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CHICAGO CUBS

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 CUBS

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

THE MANAGEMENT
New Vice-President-Treasurer John Holland and new Manager Bob Scheffing combined to bring a pennant to Los Angeles last year. Holland, veteran of Cubs' minor league organization, will try to get the horses for Scheffing, a former major league catcher, to direct on field. Both are calm, relaxed individuals who can get tough when the occasion arises. Coaches are also new. Fred Fitzsimmons will handle pitchers and first base, George Myatt directs third-base traffic, and Ray Mueller oversees bullpen.

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

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S CUBS

STRONG POINTS
Cubs are loaded in the middle of their infield. In Ernie Banks they have skilled fielder and most powerful hitting shortstop in majors. Only reason that smooth-fielding Second Baseman Gene Baker might not team with Banks again is that he may be more valuable to club at third. Development of Rookie Casey Wise at second gives Manager Scheffing this pleasant option. Wise has shown he can make all the plays and fits in nicely as double-play partner with Banks. In reserve is outstanding bonus shortstop, Jerry Kindall. Catching, very weak last year, is stronger with addition of Charlie Silvera, longtime sub for Yogi Berra, and Ray Katt, a competent veteran. Team is set in right field where husky ex-Dodger Walt Moryn made strong showing last year with a .285 batting average and 23 home runs. Pitching staff is young and could be surprisingly good. Veteran Bob Rush is mainstay, ably backed by ex-Cardinal Tom Poholsky, Fast Baller Don Kaiser, Starter-Reliever Jim Brosnan and bonus sensation of last year, Moe Drabowsky. Turk Lown (nine wins, 16 saves last year), Sophomore Vito Valentinetti and diminutive lefty Jackie Collum form strong bullpen.

WEAK SPOTS
Outfield, except for Moryn, was weak last year. This year it is in state of flux as Manager Scheffing has tried all sorts of combinations. The most prominent bids have come from members of last year's Los Angeles outfield—Jim Bolger and Bob Speake. Both are young and good defensively but did not show they could hit topflight pitching consistently in previous trials with Cubs. Mix in Jim King, a .249 part-time player last year, and Rookie Bob Will, and you have a questionable major league outfield. At first base Dee Fondy, a .300 hitter his first two years with club, has been bitter disappointment. Unless one of Scheffing's first-base experiments (Bob Speake and Walt Moryn are among them) works, Cubs are stuck with Fondy for another season. On other side of infield, third-baseman Ray Jablonski will lose as many games with his glove as he wins with his bat.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
Brightest young face with Cubs this spring has been rookie Second Baseman Casey Wise. An outstanding fielder who makes double play look easy, he hits sharply to all fields. If only one of the rookie right-handers—Dave Hillman, Bob Anderson and Dick Drott—sticks, the line of good young pitchers coming up in past few seasons will be extended. Ray Jablonski was obtained in winter trade with hope that his once potent bat would add some punch to team. In complete reorganization of catching staff, Charlie Silvera came from Yankees, Ray Katt from Cardinals and Cal Neeman from minors. Couple of more trades added depth to pitching staff when Cubs acquired Tom Poholsky, a control pitcher who has never lived up to his potential, Jackie Collum, only left-hander on staff, and Elmer Singleton, 36-year-old veteran of minor leagues.

THE BIG IFS
Outfield still remains the biggest question mark. If Speake or King or Bolger can hit this time around, team will be strengthened both offensively and defensively. Dee Fondy could ease Ernie Banks's hitting burden considerably and settle first-base situation if he finds his lost batting touch. Having already proved himself in the field, Rookie Casey Wise must still show he can hit major league pitching. If he does, club will have depth in infield. Catching could be strong if some of the Yankee winning ways stuck to Charlie Silvera and nine years in bullpen haven't corroded his unexplored talents.

OUTLOOK
Under direction of new general manager John Holland Cubs made more trades and player shifts than any other club in major leagues this winter, after finishing in last place in 1956. Team is undeniably stronger, most obviously behind home plate, but there are some really glaring weaknesses in the outfield and on both ends of infield. Without the addition of proved talent, it will take more than desire and Ernie Banks to give home-town fans a better finish. Right now it still looks like another dreary summer in last place.

SPECTATOR'S GUIDE

One of prettiest parks in majors, with its vine-covered outfield walls and clean, neat interior. No light towers mar skyline. The dozen or so rest rooms are adequate (unless larger crowds start coming out to the park). Andy Frain ushers are briskly efficient and are never tipped.

Don't drive to game, since there are only four small parking lots (capacity 250 cars) and it costs from $1 to $2. Three types of public transportation are easily available at 20¢ a ride. Best one is Clark Street trolley from the Loop. Stay on to Addison and you're right there (20-25 minutes). There is no problem getting away after a game with so many choices of transportation.

Best place to sit is behind home plate in upper deck. All the spacious box seats are angled toward diamond to eliminate stiff necks, and all are fitted with wide, comfortable chairs. You will get sun for a few innings in lower boxes, but after that only in bleachers. But whole ball park can get uncomfortably hot during Chicago's midsummer days. Something different is a section of left-field grandstand where play-by-play broadcast can be heard while watching game. Ask any usher where it is. Moving ramp will take you to upper deck in right-field stands. It carries 8,000 fans an hour.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOFRONT OFFICE: John HollandPHOTOMANAGER: Bob ScheffingPHOTODEE FONDYPHOTODON KAISERPHOTOERNIE BANKSPHOTOWALT MORYNPHOTOJERRY KINDALLPHOTOMOE DRABOWSKYPHOTOBOB RUSHPHOTOVITO VALENTINETTIPHOTOTOM POHOLSKYPHOTOCHARLIE SILVERAPHOTOGENE BAKERPHOTORAY JABLONSKIILLUSTRATIONWRIGLEY FIELD
Capacity 36,775
Ticket Information: BUckingham 1-5050
1-24
25-49
50-74
75-111
ILLUSTRATION

BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

Position

1956 record

3

Jim Bolger

OF

minors

5

Ray Jablonski

3B

.256

7

Casey Wise

2B

minors

8

Charlie Silvera

C

.222

9

Ray Katt

C

.247

11

Bob Speake

OF-1B

minors

14

Ernie Banks

SS

.297

37

Gene Baker

2B

.258

40

Dee Fondy

1B

.269

43

Walt Moryn

RF

.285

48

Jim King

OF

.249

15

Jackie Collum

P

6-2

17

Bob Rush

P

13-10

26

Moe Drabowsky

P

2-4

29

Tom Poholsky

P

9-14

31

Turk Lown

P

9-8

42

Jim Brosnan

P

5-9

45

Don Kaiser

P

4-9

57

Vito Valen'ti

P

6-4

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

Games behind

1956

8

60

94

33

1955

6

72

81

26

1954

7

64

90

33

1953

7

65

89

40

1952

5

77

77

19½

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1956

Banks

.297

Rush

13-10

1955

Banks

.295

Rush

13-11

1954

Sauer

.288

Rush

13-15

1953

Fondy

.309

Minner

12-15

1952

B'holtz

.325

Hacker

15-9

home runs

runs batted in

1956

Banks

28

Banks

85

1955

Banks

45

Banks

117

1954

Sauer

41

Sauer

103

1953

Jackson

19

Fondy

78

1952

Sauer

37

Sauer

121