44 HANK AARON,RF
Bats R, .332, 29 HR, 90 RBI
Man who excites the experts is Henry Aaron, of the loose, free swing. Called"best wrist hitter in baseball," he's actually an arm hitter, lashingpitch with masterful coordination of forearms, biceps, wrists and bat. Slumpedthrough June but has had best record in league since then. No set way to fixdefenses against him, since he hits to all fields, bunts beautifully, is fastenough to beat out infield hits. He's also a good, if lackadaisical,outfielder, with a fine arm. The team's big man.
1 DEL CRANDALL,C
Bats R, .277, 18 HR, 61 RBI
The best catcher in the National League is having one of his best years.Healthy this time out, he's hitting about 30 points above lifetime average,while keeping his homers and runs batted in up there. A power hitter who pullspretty well, he's a dangerous man in his customary spot low in the battingorder. Superb defensive player, with a fine arm, he's made solid contributionto success of young Milwaukee pitchers. Not an Olympic sprinter, but he's apretty fair base runner for a catcher.
14 FRANK TORRE,1B
Bats L, .307, 5 HR, 55 RBI
Some say this big, sad-looking fellow from Brooklyn is the most improved playerin the Braves' lineup. Certainly he shows added confidence now that he's afull-fledged platoon first baseman with Joe Ad-cock. Torre, a left-handedthrower, is a topflight fielding first baseman, often subs in late innings onclays Adcock starts. Good base runner, though not terribly fast. Despite hissize (6 feet 3, 205), he's not a power hitter. He meets ball, sprays hits toall fields. Hurt Yanks last year.
September 28, 1958
41 EDDIEMATHEWS, 3B
Bats L, .253, 30 HR, 73 RBI
Having a slumpy year at plate, though still propelling plenty of home runs overfar fences with strong level swing (in contrast to Aaron, Mathews makes greatuse of his massive back muscles). Once had reputation of being moody, sullen,childish, but teammates now respect him as one of hardest-working players onteam. Example of this is his fielding, which has improved from bad to very good(his play at third base in '57 Series was remarkable). Despite his bulk, he isa very fast runner.
23 JOHNNY LOGAN,SS
Bats R, .232, 11 HR, 53 RBI
Logan is not having a good year. Batting average sloughed 40 points offlifetime level to the dismal .230s. Even so, he's still a great fast-ballhitter who's apt to drop a homer in the seats any time. A scrapper who won'tquit but, unhappily, he seems to have let his hitting slump bother his fieldingjust a bit, which is something he really can't afford to do, since his longsuit in the field is steadiness, not brilliance. He's an artful bunter, a goodhit-and-run man. Fair runner, nothing spectacular.
9 JOE ADCOCK,1B
Bats R, .283, 19 HR, 53 RBI
Adcock is a big, awkward, powerful man who can break a careless pitcher's heartwith his bat. He's a right-handed long-ball hitter whose strength is to leftcenter, which means that he can be contained in spacious Yankee Stadium. Still,his single to right won a key game last Series. Has reputation as a weakfielder, but now and then he'll make a surprisingly good play. Has been used inleft field on occasion this season, may see action there if Covington isgrounded. A heavy-footed runner.
43 WESCOVINGTON, LF
Bats L, .333, 24 HR, 75 RBI
Ailing legs kept him on the bench almost half the time this season, butCovington nonetheless has almost as many home runs and runs batted in as doesAaron, who has played in nearly every game. Wes likes to crouch at plate,waving bat menacingly. Loves the dramatics of it all and is occasionallyaccused of "showboating." But he hits, and hard, not so much down lineto right as to right center, center, left center. Slow because of injured leg,and not a topflight fielder. But what a hitter!
4 REDSCHOENDIENST, 2B
Bats L-R, .261, 0 HR, 20 RBI
Red, ailing most of the season, has played fewer games this year than at anyother time in his major league career. In September, however, he has looked infine shape and is back in the lineup. He's still a superb ballplayer: amagnificent fielder and a sharp, smart switch hitter who's content to chopsingles and doubles (though batting lefty he's capable of popping homers intothose near right-field seats in Yankee Stadium). Heavier around the hips, he'snot the speedy runner he used to be.
38 BILL BRUTON,CF
Bats L, .273, 3 HR, 25 RBI
Suffered ruinous knee injury last year, which some thought meant end of hiscareer. Got back in lineup in May this season and resumed his center fieldingduties, sharing them through latter part of campaign with surprising FelixMantilla. Bill's forte was blinding speed, and unfortunately his injury hasslowed him down—both in the matter of his outfield range and in the matter ofbeating out hits, racing around the bases to score. He's still pretty fast,though. No power to worry about.
Throws L, 20-11, 3.08 ERA
One of the great pitchers in the history of baseball, Spahn this year had a20-victory season for ninth time, more than any other left-hander who everpitched—and that list includes Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, Eddie Plank and RubeWaddell, among others. Now that his fast ball isn't what it used to be, he'sdeveloped a screwball and a slider to compensate. Has great control, deception.Always pitches to spots; when his control is off he's in trouble. An excellentfielder and a fine hitter.
Throws R, 9-5, 2.52 ERA
Tall, lanky down-Easter from Maine had a fine minor league record last year(21-6) but was farmed out again this season, didn't get real chance until hewas called back to Braves in June. Along with fellow youngsters Jay and Pizarrohe came through beautifully, really saved the pennant for Milwaukee. Willey isprimarily a fast-ball pitcher; his fast one "moves" well. But it's bestas a high pitch, and as a result it may not be too effective againstfast-ball-hitting Yanks.
Throws L, 6-3, 2.25 ERA
Came out of Puerto Rico to sensational debut in Sally League two years ago,moved up quickly to Milwaukee. Bounced up and down between parent club andminors until this summer, when he finally seemed to mature as pitcher. Has agreat fast ball, complemented now by two varieties of screwball, one fast andone slow, that serve as change of pace. Experience has helped: Juan has poisenow. He's a fine athlete, and Yanks should find him a good hitter, a fast baserunner, a capable fielder.
Throws R, 19-10, 3.01 ERA
The man who smothered the Yankees last Series (two shutouts, three victories)had a bad spring this year, but when summer started so did Burdette. Won 11 of13 over one stretch, pitched some of best ball of his career. Uses fast ballsparingly around other pitches (some curves but mostly sinker and screwball).His effectiveness against Yanks was result of near genius in keeping ball low,low, low. Constantly fidgeting on mound. Very colorful. Good hitter; fairfielder.
10 BOB BUHL
Throws R, 5-2, 3.60 ERA
One of mainstays of the Braves' staff in previous three seasons, Buhl suffereddisabling arm injury in May, did not pitch again until September. Looks to bein good shape physically and probably will start against Yanks, though hefailed twice against them last year. Throws fast ball, with occasional slider.Works quickly, has good control. Used to have herky-jerky motion, but in recentstarts seems to have smoothed it out considerably. Poor hitter, ordinaryfielder.
Throws R, 7-2, 3.86 ERA
If Series should develop into duel of relief pitchers, Braves are in splendidshape with big, young Don McMahon. This massive New York Irishman has a babyface and a grownup fast ball. He's the "short" relief man in FredHaney's bullpen: he comes on late in the game and simply rears back and poursthe ball through for an inning or two. McMahon had one of the best earned runaverages in the National League and he's been similarly effective this season.Not much with bat or glove.
Prior to mid-June of 1956, when he was placed in charge of the MilwaukeeBraves, FRED HANEY'S (2) big league managerial career was notably unsuccessful:he had managed two teams, Pittsburgh and the St. Louis Browns, and in five fullseasons had finished last four times, sixth once. He had been discharged, asCasey Stengel would put it, from both positions. With Milwaukee, however, ithas been different. He has won two pennants, and it would have been three hadnot the Braves collapsed on the final weekend of the 1956 season. Fred Haney, 5feet 6 without spikes, is the shortest manager in baseball. He began playingprofessionally during World War I, was an infielder with four major leagueclubs during the '20s. He started managing in 1935 with Toledo, gave it up forradio announcing from 1943 to 1948 before returning to the dugout and eventualsuccess. Shortly after Milwaukee won the 1957 World Series, Manager Haney firedmost of his coaching staff. He hired WHITLOW WYATT (31) as pitching coach, andit is Wyatt, a veteran of 16 years in the majors, who is given considerablecredit for the outstanding performances of Milwaukee's trio of young pitchers:Carlton Willey, Joey Jay and Juan Pizarro. Coaching third and first will beBILLY HERMAN (8) and JOHN FITZPATRICK (3), two former players with contrastingcareers. Herman played in 10 consecutive All-Star Games and four Series.Fitzpatrick played 22 years and never made the majors.
Except in pitching, the Braves do not have first-rate reserve strength. Twobest bench men are FELIX MANTILLA (5) and ANDY PAFKO (48). Felix is the lithe,graceful Puerto Rican who filled in so well in the field for Red Schoendienstin last year's Series. A shortstop by trade, and a good one, he proved himselfa surprisingly capable outfielder this season, platooning in center with BillyBruton. Trouble is, he can't hit. Pafko is, at 37, Milwaukee's answer to NewYork's Enos Slaughter. All hustle and drive, Andy is still a good outfielder, agood pinch hitter, a player who gives all that he has all the time, DEL RICE(7), famed as one of the slowest runners in baseball, is a smart catcher; he'snot much of a hitter, though he does have power, HARRY HANEBRINK (6) is aversatile infielder-outfielder-pinch-hitter, but he's not one to worry rivalmanagers into insomnia. Nor is CASEY WISE (27), who earns his salary primarilyas a defensive infield substitute. GENE CONLEY (22), 6-foot 8-inch stringbean,was once one of Braves' pitching mainstays, but now he's mostly a fill-in man,unlikely to see much Series service, BOB RUSH (17) is an erratic pitcher, butwhen his sinking fast ball is working right he is a most effective workman andcould bother the Yankees, JOEY JAY (47) is considered by many to be the best ofthe fabulously good young Milwaukee pitchers, but an arm injury sidelined himthrough the late weeks of the season. He has speed, control, a fine variety ofpitches, great poise and confidence. Right-handers BOB TROWBRIDGE (30) andHUMBERTO ROBINSON (49) are Fred Haney's "long" relief men, the"middle" men who hold the opposition until it's time for Don McMahon.Trowbridge, a big man, throws breaking stuff mostly. Robinson, a Panamanian whois as reedy as Trowbridge is husky, has a sidearm sinker that can be veryannoying.