A Handful of Baseball

April 14, 1958
April 14, 1958

Table of Contents
April 14, 1958

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

A Handful of Baseball

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

Baseball fans are supposed to be truck drivers or Tallulah Bankhead, but artists, too, follow the grand old game. It is not surprising, then, that three artists—Jerome Kuhl, Jerome Snyder and Brendan Mulvey—conceived, produced and nurtured the diverting pastime fancifully portrayed above and graphically represented on the opposite page.

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

It is baseball, played by two men (or two ladies; or any convenient mixture of the two sexes, such as one lady and one man) and 10 fingers. It parallels real baseball, but not too closely, since it is impossible to reproduce every delicate nuance of that delightfully complicated sport. The artists are content with a stylized version: similar enough to baseball to rouse the emotional excitement attendant on the game, yet sufficiently different to keep it fast and simple, a few minutes of rousing fun.

The game is based more on mathematical than baseball probability, though a baseball structure is followed. Teams (individuals, that is) take turns at bat. Pitcher and batter glare at one another, then simultaneously toss fingers: from one to five each. Totals, from two to 10, mean things (see opposite page). Even-number totals (2, 4, 6, 8, 10) help the batter. Odd-number totals (3, 5, 7, 9) help the pitcher. High totals are big gambles: 6, 8 and 10 are double, triple and home run, but 7 and 9, neatly sandwiched among the big hits, are double play and triple play. Low totals, on the other hand, are conservative, a change-of-pace device to throw your opponent off stride. Ball (2) and strike (3) are delaying tactics, used to set up your opponent (you hope) for the next move. Because scoring tends to be high, so far as baseball standards are concerned, games are limited to three innings.

Play a few innings. You'll be surprised at the excitement generated in the brief moment before the pitch as you debate whether to throw four fingers or five.

Ground rules are on the opposite page.

Ground Rules: Each player must always throw at least one finger. Runners on base advance bases equal to the hit (one on a single, two on a double, etc.)-Runners cannot advance on double play; batter is out, plus runner on nearest base (count first as nearest, then second, then third). Double play with bases empty: one out. Triple play with bases empty: two out. Triple play with one man on: three out. Game: three innings with three outs an inning.



2 Ball
4 Single
6 Double
8 Triple
10 Home Run


3 Strike
5 Out
7 Double Play
9 Triple Play