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LOS ANGELES DODGERS

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

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

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

THE MANAGER

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

Walter Alston (24), player, struggled in the minor leagues for 12 years. He appeared in just one major league game, that with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1936. In his only time at bat, he struck out. However, Walter Alston, manager, has hit a couple of home runs. He began with Portsmouth in the Middle Atlantic League in 1940 and worked his way up slowly through the Dodger chain. After four years with Montreal in the International League, he reached the majors. That was in 1954. He won pennants in 1955-56 and the Series in 1955. His coaches are former Dodger Manager Charley Dressen (7) at third base, Greg Mulleavy (31) at first base and Pitching Coach Joe Becker (33).

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S DODGERS

STRONG POINTS: In a word, pitching. The Dodgers have all kinds: big ones, little ones, right-handers, lefthanders, starters and relievers. And they're all good. Don Drysdale, for instance, is fast developing into the game's best right-hander. He is tall (6 feet 6) and young (21) and hitters say he brings back ugly memories of Ewell Blackwell. His sweeping sidearm motion and that little flick he gives his gloved hand at the last moment make his pitches tough to see. Seventeen wins and a 2.69 ERA last year are proof. When Johnny Podres is just right, there's nobody just righter. Half of the 12 games he won last year were shutouts. When Podres is wrong, well, there's always Clem Labine, Ed Roebuck, Don Bessent or Jackie Collum. Labine had the miseries last summer, but be is well again. Those four give the Dodgers if not the best certainly the deepest relief staff in baseball. Don Newcombe pitches as well as ever until someone hits one. Then everyone hits one. Still, he is a potential winner. So is Carl Erskine. Danny McDevitt and Sandy Koufax are two young lefties with wicked fast balls and a minimum of control. Either or both could ripen in the California sun. Some of the good Dodger hitters linger on. Gil Hodges is magic around first base and may hit 90 home runs over that friendly left-field wall. Carl Furillo, who has hit .300 for more years than he cares to remember, will play right field. Duke Snider can still hit if he can stand. But can he stand? Junior Gilliam and Charlie Neal hit a lot of singles and run the bases like a pair of whippets. Gino Cimoli could always field. Last year he learned to hit and he will play left field, or possibly center field, depending on the condition of Snider's knee.

WEAK SPOTS: Roy Campanella was old and his batting average had disappeared below the horizon, but he was the Dodger catcher and now he is not. Rube Walker can catch, but can't run. Joe Pignatano has yet to prove he can hit. John Roseboro shows promise, but he needs experience and the major leagues is a costly place to gather it. The Dodgers may trade for a catcher, perhaps one from the American League, but until they find someone this position is a major source of concern. The infield is unsettled. Neal played well at shortstop last year, but he will probably be used at second base because of his skill at making the double play. Fiery Don Zimmer can play shortstop, but must hit better than .219. Randy Jackson has never played third base for the Dodgers as he once did for the Cubs. Dick Gray, up from St. Paul, may take the position away from him. By right of ancient treaty, Pee Wee Reese is entitled to shortstop, and he can still play it—for a while. Gilliam is available for second, third or outfield, but some think he may be a part of a trade for that catcher. For first-base insurance, in the event that Hodges is called to duty at third or in the outfield, the Dodgers may also keep hard-hitting Norm Larker, a left-handed first baseman.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES: Gray is no Billy Cox around third base, but he is dependable and hits with fair power. Last year with St. Paul he had 16 home runs and batted .297. Larker and Don Demeter were also with St. Paul and both did well. Larker hit .323 and Demeter .309. If Snider's knee fails, Demeter will see plenty of action. He is a fine fielder with good range and a strong arm.

THE BIG IFS: Somewhere there must be a catcher and if he" can be found, either on another team or right under their own noses, the Dodgers will have solved a major problem. But more important is shortstop. At 39, Reese cannot be counted on for more than 100 games. But even 100 games of the old-style Reese shortstop would help, for he is still the heart of the ball club. If it should develop that Snider cannot play, if his knee should collapse, then so might the Dodgers.

THE VOICES

Vince Scully (29, engaging) did his first broadcasting while playing outfield for Fordham University. After graduating he gained an interview with Red Barber who was instrumental in getting Scully a job with CBS football roundup. Soon after he joined Barber and Connie Desmond as the third man on the Brooklyn Dodger announcing team. Now senior man, Scully will do only radio in Los Angeles. Californians will find his delivery crisp and knowing. Says Scully: "I have one advantage over older announcers. My generation grew up with listening experience. I know what I like to hear and try to remember that when I'm on the air." JERRY DOGGETT, (42, cheerful) was reared in the Midwest, but he was announcing baseball deep in the heart of the Texas League when the Dodgers signed him on in 1956. Like Scully, his voice is crisp and enthusiastic, his knowledge of the game sound, but there are times during exciting moments of games when, alas, he seems to lose partial control of the situation.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTODUKE SNIDERPHOTOGIL HODGESPHOTOCARL FURILLOPHOTOPEE WEE REESEPHOTOGINO CIMOLIPHOTOCHARLIE NEALPHOTOJIM GILLIAMPHOTORUBE WALKERPHOTOVINCE SCULLYPHOTOJOHNNY PODRESPHOTODON DRYSDALEPHOTODON NEWCOMBEPHOTOCLEM LABINEPHOTOILLUSTRATION

THE OUTLOOK: Because they have a lot of good, young pitchers, a few good, young pitchers, a few good, old hitters and because they are playing in a new environment, the Dodgers should win more games than they lose. But there are so many weaknesses...the catching problem, the lack of depth and the doubtful status of some of the older players...that it is difficult to imagine this team winning a. pennant. One key injury and the Dodgers might be through. But they can hope for better—after all. they are playing close to Hollywood this year, and thereabouts a happy ending is de rigueur.

BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1957 record

1

Pee Wee Reese

IF

.224

2

Ransom Jackson

3B

.198

4

Duke Snider

OF

.274

6

Carl Furillo

RF

.306

8

John Roseboro

C-OF

.145

9

Gino Cimoli

OF

.293

10

Rube Walker

C

.181

11

Dick Gray

3B

minors

14

Gil Hodges

1B

.299

19

Jim Gilliam

IF

.250

23

Don Zimmer

IF

.219

43

Charlie Neal

IF

.270

16

Danny McDevitt

P

7-4

17

Carl Erskine

P

5-3

32

Sandy Koufax

P

5-4

36

Don Newcombe

P

11-12

37

Ed Roebuck

P

8-2

41

Clem Labine

P

5-7

45

Johnny Podres

P

12-9

53

Don Drysdale

P

17-9

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

games behind

1957

3

84

70

11

1956

1

93

61

1955

1

98

55

1954

2

92

62

5

1953

1

105

49

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1957

Furillo

.306

Drysdale

17-9

1956

Gilliam

.300

Newcombe

27-7

1955

Cmpnlla

.318

Newcombe

20-5

1954

Snider

.341

Erskine

18-15

1953

Furillo

.344

Erskine

20-6

home runs

runs batted in

1957

Snider

40

Hodges

98

1956

Snider

43

Snider

101

1955

Snider

42

Snider

136

1954

Hodges

42

Snider, Hodgef

130

1953

Snider

42

Campanella

142

HOME SCHEDULE

APRIL

SAN FRANCISCO

18, 19, 20

CHICAGO

22*, 23*, 24

ST. LOUIS

25*, 26, 27

PITTSBURGH

29*, 30*

MAY

PITTSBURGH

1*, 2*, 3

PHILADELPHIA

4, 4, 5*, 6*, 7

SAN FRANCISCO

12*, 13

JUNE

CINCINNATI

3*, 4*, 5

MILWAUKEE

6*, 7*, 8

PHILADELPHIA

10*, 11*, 12

PITTSBURGH

13*, 14*, 15

JULY

ST. LOUIS

3*, 3*

CHICAGO

5*, 6

MILWAUKEE

9*, 10*, 11

CINCINNATI

12, 13, 13, 14

PITTSBURGH

15*, 16*, 17*

PHILADELPHIA

18*, 19*, 20

AUGUST

SAN FRANCISCO

8*, 9*, 10

CHICAGO

12*, 13*, 14

ST. LOUIS

15*, 15*, 17, 17

MILWAUKEE

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

CINCINNATI

24, 25*, 26*, 27

SEPTEMBER

SAN FRANCISCO

2*, 3*, 4

ST. LOUIS

23*, 24*

CHICAGO

26*, 26*, 27

*Night games