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NEW YORK YANKEES

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

NEW YORK YANKEES

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

THE MANAGER

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

Bewildering, amusing, tough and kindly-all these are Casey Stengel (37), the master manager. In nine years as leader of the Yankees he has won eight pennants and six World Series. Stengel has been in baseball since 1912. He was an outfielder for 15 years (lifetime average: .284) before turning to managing. In three years with Brooklyn and six with the old Boston Bees, Casey's boys never finished higher than fifth place, but after a five-year exile to the minors he returned with the Yankees and a winner. Stengel's coaches are Frankie Crosetti (2) at third base, Ralph Houk (35), the man many believe will eventually succeed Stengel, at first base, and Pitching Coach Jim Turner (31).

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S YANKEES

STRONG POINTS: Better sit down, this might take a while. The Yankees have every pennant ingredient...power, speed, youth and depth. Most important is depth, for it permits Casey Stengel the luxury of juggling his lineup daily according to opposing pitchers, batting slumps and personal whim. Yogi Berra and Elston Howard provide first-rate catching. Last year was not Yogi's (.251), but there are few who would bet on another year like it. Some say Howard is the league's second-best catcher. At first base is Moose Skowron, who in four years has never hit below .300. If he gets hurt, as is his habit, two free-swinging left-handers will be waiting: Harry Simpson, once the toast of Kansas City, and Marv Throneberry, who in three seasons with Denver hit 118 home runs. Five young men (average age 25) will play the other three infield positions, and no matter which combination plays, it will be good. Gil McDougald, as reliable as a government bond, has seniority rights to shortstop. Bobby Richardson is a talented second baseman, as Frank Lane is quick to admit. Andy Carey, who can field, and Jerry Lumpe, who can hit, will alternate at third. That leaves Tony Kubek, last year's top rookie, as the swing man. He can and has played short, second and third and he will probably play all of them this year. And left field, too. The young man can run, hit and field. So can another young man in center field, except he can run a little faster and hit a little further. That would be Mickey Mantle. Should his legs require rest in the late innings, Bobby Del Greco, a little speedster the Yankees picked up late last season, will spell him. In right field is tireless Hank Bauer. A team such as this might be able to get by without pitchers, but the Yanks have them too. Because there are so many of them, no one ever wins a lot of games, but a look at the staff's record for the last two seasons indicates their quality: Whitey Ford (30-11), Tom Sturdivant (32-14), Bob Turley (21-10), Don Larsen (21-9), Johnny Kucks (26-19) and Bob Grim (18-9). Three of last year's newcomers, Bobby Shantz, Art Ditmar and Sal Maglie, had a combined 21-6. All nine of them will be around this year.

WEAK SPOTS: They just don't exist. In comparison to the rest of the team, left field might be considered inadequate, but there are teams that would happily accept any one of the men who will play there this season. Howard is one and Simpson makes two. Kubek will spend time there and even 42-year-old Enos Slaughter, primarily a pinch hitter these days, may have to answer the call to arms. But the one with the best chance is the fellow who opened there two years ago, Norm Siebern

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES: Siebern got hurt two years ago and was shipped to Denver. He hit .349 there last year. If he can hit in the majors, and it looks like he can, left field is his, despite his only-adequate fielding ability. Throneberry is no fielder either, but if he can hit a couple into the Stadium's short right-field seats, he may play a lot of home games, for at the Stadium the powerful Skowron, who hits mainly to center field, is a long out. One or two new pitchers may turn up, all graduates from the Denver team. Mark Freeman (12-6), Rine Duren (13-2) or Zack Monroe (16-10) will round out the Yankee pitching staff.

THE BIG IFS: The Yankees are in the happy position of being able to afford one major disaster and still win the pennant. An injury to Mantle's legs or Ford's arm would hurt but not shatter the team's chances. Aside from injuries, there is no one player who must come through if the Yankees are to win. Only a total reversal of form on the part of several key players could do this team real harm.

THE VOICES

Mel Allen (45, worldly) entered the University of Alabama at 15 and graduated eight years later with a law degree. While in college, he broadcast local sporting events. When he was heard by a CBS executive, Mel Allen was on his way. In 1939 he was assigned to the Yankees and, with the exception of three years in the Army, has been with them ever since. Some fans can't stand him. They say he's biased, only compliments opponents when the Yankees are ahead. But even his critics must admit he is a pro, a colorful personality and a sponsor's dream. No one can sell a can of beer like Mel Allen, RED BARBER (50, gentle) emcees pre-and post-game shows, fills in all too seldom for play-by-play. The "old redhead" became a legend with Brooklyn before joining New York. They don't come any better, PHIL RIZZUTO (39, excitable), who was previously employed by the Yankees in another capacity, made his announcing debut last year. Rizzuto treats his audience to his vast experience and feeling for the game.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOMICKEY MANTLEPHOTOYOGI BERRAPHOTOGIL McDOUGALDPHOTOBILL SKOWRONPHOTOHANK BAUERPHOTOTONY KUBEKPHOTOELSTON HOWARDPHOTOJERRY LUMPEILLUSTRATIONPHOTOMEL ALLENPHOTOWHITEY FORDPHOTOTOM STURDIVANTPHOTOBOB TURLEYPHOTODON LARSENPHOTO

THE OUTLOOK: There are certain things Americans can count on every year; taxes is one, Christmas is another. But neither is so sure as a World Series in Yankee Stadium every fall. Casey Stengel won't admit it. He likes to praise the excellent Chicago pitching staff and those hard-hitting fellas up in Boston. He talks of what Billy Martin may do for Detroit. But he fools no one. He has the team and he knows how to run it. If everything goes right, if Mantle hits, Ford pitches and Berra returns to form, there is no reason why the Yankees shouldn't win by Labor Day.

BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1957 record

1

Bobby Richardsi

2B

.256

6

Andy Carey

3B

.255

7

Mickey Mantle

CF

.365

8

Yogi Berra C

C

.251

9

Hank Bauer

RF

.259

10

Tony Kubek

OF-IF

.297

11

Jerry Lumpe

3B

.340

12

Gil McDougald

SS

.289

14

Bill Skowron

IB

.304

25

Norm Siebern

LF

minors

32

Elston Howard

C-OF

.253

36

Harry Simpson

0F-1B

.270

16

Whitey Ford

P

11-5

18

Don Larsen

P

10-4

19

Bob Turley

P

13-6

21

Sal Maglie

P

8-6

30

Bobby Shantz

P

11-5

47

Tom Sturdivant

P

16-6

53

Johnny Kucks

P

8-10

55

Bob Grim

P

12-8

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

game behind

1957

1

98

56

1956

1

97

57

1955

1

96

58

1954

2

103

51

8

1953

1

99

52

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1957

Mantle

.365

Sturdnt

16-6

1956

Mantle

.353

Ford

19-6

1955

Mantle

.307

Ford

18-7

1954

Noren

.319

Grim

20-6

1953

Bauer

.304

Ford

18-6

home runs

runs batted in

1957

Mantle

34

Mantle

94

1956

Mantle

52

Mantle

130

1955

Mantle

37

Berra

108

1954

Mantle

27

Berra

125

1953

Berra

27

Berra

108

BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1957 record

1

Bobby Richardsi

2B

.256

6

Andy Carey

3B

.255

7

Mickey Mantle

CF

.365

8

Yogi Berra C

C

.251

9

Hank Bauer

RF

.259

10

Tony Kubek

OF-IF

.297

11

Jerry Lumpe

3B

.340

12

Gil McDougald

SS

.289

14

Bill Skowron

IB

.304

25

Norm Siebern

LF

minors

32

Elston Howard

C-OF

.253

36

Harry Simpson

0F-1B

.270

16

Whitey Ford

P

11-5

18

Don Larsen

P

10-4

19

Bob Turley

P

13-6

21

Sal Maglie

P

8-6

30

Bobby Shantz

P

11-5

47

Tom Sturdivant

P

16-6

53

Johnny Kucks

P

8-10

55

Bob Grim

P

12-8