7 MICKEY MANTLE, CF
Bats L-R, .299, 41 HR, 89 RBI
Most explosive player in baseball, with blazing speed on bases and in field, great power from either side of plate, very strong and accurate arm. Bad right shoulder which hindered effectiveness as left-hand hitter earlier in season is now strong again. Despite frequent injuries in past World Series, has hit nine home runs in 31 games. Now that he is in top shape could be set for biggest performance yet. Excellent bunter when batting left, will take the extra base, always a big threat to steal.
14 BILL SKOWRON, 1B
Bats R, .279, 14 HR, 71 RBI
Never able to play full Series in three previous chances because of injuries, but Yankees keeping fingers crossed now. They need his power, which is strongest to right center and could be big factor in smaller Braves' park. Has great strength and is determined at plate but has been below .300 this season for first time in career. Tends to swing at too many bad pitches. Definitely improved in field, now charges bunts well, can make the play at second. Has fair speed for big man.
9 HANK BAUER, RF
Bats R, .271, 11 HR, 48 RBI
Not an outstanding hitter but a dangerous one because of aggressive determination, he carries a record consecutive-game hitting streak of 14 into this year's Series. Still has trouble with the right-hand curve ball but has cut down on swing, quit going for the seats on every pitch, and this, along with more frequent rest, has boosted average to highest level in recent years. A fine outfielder with a strong, lethally accurate arm, he is also a daring base runner, always a threat to steal.
September 28, 1958
8 YOGI BERRA, C-RF
Bats L, .272, 22 HR, 89 RBI
Game's most famous home-plate conversationalist, this stocky veteran had miserable 1957 season, began '58 same way. Then, reacting to challenge of Howard, helped by less strenuous part-time duties in outfield, began to bang away with old fervor, is once again most feared clutch hitter on roster. Vicious pull hitter who can murder anything in strike zone, dotes on inside fast ball. Has tremendous Series record. Runs well, a fine receiver with quick arm. Fair outfielder but weak on long throw.
32 ELSTON HOWARD, C
Bats R, .321, 11 HR, 65 RBI
Abandoning old widespread stance and hitting more to right has boosted his average 68 points over last year, more or less beat Berra out of catching job, at least against left-hand pitching. Still not a good curve-ball hitter. Has good power to left center when needed, must be considered home-run threat in County Stadium. With chance to catch regularly, has developed into outstanding receiver, is very quick and agile, has better arm than Yogi. Lack of speed only real deficiency.
10 TONY KUBEK, SS
Bats L, .270, 2 HR, 48 RBI
Rookie of the Year in '57, the 21-year-old Milwaukeean has had a disappointing year at the plate, with a 27-point drop in average, but his run production is up and he has done a fine job at shortstop. Despite two Series homers last fall, he has little power, almost never pulls, usually hits to center and left; a good bunter. Range afield is wide; has strong, accurate arm; quick and smooth on double play. Terrific speed, second only to Mantle's, makes him excellent base runner, constant threat to steal.
12 GIL McDOUGALD, 2B
Bats R, .252, 14 HR, 61 RBI
Slumped badly after sizzling start, having worst year at the plate. Opposing pitchers say he appears tired, unsure, no longer digs in, seldom really stings the ball as in the past. Usually an outstanding fast-ball hitter with occasional power, dangerous in the clutch. Excellent hit-and-run man, fine base runner, lacks outstanding speed but gets good jump and will sometimes steal. Very good hands, smooth and fast on the pivot, plays position with exceptional knowledge of opposing batters.
25 NORM SIEBERN, LF
Bats L, .306, 12 HR, 50 RBI
Outstanding hitter in the minor leagues last year, tall, slender youngster had shaky start in Stadium, finally began to click, has now apparently settled old Yankee problem of who's in left. Hits ball sharply to right center, has fair power. Has exceptional sense of strike zone for young player, seldom swings at bad pitch. Defensively, has much to learn about playing tough Yankee left field; speed and arm are only average, often has real trouble coming in on balls hit in front of him.
6 ANDY CAREY, SB
Bats R, .280, 12 HR, 43 RBI
Began season as No. 2 man in third base two-platoon system, but superior hitting earned him No. 1 job. Having best season since rookie year after cutting down on swing, choking up couple of inches on bat. Likes low fast ball, seems to get a piece of every pitch. Has tremendously strong arm, exceptional ability to play bunt, slow-hit ground balls. Weakness is lack of speed, only fair reaction and range on hard-hit balls to his left or right. Late-season ankle injury may hobble him for Series.
19 BOB TURLEY
Throws H, 21-7, 2.75 ERA
Has had great season, with half a dozen shutouts studding the first 20-victory performance of his major league career. Will probably draw opening Series assignment, which Ford has had past three years. Once a scatter-armed fast-ball specialist, the big no-windup pitcher still throws very hard but has gained sharp control over curve, now uses it regularly. Also has good changeup curve and sinker. Moves slow, does not field position too well. Hits the ball hard but with marked irregularity.
28 ART DITMAR
Throws R, 9-7, 3.32 ERA
When pitching staff was going so well early in season, spent much of time on bullpen bench; when pitching faltered and injuries struck, he came in to do a fine job, may well draw a starting assignment in Series. Throws a good sinker and slider, has begun to use slow curve with effectiveness, tries to keep everything low. Fairly quick but lacks overpowering speed; control no problem. Fair hitter, likes the fast ball, can pull to right. Average or slightly above at fielding position.
30 BOBBY SHANTZ
Throws L, 7-5, 3.39 ERA
Picked up by Yankees before '57 season as spot pitcher, but injuries to rest of staff have kept little veteran more or less in starting rotation ever since. If Ford is unable to pitch, will be only left-hander on squad. Uses sneaky fast ball, but lacks real speed, depends on big variety of breaking stuff—knuckler, sinker and a very good curve—plus the sharp control to pitch to spots. A good hitter who can pull the ball, he is best fielding pitcher in the game, death on bunts.
16 WHITEY FORD
Throws L, 14-7, 2.10 ERA
The tough, cocky little blond has a sound knowledge of hitters, excellent control and a bewildering assortment of pitches: a great curve thrown with a variety of motions and speeds, a good changeup, a fast ball that can also sink, an occasional slider. However, he is bothered by an injury—his elbow hurts when he throws breaking pitches—and he may be far from right for the Series. Has one of game's best pick-off moves, is also a good fielder and a fair hitter.
18 DON LARSEN
Throws R, 8-6, 3.41 ERA
Big question mark is his right elbow, which began to cause trouble after sizzling start this year (three straight shutouts), sometimes swells after slight warmup, may keep him on bench altogether. Big and strong, he has great stuff when healthy, throws a fast ball that jumps, a good slow curve, a slider, a big overhand curve and a screwball as a changeup against lefthanders. Control sometimes erratic. A good fielder and a superb hitter, with real home-run power to all fields.
26 RYNE DUREN
Throws R, 6-4, 2.03 ERA
Came to Yankees after bouncing around minors for almost 10 years, has done magnificent job in relief. Combination of bad eyesight and blazing fast ball—which American Leaguers say is as good as Herb Score's—tends to keep opposing hitters loose, ineffective against his overpowering speed. But lack of control has plagued him in recent appearances. Throws an occasional slider when ahead of hitter, uses curve and changeup just for show. Just about the worst hitter in all baseball.
BOARD OF STRATEGY
Some people collect stamps, others coins. With CASEY STENGEL (37), manager of the Yankees, it's pennants. In his 10 years with the club, he's collected nine of them, an unparalleled record. Stengel has been successful in six of his eight World Series, losing only to Brooklyn in 1955 and Milwaukee last year. Casey took the Milwaukee loss gracefully, but you can bet your box seats he's burning to even matters. The only time the Yanks lost two Series in a row was '21 and '22, when McGraw's Giants, aided by a center fielder named Casey Stengel, overpowered them. Casey doesn't want to let it happen again. As the manager of a team much too good for the rest of the league, Stengel keeps his players hustling by throwing them into competition with themselves for a spot in the lineup. Three hits today does not necessarily guarantee a position tomorrow. That's Stengel's way. A pitcher with a comfortable lead cannot relax, for it doesn't take much to bring about a sight that never fails to stir the crowd: old No. 37, hands buried deep in his hip pockets, trudging slowly out to the mound to make a change. Before Stengel does remove his pitcher, he confers with JIM TURNER (31), his pitching coach since 1949. Turner won 20 games for the Boston Bees in 1937. Waving Yankee runners around third will be the old shortstop, FRANK CROSETTI (2). This is "The Crow's" 18th Series, eight as a player, 10 as a coach. RALPH HOUK (35), a former Yankee catcher, coaches first.
Jerry Lumpe (11) is a fine young left-handed-hitting third baseman, with a strong arm, good hands and wide range. A sharp opposite-field hitter, infrequent use this season has hurt his average. Old ENOS SLAUGHTER (17) ranks with best pinch hitters in baseball, seems able to come off the bench and always get on base. Still runs hard, can do a good job in left field. Because of McDougald, young BOBBY RICHARDSON (1) has had little chance to show his defensive wizardry around second, also little chance to prove that he can hit. MARV THRONEBERRY (20) has exceptional power but strikes out too often, appears unable to handle big league pitching. Not a particularly adept first baseman. Bullpen catcher DARRELL JOHNSON (22) has seen little action this year but is regarded as a superb receiver, with a sharp knowledge of hitters and a quick, accurate arm. Is not noted for his hitting ability. Among the pitchers, JOHNNY KUCKS (53) has been erratic, shows a tendency to hang his breaking stuff up high. When right, has a great sidearm sinker, a slider and a good curve. DUKE MAAS (24) has had only fair luck since trade brought him from Kansas City, throws a sinker and slider but is bothered by lack of control. Best young pitcher on staff is ZACK MONROE (55), who came up to club from Denver in June, has worked hard in both spot starts and relief; throws slider and a palm ball which usually drops but sometimes breaks either way and has been especially tough on left-handers. VIRGIL TRUCKS (21), who when with Detroit some years ago was aptly nicknamed "Fireball," can still throw hard, but has seen little action, has been hampered by wildness. This has been a miserable year for TOM STURDIVANT (47), who has been plagued with an aching arm most of this season and is now recovering from a bad spike cut on ankle which may sideline him for the entire Series.