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ANALYSIS OF TEAM STRENGTH
1B STAN MUSIAL (Cardinals, No. 6). 36, 16th year,14th All-Star (.319 in 47 AB). Season .349. Bats L.
Near farce perpetuated unintentionally by sincereCincinnati fans has, strangely enough, given National League one of finestdefensive infields in All-Star history. The three Reds--Temple, McMillan andHoak--are super glovemen; it may take a cannon to get anything past them. Noone speaks of Stan Musial in the same breath as these three where fieldingexcellence is concerned, but then no one speaks of them in the same breath withMusial when the talk swings to hitting, either. His prowess at the plate hasbeen surpassed only by Williams in recent All-Star Game history and it isbecause of Musial's ability to carry the attack that Alston may be able toleave the other three in for nine full innings. However, if more power isneeded, there is Slugger Eddie Mathews to sub for Hoak and either Johnny Loganor Ernie Banks to outhit McMillan. Gil Hodges, a superior first baseman anddangerous hitter, is available if Musial should tire or move into left field.And Schoendienst--or Don Blasingame, who will replace him if Red fails torecover from a hip injury in time--can adequately relieve Temple.
LF FRANK ROBINSON (Redlegs, No. 20). 21, 2nd year,2nd All-Star (.000 in 2 AB). Season .327. Bats R.
This is an outfield that could be around at All-Startime for years to come. The three starters--tall, strong Frank Robinson, fleet,brilliant Willie Mays and the quiet but dangerous Henry Aaron--have in commonyouth, great power, high batting averages and the type of speed that can beatyou both on the bases and in the field. If there is an imperfection, it isRobinson's arm. Yet despite their shining records, the three right-handers donot hit any harder than Williams, Mantle and Kaline, nor do they run any fasternor throw any harder than the last two. And none has yet proved himself to be aWilliams in an All-Star Game. Alston's reserves--Moon, Cimoli, Bell--are lessimpressive than the usual lineup on the National League bench but, aside frompinch-hitting duties, it probably isn't too important. Mays, Aaron and Robinsonshould go all the way.
ED BAILEY (Redlegs, No. 6). 26, 5th year, 2ndAll-Star (.000 in 3 AB). Season .293. Bats L.
Big, strong, hard-throwing Ed Bailey has moved past adeclining Campanella to become the National League's best catcher. With Berraslumping, he is also perhaps the best in all baseball. With two .300 hitters,Smith and Foiles, to help him out, he gives the National League a bigedge.[Check mark]
Johnny Antonelli (Giants, No. 43). 27, 8th year, 3rdAll-Star (4.50 ERA in 6 IP). Season 6-6. Throws L.
Facing a well-balanced American League team whichtilts neither predominantly to the left nor right at the plate, Alston willwaste little time plotting pitching strategy--although he admits it would benice if his left-handers were having less erratic years. Despite the slightlystronger left-hand-hitting lineup the opposition will present at the beginning,the National League may have to depend most upon right-handers Jack Sanford,the Philadelphia Whiz Kid with the whizzing fast ball; Larry Jackson, theconverted Cardinal relief pitcher; tough, steady Lew Burdette; and Alston's ownrelief ace, Clem Labine. Or the left-handers, if they are right, of course,could steal the show: wise old Warren Spahn; Johnny Antonelli, pitching star ofthe big game a year ago; and Philadelphia's Curt Simmons. The staff has speed,very good stuff and above-average control. But its dependability, at thispoint, would appear to be low.