Search

MILWAUKEE BRAVES

April 14, 1958
April 14, 1958

Table of Contents
April 14, 1958

Acknowledgments
Baseball '58
  • East and West will clash in a season made exciting by new cities, fans, faces and champions. All this, and a whale of a pennant race—or two

  • The Braves have finally won their pennant and they should be even better this year. The pitching is superb and very deep, the power unmatched in either league, the catching solid and the defense is at least adequate. The Braves are both good and young—and they are going to be hard to catch

  • Here is a ball club with leadership and spirit, a great hitter, a tight infield, good run production—and the memory of how tough they made it on the Braves last year. There are weaknesses, but if the fine young pitching staff produces with real consistency, the Cardinals could go all the way

  • Here are your Dodgers, Los Angeles. Once they were magnificent, but now they are playing on a memory. They have lost the flash of Robinson on the base paths, the boom of Campanella's bat. Applaud them anyway and perhaps in time they will reward you with a pennant. But not for a while

  • Speed, power, catching and a sharp defense can carry a club a long way—or just as far as the pitching will allow. The Reds have made some trades and they have some new pitchers who should produce. With a little help from the old ones, this is a team that could win a pennant

  • Philadelphians have known dark days. Between the two wars, the Phillies finished in last place 16 times. Then in 1950, after 35 years of ridicule, the Phillies won a pennant. Happy days, it seemed, had come at last. But they have not come close since, and fans are wondering if they must wait another 35 years

  • The Giants arrive at the Pacific brimming with hope. A new era demands a new team, and with smart looking rookies augmenting the wonderful reality of Willie Mays, the Giants believe they might have that new team. The question marks are many, however, and time, as they say, will tell

  • People tend to mock the Cubs. In Chicago the newspapermen like to call them the Cubbies, to demonstrate how ineffectual they are. Possibly it's true. Possibly the Cubs this year are just as bad as ever. But do not forget that there are some very fine ballplayers on this otherwise weak team

  • The Pirates were supposed to start their climb last year—and didn't. Now, a year wiser, they realize that half a dozen fine young players can't do it alone. But if Kluszewski can only deliver those big hits and the pitching staff somehow comes around...well, 1958 could be different

  • It is a new year but the Yankees of '58 are an old story. As in the past, they have power, pride and the winning habit. Some critics may argue that this team is not to be compared with the great Yankee teams of '27 or '36, but what does it really matter? They are good enough to win...and easily

  • Without a home run hitter worthy of the name, the White Sox are all set to make their annual run at the Yankees—and the elusive pennant. If they succeed, it will be because they can pitch and run and field much better than anyone else. They still can't hit the baseball out of the park

  • No one has spent more money for more disappointment than the owner of the Red Sox, Tom Yawkey. Ten years ago he had the team everyone wanted: Williams, Doerr, Stephens, Pesky and DiMaggio. But it won no pennant. Now all that remains is Williams. But for some, that is enough

  • Everybody's glamour club last spring and a bitter disappointment in the summer, the Tigers don't intend to be either this year. They think they can win and, who knows, they might—if the Yankees were in another league. At least, they should be closer at the finish this season

  • People have just about forgotten that the Baltimore Orioles used to be the St. Louis Browns, so far up the ladder of respectability have the Orioles climbed. They finished within a half game of the first division last season, and they have hopes of reaching that promised land this year

  • Last season was disastrous for the Indians. Herb Score was hit in the eye, Bob Lemon hurt his arm, the pitching fell apart, and after 10 years in the first division they collapsed into sixth place. Now, with a new manager and a new general manager, the Indians start the long road back

  • Once Lou Boudreau left the scene last season and Harry Craft succeeded him, Kansas City started to play more spirited ball. But the final result was about the same since there isn't that much difference between last and seventh places. By now, Cowtown fans must be resigned to what they have

  • Summers are generally long in Washington. This year should prove no exception as far as the Senators are concerned. Charley Dressen tired of the team last year, and now it's up to Cookie Lavagetto to inspire it for another long summer. But inspiration is a weak substitute for talented young baseball players

  • Three baseball-loving artists put their palettes together and whipped up a brand-new baseball game. It's fun and as easy to play as choosing sides

  • By Robert Boyle

    Chicago's seldom-interviewed boss, Phil Wrigley, wants everybody to have a good time at Cubs Park. And everybody does—except the Cubs and Wrigley himself

MILWAUKEE BRAVES

The Braves have finally won their pennant and they should be even better this year. The pitching is superb and very deep, the power unmatched in either league, the catching solid and the defense is at least adequate. The Braves are both good and young—and they are going to be hard to catch

THE MANAGER

This is an article from the April 14, 1958 issue Original Layout

A year ago Fred Haney (2) was in trouble; his ball club, which should have won the 1956 pennant, didn't. Today the tough little Irishman is sitting on top of the world, manager of the National League champions and conqueror of the mighty Yankees. Haney managed two perennial cellar teams, the Browns and the Pirates, before taking over the Braves in midseason of 1956 as replacement for Charlie Grimm. His all-new staff includes Billy Herman (8), once a great second baseman, who came from the Dodgers to coach at third; John Fitzpatrick (3), who rejoins Haney after an absence of two years, at first; and Whitlow Wyatt (31), the pitching coach who worked wonders with the Phillies.

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S BRAVES

STRONG POINTS: Two years ago the power teams of baseball were the Redlegs, the Dodgers and the Yankees. Today it is Milwaukee. Last year, with Joe Adcock out more than half the season and Wes Covington not even a regular until July, the Braves led both leagues in home runs. Henry Aaron, the major league homer champion, Eddie Mattews, Adcock and Covington furnish tremendous power, and backing them up are such sharp hitters as Red Schoendienst, Bill Bruton, Frank Torre and Johnny Logan. For that matter, despite the sneers aimed at his .403 batting average for 41 games, no one has yet proved that Bob Hazle can't hit, either. The pitching staff, headed by the big three of Warren Spahn, Bob Buhl and Lew Burdette, now has Bob Rush for a fourth starter and depth unmatched anywhere around the league: Gene Conley, Bob Trowbridge, Juan Pizarro, Don McMahon and Ernie Johnson. The catching is solid in the hands of Del Crandall and Del Rice, and the infield, while unspectacular, has no weak points. Adcock is adequate, and his replacement, Torre, is a superior glove man. Schoendienst may still be the best second baseman in the big leagues, Logan is one of the better shortstops and Mathews has become a really good infielder at third base. Felix Mantilla can sub at three positions and do a fine defensive job.

WEAK SPOTS: Unless Bruton, very slow to recover from his midsummer knee injury, is ready to play much sooner than it now appears, the Braves outfield is hurting defensively. Covington is not yet a good outfielder despite his World Series heroics, and Aaron, although he has great hands and speed and a fine arm, will never be mistaken for Joe DiMaggio. Old Andy Pafko can do a real job but he no longer has good speed and he cannot play every day. Hazle is something of a butcher with a glove, as is hard-hitting rookie Ray Shearer. Only young Al Spangler can approach Bruton defensively and he does not have a strong arm. Team speed is not too good; of the regulars only Bruton, Mathews, Aaron and Covington can really run, and even these are seldom much of a threat to steal. And unless Pizarro comes through big this year, the only dependable left-handed pitcher on the entire squad is Spahn.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES: The four top rookies are the two outfielders, Spangler and Shearer, and the two pitchers, Carlton Willey and Joey Jay. If Bruton is able to play, there is probably little room for Spangler, while Shearer is not the defensive ballplayer the Braves need. Willey, a slender, hard-throwing right-hander with a great record in the American Association last year, could earn a spot on an already-loaded staff, but the Braves can always option him out for recall later. Jay, the ponderous ex-bonus baby who also had a good year at Wichita, can not be optioned again and therefore may have a better chance of sticking. The other three newcomers all came in the deal with the Cubs: Rush, young pitching hopeful Don Kaiser, who has failed to live up to his spectacular 1956 debut, and Casey Wise, a fine infielder at either side of second base but not yet a man to scare anyone with the bat.

THE BIG IFS: Bruton's knee and the groin muscle Schoendienst pulled in the World Series, which still bothers him, are the big question marks. If Red, now 35, misses too many games, the Braves are in trouble. Also, there is a certain amount of doubt throughout the league that Rush can be a big winner (the Braves are counting on him for 15 games) or that Pizarro, despite his tremendous promise, is yet ready. Otherwise, there is talk that Spahn has to slow down some day, and that Adcock never seems to escape injury for an entire season. Spahn, however, doesn't look like he is ready to slow down yet, and behind Adcock there is always Torre.

THE VOICES

Earl Gillespie (35, taut) was good Class D first baseman (.283 in 1941) when World War II came along to spoil his chances for majors. After service as Marine fighter pilot, Gillespie quit baseball to sell real estate. He came back to baseball as sports director of Green Bay station in 1947 and has been announcing Milwaukee games since 1950. Now has chance to describe feats of old minor league teammate Andy Pafko. Because of his close kinship to ballplayers, Gillespie has little inclination to criticize or needle what he sees on the field. His "Holy Cow!" trademark has brought him about 50 china cows, complete with halo, from fans, admiring or otherwise, BLAINE WALSH (33, comfortable), young father of seven kids, started his announcing career as Green Bay fire department radio dispatcher. When his bell-toned voice made him a personality on the firehouse circuit,-the firemen insisted he turn to commercial radio work. Walsh responded and made it to Milwaukee a year before the Braves did.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOHENRY AARONPHOTORED SCHOENDIENSTPHOTOEDDIE MATHEWSPHOTOJOHNNY LOGANPHOTODEL CRANDALLPHOTOWES COVINGTONPHOTOJOE ADCOCKPHOTOFRANK TORREPHOTOWARREN SPAHNPHOTOLEW BURDETTEPHOTOBOB BUHLPHOTOBOB RUSHPHOTOEARL GILLESPIEPHOTOILLUSTRATION

THE OUTLOOK: No one expects the Braves to run away and hide from the rest of the league; the competition is too strong and this team is not without problems. Yet the fact remains that Milwaukee is loaded with pitching and power and there are half a dozen outstanding ballplayers to back up young Aaron, who is certainly one of the game's great stars. Above all, remember that, harassed as they were all of last season by a rash of injuries, the Braves came through to win the pennant and beat the Yankees in the Series. They did it once; they should be able to do it again.

BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1957 record

1

Del Crandall

C

.253

4

Red Schoendienst

2B

.309

5

Felix Mantilla

IF

.236

7

Del Rice

C

.229

9

Joe Adcock

1B

.287

12

Bob Hazle

OF

.403

14

Frank Torre

1B

.272

23

Johnny Logan

SS

.273

38

Bill Bruton

OF

.278

41

Eddie Mathews

3B

.292

43

Wes Covington

OF

.284

44

Henry Aaron

OF

.322

48

Andy Pafko

OF

.277

10

Bob Buhl

P

18-7

17

Bob Rush

P

6-16

20

Don McMahon

P

2-3

21

Warren Spahn

P

21-11

22

Gene Conley

P

9-9

30

Bob Trowbridge

P

7-5

33

Lew Burdette

P

17-9

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

games behind

1957

1

95

59

1956

2

92

62

1

1955

2

85

69

13½

1954

3

89

65

8

1953

2

92

62

13

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1957

Aaron

.322

Spahn

21-11

1956

Aaron

.328

Spahn

20-11

1955

Aaron

.314

Spahn

17-14

1954

Adcock

.308

Spahn

21-12

1953

Mathews

.302

Spahn

23-7

home runs

runs batted in

1957

Aaron

44

Aaron

132

1956

Adcock

38

Adcock

103

1955

Mathews

41

Aaron

106

1954

Mathews

40

Mathews

103

1953

Mathews

47

Mathews

135

HOME SCHEDULE

APRIL

PITTSBURGH

15, 17

PHILADELPHIA

25*, 26, 27

MAY

CINCINNATI

9*, 10, 11

LOS ANGELES

20*, 21

SAN FRANCISCO

22*, 23*, 24

CHICAGO

25, 25, 26*

ST. LOUIS

27*, 28*

JUNE

CHICAGO

17*, 18*, 19*

ST. LOUIS

20*, 21, 22

SAN FRANCISCO

23*, 24*, 25*

LOS ANGELES

26*, 27*, 28, 29

CINCINNATI

30*

JULY

CINCINNATI

1*, 2*

PHILADELPHIA

3, 4, 4

PITTSBURGH

5, 6

ST. LOUIS

21*, 22*, 23*, 24

CHICAGO

25*, 26, 27

LOS ANGELES

29*, 30*, 31

AUGUST

SAN FRANCISCO

1*, 2, 3, 3

PITTSBURGH

4*, 5*, 6*, 7

PHILADELPHIA

15*, 16, 17, 17

PITTSBURGH

29*, 30, 31

SEPTEMBER

CHICAGO

1, 1

CINCINNATI

9*, 10*

ST. LOUIS

12*, 13

LOS ANGELES

14, 15

SAN FRANCISCO

16*

PHILADELPHIA

23*

CINCINNATI

26*, 27, 28

*Night game