ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

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
April 14, 1958

THE MANAGER

A former American League pitcher and manager with Detroit, Fred Hutchinson (29) came to the Cardinals two years ago, led them from seventh to fourth in 1956 and all the way to second last year, was named Manager of the Year. A big, hulking man called Bear by close friends, he is soft-spoken and pleasant off the field, a great competitor while on it. Has a fine record for handling young players. Aides are Stan Hack (35), the former Cub star and manager who coaches at third; Terry Moore (34), the ex-Card outfield genius who coaches at first; and Pitching Coach Al Hollingsworth (33), for years a manager and scout in the Cardinal organization.

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S CARDINALS

STRONG POINTS: In St. Louis, when this subject arises, all eyes shift in unison in the direction of first base, just to be sure that the National League's No. 1 citizen, Stan Musial, is still present and healthy. Since he is, the Cardinals can relax and count their other blessings, of which there are several. The infield, with flashy Don Blasingame at second, steady Eddie Kasko moving in to play short and the wise and determined veteran, Alvin Dark, shifting to third, will hit and run and steal and help the Card pitching staff sleep better at nights with some of the tightest defensive play in the league. To give Dark some rest, they have a brilliant little glove man in Dick Schofield. Furnishing the power, along with Musial, that any pennant contender so badly needs, is the outfield of Del Ennis, Ken Boyer and Wally Moon. And in Joe Cunningham, Hutchinson has the answer to a manager's prayer: a pinch hitter who can deliver the long ball in the clutch, give Musial a day off now and then at first base and also fill in for Ennis or Moon when the expected annual case of slumpitis occurs. Hal Smith is one of the game's better catchers and he can hit. The pitching staff no longer has to depend upon the performance of some tired veterans, for the big men are now young Larry Jackson, Lindy McDaniel, Billy Muffett and Vinegar Bend Mizell, along with Sam (Toothpick) Jones. They proved they could deliver in the heat of the 1957 pennant race.

WEAK SPOTS: There is a definite lack of defensive ability in the outfield, where Ennis is slow (this is being kind), Moon is fast but does not have really good hands, and Boyer is a converted third baseman who has great speed and the only strong arm of the three but is still learning what to do with a fly-ball hit over his head. Catching, despite Smith's presence, is the other problem. He has tired in past seasons, and the only other receivers on the roster are Hobie Landrith and Ray Katt; both are inferior to Smith at the plate.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES: Despite trade talk all winter, the Cards made no big deals for established players and the new faces on the team belong to youngsters. The one Hutchinson is counting on most is a big, poised kid from Georgia named Phil Clark, who won 16 games entirely in relief at Houston last year with the startling ERA of 1.83. Curtis Flood, part of the deal which sent Schmidt to Cincinnati, had a big chance to win the center field job but, despite his speed and fine minor league record, probably needs another year of seasoning. Benny Valenzuela, a third baseman also up from Houston, impressed everyone with his fire and hustle and the way he swings a bat and could stick as infield insurance and to pinch hit. Otherwise the organization is loaded with highly promising young pitchers, such as Bill Smith, Frank Barnes, Tom Flanigan, Howie Nunn and Bob Mabe (not to mention last year's bonus kids, Von McDaniel and Bob Miller), who could stick around or be sent out but would always be available for recall on a moment's notice.

THE BIG IFS: Excluding the possibility of a late trade, the questions facing the Cards are these: Can Smith handle the catching all alone and still operate at peak efficiency through almost 154 games? Can a team win a pennant with barely adequate outfielding? Will Boyer finally develop into the truly big hitter that he could become? Will Mizell, the only proven left-hander on the staff, have the great season that virtually all of baseball still predicts for him? Can the rest of the pitching staff, the youngsters as well as Jones and Wehmeier, turn their erratic brilliance into the kind of day-to-day consistency that it takes to win a pennant?

THE VOICES

Harry Caray (43, exuberant) was rapidly going nowhere at all until, in 1941, he got the notion that he could do a better job broadcasting baseball than the then current St. Louis crop. So he wrote a letter to the general manager of the local station (Merle Jones, now CBS president) requesting an audition. He got it, flubbed it, got another chance, clicked and was farmed out to Joliet and Kalamazoo for seasoning. Three years later he was back in the big town and soon after that began working St. Louis games with Gabby Street. He has been with the Cardinals exclusively since 1949. Still not a polished announcer, Caray often garbles words, but he is so enthusiastic, such a home-town booster ("Our Cardinals") that he makes every game and every fan seem important. The home folks like him, and that's what counts. He is supported by JOE GARAGIOLA (32, knowing), star catcher for the 1946 World Champion Cardinals, and JACK BUCK (33, humorous), who lend baseball savvy and old and new jokes to the occasion.

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PHOTOSTAN MUSIAL PHOTOALVIN DARK PHOTOWALLY MOON PHOTODON BLASINGAME PHOTOKEN BOYER PHOTODEL ENNIS PHOTOEDDIE KASKO PHOTOHAL SMITH PHOTOHARRY CARAY PHOTOLARRY JACKSON PHOTOLINDY MCDANIEL PHOTOWILMER MIZELL PHOTOSAM JONES PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

THE OUTLOOK: Last year the Cardinals chased Milwaukee all the way to the throne room, coming back even after the rest of the league had folded to scare the daylights out of the Braves far into September. It is quite likely the Cards will furnish the main resistance once more. Outside of Musial, Dark and Ennis, this is a young team which should improve, and the biggest area for improvement lies in the pitching staff. Should Jackson. McDaniel, Mizell, Jones Muffett, Merritt and Clark deliver, St. Louis can be first in shoes, first in booze and first in the National League.

BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1957 record

3

Don Blasingame

2B

.271

6

Stan Musial

1B

.351

7

Del Ennis

OF

.286

8

Irv Noren

OF

.237

10

Eddie Kasko

SS

.273

11

Alvin Dark

3B

.290

14

Ken Boyer

OF

.265

16

Hobie Landrith

C

.243

18

Hal Smith

C

.279

19

Dick Schofield

IK

.161

20

Wally Moon

OF

.295

28

Joe Cunningham

1B-OF

.318

17

Wilmer Mizell

P

8-10

22

Phil Clark

P

minors

23

Sam Jones

P

12-9

37

Herm Wehmeier

P

10-7

38

Billy Muffett

P

3-2

39

Larry Jackson

P

15-9

41

Lindy McDaniel

P

15-9

43

Lloyd Merritt

P

1-2

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

games behind

1957

2

87

67

8

1956

4

76

78

17

1955

7

68

86

30½

1954

6

72

82

25

1953

3

83

71

22

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1957

Musial

.351

L. McDaniel Jackson

15-9

1956

Musial

.310

Dickson

13-11

1955

Musial

.319

Arroyo

11-8

1954

Musial

.330

Haddix

18-13

1953

Schndst

.342

Haddix

20-9

home runs

runs batted in

1957

Musial

29

Ennis

105

1956

Musial

27

Musial

109

1955

Musial

33

Musial

108

1954

Musial

35

Musial

126

1953

Musial

30

Musial

113

HOME SCHEDULE

APRIL

CHICAGO

15*, 17*

MAY

CINCINNATI

2*, 3

MILWAUKEE

4, 5*, 6*, 7*

CHICAGO

9*, 10, 11, 11

SAN FRANCISCO

14*, 15

LOS ANGELES

16*, 17, 18, 18

SAN FRANCISCO

30, 30, 31

JUNE

SAN FRANCISCO

1

PITTSBURGH

3*, 4*, 5

PHILADELPHIA

6*, 7, 8, 8

CINCINNATI

10*, 11*, 12*

MILWAUKEE

13*, 14, 15

LOS ANGELES

30*

JULY

LOS ANGELES

1*

PHILADELPHIA

10*, 11*

PITTSBURGH

12, 13, 13

MILWAUKEE

15*, 16*

CINCINNATI

25*, 26*, 27

AUGUST

LOS ANGELES

4*, 5

SAN FRANCISCO

6*, 7*

PHILADELPHIA

19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23

PITTSBURGH

24, 24, 25*, 26*, 27*

CHICAGO

29*, 30*, 31

SEPTEMBER

CINCINNATI

1, 1, 2*

LOS ANGELES

5*, 6*, 7

CHICAGO

9*, 10*

MILWAUKEE

17*, 18*

SAN FRANCISCO

19*, 20, 21

*Night game

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)