[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
ANALYSIS OF TEAM STRENGTH
1B VIC WERTZ (Indians, No. 23). 32, 11th year, 4thAll-Star (.200 in 5 AB). Season .305. Bats L.
Starting infield, which must remain in game at leastthree innings, features exceptionally sharp hitting, with accent on skillrather than power. Only Wertz, always a big home-run and RBI threat,consistently hits the long ball. Fox and Kuenn rip singles and doubles to allfields, are hard to fool, run very well. Kell, although now past his prime, issmart and tough to get out. But only Fox is rated a superior fielder; Wertz,Kuenn and Kell all lack range. Stengel, however, is blessed with replacementssuperior to the starters in the field and in some cases capable of hittingbetter, too: Skowron at first, the exceptionally gifted McDougald at third orshort and Malzone at third. The rookie Richardson would be in the same categoryexcept for Fox's all-round brilliance; as it is he will furnish defensiveinsurance, with DeMaestri, on the bench. It is the type of lineup Stengel likesto have, one which affords him the opportunity of maneuvering to meet anysituation. Versatility and superior hitting give American League a very slightedge. [Check mark]
LF TED WILLIAMS (Red Sox, No. 9). 38, 16th year, 13thAll-Star (.361 in 36 AB). Season .362. Bats L.
One of the All-Star Game's great outfields, with itsonly weak ness Williams' defensive deficiencies in left. But when one considersthe terrific speed and range of Mantle and Kaline—and the fact that Williamshas been the most dominant figure in All-Star history—this is a petty point.The three are thunderous hitters; each has won at least one battingchampionship, and they all drive the ball out of the park. In addition, atleast as far as opposing pitchers are concerned, the three are actually four:Williams hitting left, Kaline right and Mantle either way. The reserves rankhigh in run production (Sievers has led the league most of the year) andfurnish pinch-hitting depth. But it is mainly because of Williams and Mantlethat the American League has a slight edge here too. [Check mark]
YOGI BERRA (Yankees, No. 8). 32, 12th year, 10thAll-Star (.222 in 27 AB). Season .226. Bats L.
In a normal year, one would have only to look toBerra and rate American League catching as the best. But for Berra 1957 hashardly been a normal year. His hitting has fallen off badly both in average andrun production and neither Triandos, who hits hard but is slow, nor Howard,whose catching experience is limited, can fill the void. [Right Sign]
Jim Bunning (Tigers, No. 14). 24, 3rd year, 1stAll-Star. Season 8-2. Throws R.
Against a predominantly right-hand-hitting NationalLeague lineup, a manager might be expected to start with the best and mostdependable right-hander on his staff, in this case, the smooth, tireless oldveteran, Early Wynn. But Stengel, who likes surprises, might choose to open upinstead with the biggest surprise of the year, Billy Loes, or the youthfulTiger strikeout whiz, Jim Bunning. However, the real strength of the AmericanLeague staff is left-handed: smart little Bobby Shantz, in the midst of theseason's finest comeback, and the pitcher who has started three of the lastfour All-Star Games, Chicago's brilliant Billy Pierce. Ready for emergenciesare the two relief aces, Grim (right) and Mossi (left). It is a crew with goodspeed, above-average control and a bewildering variety of pitches. It is alsodependable, and rates a solid edge. [Check mark]