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CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

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

THE MANAGER

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

Quite likely the calmest manager in all baseball—and also one of the soundest—Al Lopez has managed to hang up a rather remarkable record. In seven big league seasons his teams have won one pennant, never finished lower than second. Last year, after leaving a Cleveland club which was built on pitching and power, he took over the White Sox, who were strong on pitching and speed, revised his tactics and led them to their highest finish in 37 years. His coaches are old friend and teammate at Brooklyn and Boston, Tony Cuccinello (33) at third base, Don Gutteridge (39) at first, John Cooney (34), and Ray Berres (37), who has the pleasure of working with the White Sox pitchers.

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S WHITE SOX

STRONG POINTS: Al Lopez' favorite theory—that pitching, speed and defense can win a pennant—may happen to be his favorite theory simply because it is the only one he has and he is stuck with it. But certainly if ever a club was equipped to put the idea to the test, the 1958 White Sox are it. Here is the finest first-line pitching staff in baseball (Billy Pierce, Dick Donovan and Early Wynn, backed up by Jim Wilson, Bob Keegan and Bill Fischer), good relief pitching (Ray Moore, Gerry Staley, Dixie Howell), tremendous team speed and a solid defense. Nellie Fox and the brilliant Luis Aparicio stop everything hit within miles of second base, and Fox is a real master craftsman with a bat. Billy Goodman, a lifetime .300 hitter, will end the confusion over who is to play third base, and there are five outfielders who can go and get the ball—Al Smith, Bubba Phillips, Jim Landis, Jim Rivera and Tito Francona. Sherm Lollar, a smart, experienced receiver who can hit the long ball, ranks second only to Yogi Berra among the catchers of the American League. The team is three deep at first base with Ron Jackson, Earl Torgeson and Walt Dropo. And this year Lopez has half a dozen players who can shuttle back and forth between two or three positions, thus giving him room to maneuver. As for speed, this team is perhaps one of the fastest in history. Aparicio, Landis, Phillips, Torgeson, Smith, Rivera, Fox and Francona can all fly.

WEAK SPOTS: There is only one: last year the White Sox had little power and now they have even less. The two big run producers, Larry Doby and Minnie Minoso, have been traded away and no amount of talk about the futility of sluggers attempting to operate in vast Comiskey Park is going to help the Sox when they badly need a home run. This is a team of leadoff hitters (Rivera hit more homers last year—14—than anyone else on the current roster), and there are going to be days when White Sox base runners risk sunstroke or klieg blindness while waiting around in vain for someone to drive them home.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES: The newsworthy rookies this spring were Barry Latman, a big, strong young pitcher with a blazing fast ball, and John Callison, an 18-year-old outfielder blessed with the wonderful combination of great speed and real power. But Latman is hardly needed on this pitching staff and Callison almost certainly could benefit by a year of high minor league experience. There are plenty of new faces around, however, for the Sox traded heavily during the winter. Wynn leads the way but close behind are Moore, the dependable late-inning relief pitcher Chicago so evidently lacked last year, Al Smith, Goodman and Francona. And back up for a big chance at first base is the towering Jackson, a 6-foot 7-inch ex-bonus baby who hit .310 and 21 homers at Indianapolis last year.

THE BIG IFS: There is really no adequate replacement for Fox if something should happen to the little second baseman, nor for Lollar if this immeasurably valuable player should be injured again as he was last year. But both seem perfectly healthy and the real White Sox problem still swirls again and again around the question of who is to supply the power, even a little bit. The answer could be Smith and Jackson. A good strong hitter who was plagued by misfortune during a disastrous 1957 season, Smith must now recover from an inflamed tendon which has hampered him all spring, and then regain the batting eye which made him one of the league's most valuable players in the years 1954-56. And Jackson has yet to prove that he can hit big league pitching. If these two come through and Landis, a highly talented youngster who could be of great help to the club with his speed, arm and defensive skill, picks up his average at the plate, Lopez' theory might work out after all.

THE VOICES

Jack Brickhouse (41, animated) tried to win the wristwatch a Peoria radio station was offering to the winner of an announcing contest, so he entered. He lost the contest but managed to win a job as combination announcer-switchboard operator. That was in 1934. Six years later, he was promoted to Chicago as a baseball announcer, and with the exception of a Marine hitch, he has been at it since. Brickhouse has the rare distinction of doing both Cub and White Sox home telecasts and, because of this, he has handled more games (over 1,000) than any other announcer. He is frankly bipartisan, roots unblushingly for both of his beloved Chicago teams. In times of stress he thinks nothing of giving out with a lusty, "Come on, Sherm!" BOB ELSON (53, automatic) began broadcasting World Series in 1929, has a total of 13 of them under his larynx, as well as seven All-Star Games. There are some who consider Elson's limp, singsong voice downright monotonous but his career is longest in baseball.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTONELLIE FOXPHOTOSHERM LOLLARPHOTOJIM RIVERAPHOTOAL SMITHPHOTOLUIS APARICIOPHOTOBILLY GOODMANPHOTORON JACKSONPHOTOBUBBA PHILLIPSPHOTOJACK BRICKHOUSEPHOTOBILLY PIERCEPHOTODICK DONOVANPHOTOJIM WILSONPHOTOEARLY WYNNPHOTOILLUSTRATION

THE OUTLOOK: One of the two White Sox deficiencies of 1957—relief pitching—has been repaired, and since they lost 27 games in the last two innings of play last year, this may be enough to do the job. Lopez has a magnificent pitching staff and all the speed and defense anyone could want, and it is quite likely that six other American League clubs (each with a problem or two of its own) will be unable to catch them. But Chicago must still prove that a team without power, a major weakness, can beat out the Yankees, who have no big weakness at all. It looks like a tough job.

BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1957 record

1

Jim Landis

OF

.212

2

Nellie Fox

2B

.317

3

Tito Francona

OF

.233

4

Ron Jackson

1B

minors

5

Bubba Phillips

OF

.270

6

Billy Goodman

3B

.294

7

Jim Rivera

OF

.256

8

Walt Dropo

1B

.256

9

Al Smith

OF

.247

10

Sherm Lollar

C

.256

11

Luis Aparicio

SS

.257

17

Earl Torgeson

1B

.286

15

Bob Keegan

P

10-8

19

Billy Pierce

P

20-12

20

Bill Fischer

P

7-8

21

Gerry Staley

P

5-1

22

Dick Donovan

P

16-6

29

Ray Moore

P

11-13

30

Jim Wilson

P

15-8

32

Early Wynn

P

14-17

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART TEAM

year

finished

won

lost

ganes behind

1957

2

90

64

8

1956

3

85

69

12

1955

3

91

63

5

1954

3

94

60

17

1953

3

89

65

11½

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1957

Fox

.317

Pierce

20-12

1956

Minoso

.316

Pierce

20-9

1955

Kell

.312

Pierce

15-10

1954

Minoso

.320

Trucks

20-10

1953

Minoso

.313

Pierce

18-12

home runs

runs batted in

1957

Doby, Rivera

14

Minoso

103

1956

Minoso

21

Doby

102

1955

Dropo

19

Kell

81

1954

Minoso

19

Minoso

116

1953

Minoso

15

Minoso

104

HOME SCHEDULE

APRIL

DETROIT

15, 16, 17

KANSAS CITY

25, 26, 27

MAY

CLEVELAND

9, 10, 11, 11

NEW YORK

20*, 21

BALTIMORE

22, 23*, 24

BOSTON

25, 25

WASHINGTON

27*, 28

JUNE

BOSTON

17*, 18, 19

BALTIMORE

20*, 21, 22

NEW YORK

23*, 24*, 25, 26

WASHINGTON

27*, 28, 29, 29

CLEVELAND

30*

JULY

CLEVELAND

1*

KANSAS CITY

3, 4, 4

DETROIT

5*, 6

BALTIMORE

22*, 23, 24

BOSTON

25*, 26, 27

WASHINGTON

28*, 29*, 30, 31

AUGUST

NEW YORK

1*, 2, 3

KANSAS CITY

13*, 14

CLEVELAND

15, 16*, 17

DETROIT

29*, 30, 31

SEPTEMBER

CLEVELAND

1, 1

BOSTON

9*, 10, 11

NEW YORK

12*, 13

WASHINGTON

14

BALTIMORE

16*, 17

DETROIT

23*, 24, 25

KANSAS CITY

26*, 27, 28

*Night game