUTLOOK
Two years ago, as he began his first season as manager of Senators, Dressen talked so optimistically about potential his sharp eyes had spotted in his young players that he conned at least one New York baseball writer into picking Senators to finish well up in first division. The Senators finished last, the writer's enthusiasm vanished, and so did Charley's. This season Dressen is working just as hard, but the scales seem to have dropped from his eyes. No longer does Dressen feel bullish about his boys. On paper club is not improved. Prospect: eighth place.

SPECTATOR'S GUIDE

There are only 29,023 seats to choose from, but due to the Senators' decade in the second division, fans are few and good seats plentiful. So buy a ticket and take your pick: you'll enjoy a fine view of the game.

Griffith Stadium is an old and fairly obsolescent park, but it is well cared for and never wanting for fresh paint. Broken seats are promptly repaired. Ushers are courteous, accept tips but do not demand them. The concessions, operated by the Washington ball club, serve best quality hot dogs but slip in soft-drink department by loading paper cups with shaved ice. Because of District of Columbia liquor regulations, beer is sold only in first few rows of left-field bleachers, aptly called "the beer garden." A 1957 innovation and one all big league clubs should imitate: a 28-page yearbook-program for 15¢ replacing old-fashioned scorecard.

Stadium is located close to center of Washington at 7th St. and Florida Ave., N.W. Although only a mile from the main hotel district, a stranger will need radar if he is driving, what with confusions of Washington traffic patterns. There is room for 1,800 cars in small lot. And since parking space is limited, best way to stadium is by bus (five lines) for a quarter or by cab for 60¢. If you insist on driving, you'll have one consolation: there is hardly ever any real traffic problem after games, due again to the understandable scarcity of Senator rooters.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOFRONT OFFICE: Cal GriffithPHOTOMANAGER: Charley DressenPHOTOEDDIE YOSTPHOTOCLINT COURTNEYPHOTOCAMILO PASCUALPHOTOCHUCK STOBBSPHOTOHERB PLEWSPHOTOPEDRO RAMOSPHOTOPETE RUNNELSPHOTOJERRY SNYDERPHOTOROY SIEVERSPHOTOKARL OLSONPHOTOLOU BERBERETPHOTOJIM LEMONILLUSTRATIONGRIFFITH STADIUM
Capacity 29,023
Ticket information: NOrth 7-4936
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
49-28
27-23
22-1
ILLUSTRATION

BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

poisition

1956
record

1

Eddie Yost

3B

.231

2

Roy Sievers

LF

.253

3

Karl Olson

OF

.246

5

Pete Runnels

1B

.310

6

Jerry Snyder

SS

.270

8

Ed Fitzgerald

C

.304

9

Lou Berberet

C

.261

14

Clint Courtney

C

.300

19

Jerry Schoonmaker

IF

.253

22

Jose Valdivielso

SS

.236

23

Jim Lemon

RF

.271

25

Herb Plews

2B

.270

30

Whitey Herzog

IF

.245

11

Bud Byerly

P

2-4

16

Bob Chakales

P

4-4

18

Chuck Stobbs

P

15-15

21

Bob Wiesler

P

3-12

26

Dean Stone

P

5-7

27

Camilo Pascual

P

6-18

28

Pedro Ramos

P

12-10

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

games
behind

1956

7

59

95

38

1955

8

53

101

43

1954

6

66

88

45

1953

5

76

76

23½

1952

5

78

76

17

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1956

Runnels

.310

Stobbs

15-15

1955

Vernon

.301

McD't

10-10

1954

Busby

.298

Schmitz

11-8

1953

Vernon

.337

P'trf'd

22-10

1952

Runnels

.285

Shea

11-7

home runs

runs batted in

1956

Sievers

29

Lemon

96

1955

Sievers

25

Sievers

106

1954

Sievers

24

Sievers

102

1953

Vernon

15

Vernon

115

1952

Yost

12

Jensen

82