FIGURING IT OUT...

The 1956 season under the X-ray
April 15, 1957

Official league statistics do not always reveal the true value of a performance by a ballplayer or a ball club throughout a full season. Other figures (such as those prepared below by Les Woodcock) can interpret the story much more significantly—and show just why a club finished where it did

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EFFECTIVE BATSMEN
Batting averages do not credit a ballplayer with the number of times he gets on base by means other than a base hit. True effectiveness means getting on base—somehow

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Player

Times at plate

Reached base

On base pct.

Williams, Boston

503

241

47.91

Mantle, New York

651

302

46.39

Nieman, Baltimore

521

227

43.57

Minoso, Chicago

661

281

42.51

Maxwell, Detroit

589

244

41.43

Yost, Washington

675

278

41.19

McDougald, New York

511

207

40.51

Jensen, Boston

672

272

40.48

Vernon, Boston

469

189

40.30

Boone, Detroit

566

228

40.28

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Player

Times at plate

Reached base

On base pct.

Snider, Brooklyn

646

258

39.94

Gilliam, Brooklyn

695

277

39.86

Moon, St. Louis

621

242

38.97

Musial, St. Louis

679

262

38.59

Ashburn, Philadelphia

713

274

38.43

Jones, Philadelphia

618

237

38.34

F. Robinson, Cincinnati

660

250

37.88

Mathews, Milwaukee

648

242

37.35

Mays, New York

650

240

36.92

McMillan, Cincinnati

566

207

36.57

EXTRA-BASE POWER
Philadelphia's Stan Lopata had a fair batting average (.267—30th in league) last season. But he was the only player in the major leagues who hit for extra bases more often than he singled

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Player

Hits

Extra-base hits

Pct.

Wertz, Cleveland

127

54

42.52

Mantle, New York

188

79

42.02

Sievers, Washington

139

58

41.73

Lemon, Washington

146

59

40.41

Berra, New York

155

61

39.35

Bauer, New York

130

51

39.23

Williams, Boston

138

54

39.13

Vernon, Boston

125

47

37.60

Doby, Chicago

135

49

36.30

Kaline, Detroit

194

69

35.57

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Player

Hits

Extra-base hits

Pct.

Lopata, Philadelphia

143

72

50.35

Snider, Brooklyn

158

78

49.37

Post, Cincinnati

134

64

47.76

Adcock, Milwaukee

132

62

46.97

Hodges, Brooklyn

146

65

44.52

F. Robinson, Cincinnati

166

71

42.77

Mays, New York

171

71

41.52

Mathews, Milwaukee

150

60

40.00

White, New York

130

52

40.00

Long, Pittsburgh

136

54

39.71

STRIKEOUTS AND HOME RUNS
The concentration by some hitters on the home run leads them to strike out more than they should. Only Ted Kluszewski and Yogi Berra homered more frequently than they fanned

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Player

HR

SO

SO per HR

Berra, New York

30

29

.97

Williams, Boston

24

39

1.63

Boone, Detroit

25

46

1.84

Mantle, New York

52

99

1.90

Kaline, Detroit

27

55

2.04

Maxwell, Detroit

28

74

2:64

Wertz, Cleveland

32

87

2.72

Bauer, New York

26

72

2.77

Sievers, Washington

29

88

3.03

Doby, Chicago

24

105

4.38

Lemon, Washington

27

138

5.11

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Player

HR

SO

SO per HR

Kluszewski, Cincinnati

35

31

.89

Mays, New York

36

65

1.81

Adcock, Milwaukee

38

86

2.26

Bell, Cincinnati

29

66

2.28

Mathews, Milwaukee

37

86

2.32

Snider, Brooklyn

43

101

2.35

F. Robinson, Cincinnati

38

95

2.50

Hodges, Brooklyn

32

91

2.84

Lopata, Philadelphia

32

93

2.91

Post, Cincinnati

36

124

3.44

BASE STEALING
Only the 15 players below stole 10 or more bases last season, and each succeeded in more than half of his attempts. Brooklyn and the Chicago White Sox were the best base-stealing clubs

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Player

Attempts

Steals

Pct.

Mantle, New York

11

10

.909

Aparicio, Chicago

25

21

.840

Avila, Cleveland

21

17

.810

Jensen, Boston

14

11

.786

Rivera, Chicago

29

20

.690

Francona, Baltimore

16

11

.688

Minoso, Chicago

18

12

.667

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Player

Attempts

Steals

Pct.

Ashburn, Philadelphia

11

10

.909

Mays, New York

50

40

.800

Temple, Cincinnati

18

14

.778

Reese, Brooklyn

17

13

.765

J. Robinson, Brooklyn

17

12

.706

Gilliam, Brooklyn

30

21

.700

White, New York

23

15

.652

Moon, St. Louis

21

12

.571

TEAM ON-BASE ABILITY
The Yankees ranked below three other teams in the American League in getting men on base (although a later table will show they scored a higher percentage of runners than anyone else)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Team

Times at plate

Reached base

On base pct.

Boston

6,147

2,225

36.20

Detroit

6,086

2,166

35.59

Chicago

6,036

2,106

34.89

New York

5,993

2,078

34.67

Washington

5,968

2,033

34.07

Cleveland

5,907

1,977

33.47

Baltimore

5,706

1,827

32.02

Kansas City

5,793

1,825

31.50

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Team

Times at plate

Reached base

On base pct.

Brooklyn

5,798

1,981

34.17

Cincinnati

5,913

1,985

33.57

St. Louis

5,945

1,979

33.29

Philadelphia

5,858

1,925

32.86

Milwaukee

5,755

1,856

32.25

Pittsburgh

5,662

1,741

30.75

Chicago

5,765

1,740

30.18

New York

5,650

1,691

29.93

TEAM RUN-SCORING ABILITY
The first thing is to get men on base, but that is only half the story. The table below shows which teams best utilized their opportunities in bringing their runners all the way around

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Team

Runners on base

Runners scored

Pct. scoring

New York

2,078

857

41.24

Chicago

2,106

776

36.85

Detroit

2,166

789

36.43

Cleveland

1,977

712

36.01

Boston

2,225

780

35.06

Kansas City

1,825

619

33.92

Washington

2,033

652

32.07

Baltimore

1,827

571

31.25

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Team

Runners on base

Runners scored

Pct. scoring

Cincinnati

1,985

775

39.04

Milwaukee

1,856

709

38.20

Brooklyn

1,981

720

36.35

Philadelphia

1,925

668

34.70

Chicago

1,740

597

34.31

St. Louis

1,979

678

34.26

Pittsburgh

1,741

588

33.77

New York

1,691

540

31.93

TEAM HOME RUNS
Cincinnati's sluggers made the Redlegs' pitching look good in one respect. They provided the biggest spread between home runs hit and home runs given up of any team in the majors

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Team

HRs hit

Per game average

Opponents' HRs

Per game average

New York

190

1.23

114

.74

Cleveland

153

.99

116

.75

Detroit

150

.97

140

.90

Boston

139

.90

130

.84

Chicago

128

.83

118

.74

Kansas City

112

.73

187

1.21

Washington

112

.72

171

1.10

Baltimore

91

.59

99

.64

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Team

HRs hit

Per game average

Opponents' HRs

Per game average

Cincinnati

221

1.43

141

.91

Brooklyn

179

1.16

171

1.11

Milwaukee

177

1.14

133

.86

New York

145

.94

144

.94

Chicago

142

.90

161

1.03

St. Louis

124

.79

155

.99

Philadelphia

121

.79

172

1.12

Pittsburgh

110

.70

142

.90

TEAM EXTRA-BASE POWER
Surprisingly enough, the Redlegs did not have the best extra-base percentage in baseball. An even greater surprise is to see the last-place Chicago Cubs ranking fourth best in the majors

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Team

Hits

Extra-base hits

Pct.

New York

1,433

438

30.57

Boston

1,473

445

30.21

Cleveland

1,256

375

29.86

Washington

1,302

372

28.57

Chicago

1,412

389

27.55

Detroit

1,494

409

27.38

Kansas City

1,325

357

26.94

Baltimore

1,242

323

26.01

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Team

Hits

Extra-base hits

Pct.

Milwaukee

1,350

443

32.81

Brooklyn

1,315

427

32.47

Cincinnati

1,406

454

32.29

Chicago

1,281

394

30.76

New York

1,268

382

30.13

Philadelphia

1,313

377

28.71

St. Louis

1,443

407

28.21

Pittsburgh

1,340

366

27.31

EFFECTIVE TEAM PITCHING
The Indians, Orioles Giants and Cubs batted lowest in the majors (.244). The Indians finished in second place because their pitchers held the opposition to an even lower batting average

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Team

Opponents' at bats

Opponents' hits

Opponents' BA

Cleveland

5,179

1,233

.238

New York

5,165

1,285

.249

Boston

5,334

1,354

.254

Chicago

5,296

1,351

.255

Baltimore

5,170

1,362

.263

Detroit

5,254

1,389

.264

Kansas City

5,247

1,424

.271

Washington

5,362

1,539

.287

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Team

Opponents' at bats

Opponents' hits

Opponents' BA

Brooklyn

5,123

1,251

.244

Milwaukee

5,243

1,295

.247

New York

5,152

1,287

.250

Chicago

5,248

1,325

.252

St. Louis

5,217

1,339

.257

Cincinnati

5,297

1,406

.265

Philadelphia

5,299

1,407

.266

Pittsburgh

5,270

1,406

.267

TEAM RUN PREVENTION
The defense of the Yankees, Indians and Braves was by far the sharpest in the major leagues. Less than one out of every three batter reaching first base against them was able to score

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Team

Opponents' on base

Opponents' runs scored

Pct. of opp. scoring

Cleveland

1,827

581

31.80

New York

1,975

631

31.95

Chicago

1,901

634

33.36

Detroit

2,088

699

33.48

Boston

2,066

751

36.35

Baltimore

1,933

705

36.47

Kansas City

2,145

831

38.74

Washington

2,302

924

40.14

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Team

Opponents' on base

Opponents' runs scored

Pct. of opp. scoring

Milwaukee

1,783

569

31.91

Pittsburgh

1,895

653

34.46

Cincinnati

1,892

658

34.78

New York

1,868

650

34.80

Brooklyn

1,713

601

35.08

Chicago

1,971

708

35.92

St. Louis

1,903

698

36.68

Philadelphia

1,873

738

39.40

TEAM STRIKEOUT EFFICIENCY
The Indians' and Dodgers' pitchers struck out the most batters in their respective leagues. Surprisingly, the Braves' pitching staff struck out the fewest number in the National League

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Team

Opponents' at plate

Opponents' strikeouts

Pct.

Cleveland

5,888

845

14.35

Detroit

6,087

788

12.95

New York

5,940

732

12.32

Baltimore

5,877

715

12.17

Chicago

5,948

722

12.14

Boston

6,151

712

11.58

Washington

6,263

663

10.59

Kansas City

6,083

636

10.46

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Team

Opponents' at plate

Opponents' strikeouts

Pct.

Brooklyn

5,684

772

13.58

New York

5,880

765

13.01

Philadelphia

5,890

750

12.73

Chicago

6,015

744

12.37

St. Louis

5,909

709

12.00

Pittsburgh

5,891

662

11.24

Cincinnati

5,907

653

11.05

Milwaukee

5,823

639

10.97

ECONOMIC PITCHING
It's tough to get on against Whitey Ford; it's even tougher to score a run against him

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitcher

Opponents on base

Earned runs scored

Pct. scoring

Ford, New York

275

62

22.55

Score, Cleveland

293

70

23.89

Lary, Detroit

417

103

24.70

Wynn, Cleveland

329

84

25.53

Lemon, Cleveland

325

86

26.46

Sullivan, Boston

343

92

26.82

Harshman, Chicago

288

78

27.08

Larsen, New York

236

65

27.54

Pierce, Chicago

364

102

28.02

Wight, Baltimore

276

78

28.26

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher

Opponents on base

Earned runs scored

Pct. scoring

Conley, Milwaukee

223

55

24.66

Burdette, Milwaukee

289

77

26.64

Buhl, Milwaukee

297

80

26.94

Antonelli, New York

303

82

27.06

Kline, Pittsburgh

349

99

28.37

Spahn, Milwaukee

304

87

28.62

Nuxhall, Cincinnati

289

83

28.72

Maglie, Brooklyn

211

61

28.91

Simmons, Philadelphia

254

74

29.13

Jeffcoat, Cincinnati

249

73

29.32

FEWEST BATTERS PUT ON BASE
On an average, Don Newcombe allowed only one man per inning to reach base

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitcher

Average per game

Score, Cleveland

10.59

Donovan, Chicago

10.61

Wynn, Cleveland

10.65

Sturdivant, New York

10.82

Ford, New York

10.95

Johnson, Baltimore

11.30

Harshman, Chicago

11.42

Lemon, Cleveland

11.47

Brewer, Boston

11.69

Larsen, New York

11.80

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher

Average per game

Newcombe, Brooklyn

9.00

Spahn, Milwaukee

9.74

Maglie, Brooklyn

9.94

Burdette, Milwaukee

10.16

Rush, Chicago

10.16

Antonelli, New York

10.57

Dickson, St. Louis

10.89

Roberts, Philadelphia

11.21

Friend, Pittsburgh

11.38

Fowler, Cincinnati

11.43

FEWEST WALKS GIVEN UP
Despite Robin Roberts' subpar year, he allowed fewest walks per game in the majors

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Pitcher

Average per game

Stobbs, Washington

2.03

Donovan, Chicago

2.26

Kucks, New York

2.89

Wynn, Cleveland

2.95

Sturdivant, New York

2.96

Sullivan, Boston

3.05

Lemon, Cleveland

3.14

Johnson, Baltimore

3.17

Pierce, Chicago

3.26

Ford, New York

3.35

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitcher

Average per game

Roberts, Philadelphia

1.21

Newcombe, Brooklyn

1.54

Spahn, Milwaukee

1.67

Fowler, Cincinnati

1.77

Burdette, Milwaukee

1.83

Poholsky, St. Louis

1.95

Rush, Chicago

2.21

Law, Pittsburgh

2.25

Crone, Milwaukee

2.33

Hacker, Chicago

2.36

WHAT THEY EARN
Of 400 major league ball players, 34 make more than an estimated $30,000 a year

Salary

No. of players

$90,000-100,000

1

$80,000- 89,000

1

$70,000- 79,000

0

$60,000- 69,000

2

$50,000-59,000

2

$40,000-49,000

7

$30,000-39,000

21

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)