Search

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

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

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

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

THE MANAGER

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

Paul Richards (12) is a lean, intense man who almost never smiles and who talks only when he feels like it. His attention is wholly concentrated on one aspect or another of baseball, which to him is more than a game or a business. It is life. Richards is a constant teacher. Saddled with weak material, he has had to develop borderline players into bona fide major leaguers. He has been remarkably successful; his teams constantly improve, and although he has never finished higher than third, he is considered one of the finest of all major league managers. His big coaching staff includes Jimmy Adair (45), Harry Brecheen (31), Luman Harris (26), Eddie Robinson (37) and Al Vincent (30).

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S ORIOLES

STRONG POINTS: The airtight Oriole defense and the sound, if unspectacular, pitching staff are Paul Richards' long suits. The Orioles scored few runs last year (second lowest total in the league), but they made almost no mistakes on the mound or in the field and that kept opponents' scoring to a minimum (nine runs less than the Orioles over the season). Percentage-wise, the fifth-place Orioles were second in defense and third in pitching. Their style of play was the old-fashioned 1-0, 2-1, close-to-the vest method of the New York Giants of 1933 (who owned a rookie catcher named Paul Richards). This season, now, the Orioles added an honest-to-goodness power hitter, name of Larry Doby, and watched him perform through Spring training. Then, apparently deciding to stay with the close-to-the-vest system, they dealt him off to Cleveland for a little more pitching (Buddy Dailey), a little more defense (Dick Williams) and Gene Woodling, a high average hitter with good power, but neither as much of a home run threat as Doby nor even as good a fielder. Lesser known Oriole players who contribute much to the team's success are alert Billy Gardner at second, Cuban Willie Miranda at short, singles hitter Bob Boyd at first, stylish Al Pilarcik and aggressive Bob Nieman in the outfield, huge Gus Triandos and hard-working Joe Ginsberg behind the plate. The steady starting pitchers (like Connie Johnson and Billy Loes) are backed up by George Zuverink, whose good sinker makes him one of the most reliable relief pitchers in the major leagues.

WEAK SPOTS: The feeble Oriole offense is the most serious flaw in this otherwise nicely balanced team. Woodling's bat will help, but the Orioles are not likely to crush anybody to death with runs. There is a slightly shaky situation on the left side of the infield, where Brooks Robinson, who is still really in the rookie stage, will be entrusted with third base and where 19-year-old Ron Hansen may share the shortstopping with Willie Miranda, whose batting percentage is unbelievably miniscule. Boyd, the regular first baseman, hit .318, fourth highest average in the league, but he batted in only 34 runs. Too, he has a very edgy arm that had him on the disabled list in 1956 and which handicaps him in the field.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES: Woodling was with the Orioles for a while a few years ago. Though not tall, he is a square shouldered rock of a man with great strength and a 1957 batting average (.321) that was bettered in the American League only by Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. Dick Williams is a versatile spark plug, and Dailey a good relief pitcher. Harshman, a left-handed speedballer, has an ailing back, but he appeared healthy enough in spring training to be a regular starter. Rookie Ronnie Hansen, only 19, is a tall, rangy shortstop of the Marty Marion class. He really needs a little more seasoning in the minors, but he is such a smart-looking ballplayer he might just edge little Willie Miranda to the bench. Jim Marshall, a 30-homer-a-year man on the Pacific Coast, is up for another try at the big leagues. He's a first-rate fielding first baseman as well as a big hitter. Infielder Foster Castleman, purchased from the Giants, has limited range in the field but hits a ball well.

THE BIG IFS: The Orioles are an odd team. With one exception, they possess no real question marks, no erratic players who might flash sudden brilliance or else fall completely apart. Just about every position is adequately, though not brilliantly, protected. The exception is third base, where the highly promising Brooks Robinson has replaced the retired George Kell. Robinson is cast in the mold of the great player, but he is as yet very much an unknown quantity. If he fails, it will hurt.

THE VOICES

Ernie Harwell (40, easy going) once dreamed of a big league career while playing alongside Marty Marion for the Northside Terrors American Legion team in Atlanta. Realizing he couldn't make it as a ballplayer, he turned to announcing. After four years in the Marines, he came back to Atlanta to do the Crackers broadcasts. In 1948, the Atlanta owner agreed to let him go to Brooklyn if the Dodgers would send Atlanta a manager. That done, Harwell became a major league announcer. He went to the Dodgers and then to the New York Giants and then in 1954 to Baltimore. Knowledgeable (he owns a large baseball library) and versatile (he writes for magazines), Harwell has a pleasing, slightly southern cast to his voice. He is one of the best of all play-by-play announcers, HERB CARNEAL (33, thorough) began his mike career in his home town of Richmond, Va. From there he moved on to Philadelphia to do the old Athletics and the Phillies before coming to Baltimore to join Harwell last year.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOBILLY GARDNERPHOTOBOB BOYDPHOTOGUS TRIANDOSPHOTOBOB NIEMANPHOTOGENE WOODLINGPHOTOBROOKS ROBINSONPHOTOAL PILARCIKPHOTOWILLIE MIRANDAPHOTOCONNIE JOHNSONPHOTOGEORGE ZUVERINKPHOTOBILLY LOESPHOTOJACK HARSHMANPHOTOERNIE HARWELLILLUSTRATIONPHOTO

THE OUTLOOK: The Orioles are stronger because of acquisition of Woodling, but weaker because of the retirement of the classy, dependable George Kell. The pitching, despite the departure of Ray Moore and the arrival of Harshman, appears to be of about the same quality. The infield loses hitting, with Kell and Billy Goodman gone, but defensively it remains fully as sound. Because Richards sees to it that his players are improved each year, the Orioles should be a better team this season, but stiffer competition in the league should leave their won-and-lost record about the same.

BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1957 record

1

Bob Boyd

1B

.318

2

Al Pilarcik

RF

.278

3

Ron Hansen

SS

minors

4

Bob Nieman

LF

.276

5

Brooks Robinson

3B

.239

7

Willie Miranda

SS

.194

8

Foster Castleman

IF

minors

9

Billy Gardner

2B

.262

11

Gus Triandos

C

.254

14

Gene Woodling

OF

.321

22

Joe Ginsberg

C

.274

33

Jim Busby

OF

.238

44

Jim Marshall

1B

minors

18

Billy Loes

P

12-7

28

Hal Brown

P

7-8

29

Jack Harshman

P

8-8

35

George Zuverink

P

10-6

36

Connie Johnson

P

14-11

39

Ken Lehman

P

8-3

41

Billy O'Dell

P

4-10

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART TEAM

year

finished

won

fost

games behind

1957

5

76

76

21

1956

6

69

85

23

1955

7

57

97

39

1954

7

54

100

57

1953

8

54

100

46½

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

batting

pitching

1957

Boyd

.318

Johnson

14-11

1956

Nieman

.320

Moore

12-7

1955

Philley

.299

Wilson

12-18

1954

Abrams

.293

Turley

14-15

1953

Wertz

.268

Larsen

7-12

home runs

runs batted in

1957

Triandos

19

Triandos

72

1956

Triandos

21

Triandos

88

1955

Triandos

12

Triandos

65

1954

Stephens

8

Stephens

46

1953

Wertz

19

Wertz

70

HOME SCHEDULE

APRIL

WASHINGTON

15, 17*

NEW YORK

25*, 26, 27, 27

CHICAGO

29*, 30*

MAY

CHICAGO

1*

CLEVELAND

2*, 3

DETROIT

4, 4, 5*

KANSAS CITY

6*, 7*

BOSTON

9*, 10, 11, 11, 30, 30

WASHINGTON

31*

JUNE

WASHINGTON

1, 2*

DETROIT

3*, 4*, 5*

KANSAS CITY

6*, 7, 8, 8

CLEVELAND

9*, 10*, 11*, 12*-

CHICAGO

13*, 14, 15

JULY

NEW YORK

1*, 2

KANSAS CITY

10*, 11*, 12

DETROIT

13, 14

CHICAGO

15*, 16*, 17*

CLEVELAND

18*, 19*, 20

AUGUST

NEW YORK

5*, 6*

BOSTON

13*

WASHINGTON

15*, 16*, 17

KANSAS CITY

19*, 20*

DETROIT

21*, 22*, 23

CHICAGO

24, 25*

CLEVELAND

26*, 27*

SEPTEMBER

BOSTON

4*, 5*, 6*, 7

NEW YORK

19*, 20, 21

WASHINGTON

22*, 23*, 24*

*Night game