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NATIONAL LEAGUE

July 08, 1957
July 08, 1957

Table of Contents
July 8, 1957

Baseball X-Ray
Acknowledgments
All Star
All-Star
Events & Discoveries
Joy of Donkeys
Tip From The Top
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

NATIONAL LEAGUE

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

This is an article from the July 8, 1957 issue Original Layout

 

PLAYER ROSTER

ANALYSIS OF TEAM STRENGTH

INFIELDERS

1B STAN MUSIAL (Cardinals, No. 6). 36, 16th year,14th All-Star (.319 in 47 AB). Season .349. Bats L.
2B JOHNNY TEMPLE (Redlegs, No. 16). 27, 6th year, 2nd All-Star (.500 in 4 AB).Season .285. Bats R.
SS ROY McMILLAN (Redlegs, No. 11). 26, 7th year, 2nd All-Star (.667 in 3 AB).Season .243. Bats R.
3B DON HOAK (Redlegs, No. 12). 29, 4th year, 1st All-Star. Season .286. BatsR.
1B Gil Hodges (Dodgers, No. 14). 33, 11th year, 8th All-Star (.364 in 11 AB).Season .331. Bats R.
2B Red Schoendienst (Braves, No. 4). 34, 13th year, 10th All-Star (.211 in 19AB). Season .307. Bats L-R.
SS Johnny Logan (Braves, No. 23). 30, 7th year, 2nd All-Star (.333 in 3 AB).Season .261. Bats R.
3B Ed Mathews (Braves, No. 41). 25, 6th year, 4th All-Star (.000 in 5 AB).Season .302. Bats L.
3B Ernie Banks (Cubs, No. 14). 26, 5th year, 3rd All-Star (.000 in 2 AB).Season .259. Bats R.

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.

OUTFIELDERS

LF FRANK ROBINSON (Redlegs, No. 20). 21, 2nd year,2nd All-Star (.000 in 2 AB). Season .327. Bats R.
CF WILLIE MAYS (Giants, No. 24). 26, 6th year, 4th All-Star (.500 in 8 AB).Season .322. Bats R.
RF HENRY AARON (Braves, No. 44). 23, 4th year, 3rd All-Star (.667 in 3 AB).Season .340. Bats R.
LF Wally Moon (Cardinals, No. 20). 27, 4th year, 1st All-Star. Season .266.Bats L.
CF Gus Bell (Redlegs, No. 25). 28, 8th year, 4th All-Star (.200 in 5 AB).Season .285. Bats L.
RF Gino Cimoli (Dodgers, No. 9). 27, 2nd year, 1st All-Star. Season .324. BatsR.

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.

CATCHERS

ED BAILEY (Redlegs, No. 6). 26, 5th year, 2ndAll-Star (.000 in 3 AB). Season .293. Bats L.
Hal Smith (Cardinals, No. 18). 26, 2nd year, 1st All-Star. Season .305. BatsR.
Hank Foiles (Pirates, No. 38). 28, 3rd year, 1st All-Star. Season .313. BatsR.

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]

PITCHERS

Johnny Antonelli (Giants, No. 43). 27, 8th year, 3rdAll-Star (4.50 ERA in 6 IP). Season 6-6. Throws L.
Lew Burdette (Braves, No. 33). 30, 6th year, 1st All-Star. Season 5-5. ThrowsR.
Larry Jackson (Cardinals, No. 39). 26, 3rd year, 1st All-Star. Season 9-4.Throws R.
Clem Labine (Dodgers, No. 41). 30, 7th year, 2nd All-Star. Season 3-4. ThrowsR.
Jack Sanford (Phillies, No. 39). 27, 1st year, 1st All-Star. Season 9-2. ThrowsR.
Curt Simmons (Phillies, No. 28). 28, 9th year, 3rd All-Star (0.00 ERA in 5 IP).Season 7-4. Throws L.
Warren Spahn (Braves, No. 21). 36, 13th year, 9th All-Star (4.50 ERA in 8 IP).Season 8-5. 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.

SUM UP
Should the National League get off to a quick lead, it will be doubly hard tocatch; it is then that Alston can stick with his weaker-hitting but magicaldefensive infield all the way. Superior team speed represents a markedadvantage not only in the field but helps the attack, too. Mays, Hoak, Temple,Moon and Robinson are base runners capable of opening up another club'sdefense, forcing it into errors and keeping the pressure on. But the hitting ofthe starting lineup, despite Musial and the outfield, has to give somethingaway and Alston cannot quite match Stengel in second-line punch, either. Withseveral of the pitchers operating at something below peak efficiency--and withothers like Newcombe and Roberts not even around--it is doubtful that the staffis capable of holding the line. Too much of the load, for an All-Star Game, mayhave to be carried by the defense.