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ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

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

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

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

THE MANAGEMENT
Frank Lane talks more, trades more than any general manager in baseball, is often criticized but apparently has first-division habit. Is still seeking first pennant, however, as is Manager Fred Hutchinson, who came to Cardinals last year after career spent in American League as pitcher and manager for Detroit. A driver on the field, he is mild at other times. Coaches are former Cardinal Stars Terry Moore and Walker Cooper, former Cub Manager Stan Hack and Bill Posedel, once with Dodgers, Braves.

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

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S CARDINALS

STRONG POINTS
Exclusive of pitching and center field, starting lineup in many ways is most impressive in league. Stan Musial at first base has had great spring, could be on way to seventh batting championship. Don Blasingame doesn't hit hard but in rookie year reached base 228 times as leadoff man, proved he could handle job at second. Alvin Dark is slower at short but still possesses uncanny knack for playing hitters, retains great competitive instincts capable of firing up entire infield and is still dangerous with bat. Third Baseman Ken Boyer is so big and strong and fast that 1956 record of .306, 26 home runs and 98 runs batted in was almost disappointing. Wally Moon in left is good outfielder, daring base runner and one of best hitters in league; Del Ennis in right supplies power Cards so badly need; Hal Smith, a .282 batsman in rookie year, is one of brightest young catchers around.

WEAK SPOTS
Team lacks proved center fielder who can hit and, in event of Dark's inability to play full season on aging and aching legs, only weak-hitting Rookies Eddie Kasko and Dick Schofield are around to fill in. There is also no real reserve strength outside of half a dozen sluggers with great minor league records who in most cases have failed to demonstrate in previous trials that they can hit major league pitching. But most significant of all is doubt which hangs over pitching staff; unless it really is much better, Cards have gone about as far as they can go. However, there is hope. Big, powerful Herm Wehmeier, righthander whose 12-11 record last year was career best, appears to have found himself and could win 20; Toothpick Sam Jones, whose old pitching pattern featured a strikeout followed by a walk, has changed jerky delivery under eye of Coach Posedel, now shows great increase in control without losing anything off famous curve; Vinegar Bend Mizell is simply too good to be really as bad as he has looked this spring. Other than that, there are the three knuckle bailers who could make opponents' lives miserable: old but steady Murry Dickson, Hoyt Wilhelm, the ex-Giant, and Jim Davis, the ex-Cub. Others who might help are Willard Schmidt, Larry Jackson, Lindy McDaniel and best of the rookies, swift young Tom Cheney and little Bob Mabe.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
Team has almost as many new faces as other kind. Important ones could be Jones, Davis, Wilhelm, Cheney and Mabe among pitchers; Joe Cunningham, a first baseman who looked good with the Cards in '54; Hobie Landrith, who will help Hal Smith with the catching; Long Tom Alston at first and Milt Smith at third. There is another Smith named Bobby Gene who could solve problem in center field. This Smith jumped from Class C, where he hit .370, to Double-A, where he hit .299, to St. Louis, where Hutchinson kept him on B Team for a month and then turned him loose. He looks good. If not, Chuck Harmon, who always hits well in minors, has looked better this spring than in earlier big league tests and could handle job. If not, last year's good-field, no-hit regular, Bobby Del Greco, is on hand.

THE BIG IFS
Biggest question mark, of course, is pitching: can Mizell regain his great speed; is Jones's wildness really cured; is Wehmeier ready to become a big winner? Also: can Moon hit in September, will Boyer continue to improve and what about center field? But if Dark's legs hold out, infield will be tight, attack will be sound and Cards can afford to carry weak stick in center field. Which still leaves the pitching.

OUTLOOK
After 1955 season, Cards were called "best seventh-place team in baseball history." Last year they moved up three notches to fourth, and now that the big weakness, pitching, is ostensibly strengthened, another rise would seem in order; very sharp hitting and good team speed could put them right up among leaders. But the defense, which can be brilliant, sometimes goes to sleep; the power, although adequate with Musial, Boyer and Ennis, is still just a little short. Which means Frank Lane might be wise not to quit trading just yet.

SPECTATOR'S GUIDE

Red and green Busch Stadium, only park in majors to serve draught beer, prides itself on advertising-free fences (except for massive and fascinating Budweiser sign under scoreboard), a large number of really superior rest rooms noted for cleanliness, and top-quality refreshments, which are available at numerous counters or from vendors and which include an excellent relish in help-yourself quantities for grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.

Of 30,305 seats, 21,950 are reserved, 2,041 are lower deck box seats, and only the 2,400 bleacher seats are consistently in sun; to some, equipped with sun-tan lotion, this is part of the charm. Best seats are loge-box area ($3) on second deck, which lures carriage trade; worst are extreme left-and right-field areas of grandstand, both levels, which are usually left empty. Ushers are reminded courtesy is a virtue but sometimes forget; tips are nonregulation but help, particularly steady customers, who are frequently rewarded with soft cushions.

Park easily accessible from downtown by regular or special bus in 25 minutes; most traffic, however, comes from suburbs, which may require drive of as much as an hour. Free-lance parking lots (including bootleg backyard areas) can handle up to 5,000 cars, usually charge about 75¢. Special police help clear park in 30 minutes even on capacity days. An item to notice: park has longest player dugouts in either league.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOWALLY MOONPHOTOMURRY DICKSONPHOTOSTAN MUSIALPHOTODON BLASINGAMEPHOTOFRONT OFFICE: Frank LanePHOTOMANAGER: Fred HutchinsonPHOTOKEN BOYERPHOTOHAL SMITHPHOTOALVIN DARKPHOTOHERM WEHMEIERPHOTODEL ENNISPHOTOHOYT WILHELMPHOTOSAM JONESPHOTOWILMER MIZELLILLUSTRATIONILLUSTRATIONBUSCH STADIUM
Capacity 30,500
Ticket information: JEfferson 5-7400
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A
B
C
D
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H
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BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1956
record

3

Don Blasingame

2B

.261

6

Stan Musial

1B

.310

7

Del Ennis

RF

.260

9

Bobby Del Greco

CF

.214

11

Alvin Dark

SS

.275

14

Ken Boyer

3B

.306

18

Hal Smith

C

.282

20

Wally Moon

LF

.298

27

Chuck Harmon

CF

minors

28

Joe Cunningham

1B-OF

minors

38

Hobie Landrith

C

.221

47

Eddie Kasko

SS

minors

17

Wilmer Mizell

P

14-14

23

Sam Jones

P

9-14

26

Jim Davis

P

5-7

36

Murry Dickson

P

13-11

37

Herm Wehmeier

P

12-11

44

Willard Schmidt

P

6-8

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

games
behind

1956

4

76

78

17

1955

7

68

86

30½

1954

6

72

82

25

1953

3

83

71

22

1952

3

88

66

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

Pitching

1956

Musial

.310

Dickson

13-11

1955

Musial

.319

Arroyo

11-8

1954

Musial

.330

Haddix

18-13

1953

Schndnst

.342

Haddix

20-9

1952

Musial

.336

Staley

17-14

home runs

Runs batted in

1956

Musial

27

Musial

109

1955

Musial

33

Musial

108

1954

Musial

35

Musial

126

1953

Musial

30

Musial

113

1952

Musial

21

Slaughter

101