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Best of the best

Oct. 06, 1958
Oct. 06, 1958

Table of Contents
Oct. 6, 1958

Table of Contents
America's Cup
On Field And Campus
Food
Boxing
Horse Racing
Motor Sports
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

Best of the best

Exactly 167 daysafter Washington's Pedro Ramos threw the first pitch to Boston's Don Buddin,the 1958 baseball season slipped into the past tense. Herewith is a selectionof the season's top performers and its most dramatic moment.

The hitter: ErnieBanks
This was a good year for the good hitters. The lifetime .300 men—Williams,Musial, Aaron, Ashburn, Mays, Mantle, Kaline, Minoso and Kuenn—all hit over.300. The power hitters hit with power; Sievers, Jensen and Thomas each drovein 100 runs and hit 30-plus home runs. So did Cerv and Colavito. There wereexciting batting title races in both leagues. Mays and Ashburn in the National,Williams and the unexpected Runnels in the American fought it out through theclosing weeks and down to the final day. But none of these had quite as stronga year as Ernie Banks. The willowy shortstop of the Chicago Cubs led bothleagues in home runs and runs batted in, led the National League in runs scoredand compiled a batting average comfortably over .300. It was largely thanks toBanks that the Cubs escaped their predicted fate—last place.

The pitcher: BobTurley
Starting the season off with seven straight wins (including four shutouts), BobTurley helped push the Yankees to such a huge lead that the American Leaguerace was over before he lost a game. And when the season ended, he was theleague's only 20-game winner. In the National League the Braves' incomparablelefty-righty combination of Warren Spahn and Lew Burdette won 40 games betweenthem. Spahn, a 20-game winner for the ninth time, provided Milwaukeeearly-season impetus with an 8-1 record while Burdette insured the pennant bywinning 13 games after the All-Star break. This was the season that Bob Friendfinally won 20 games for the Pirates, Sam Jones of the Cards struck out themost National League batters in 17 years, an injured Herb Score again failed towin more than two games, Robin Roberts came back after a dismal 1957 season,and Don Newcombe didn't.

The manager:Danny Murtaugh
For a manager to finish out the season this year was almost as much of a featas winning the pennant. Well, Casey Stengel and Fred Haney won the pennants, asexpected, but before the races were over, Fred Hutchinson, (replaced this weekby Solly Hemus), Birdie Tebbetts, Bobby Bragan, Jack Tighe and Mayo Smith wereall out job-hunting. For some, though, it was a happy season. Bill Rigney'ssixth-place New York Giants moved to San Francisco and became pennantcontenders—until August anyway. Cookie Lavagetto of the Senators and HarryCraft of the Athletics did surprisingly well with meager material. But it wasDanny Murtaugh and his Pirates who showed the biggest improvement. Tied forlast in 1957, the Pirates were still seventh at midseason this year, but thenplayed .667 ball the rest of the way to finish a surprisingly close second.Note: Murtaugh is one manager who will be back next year.

The rookie:Orlando Cepeda
Orlando Manuel Cepeda, a husky 21-year-old from Puerto Rico, made himself knownthis season as a very good reason why pitchers should not walk Willie Mays.Batting behind Willie, the big first baseman hit well over .300, drove innearly 100 runs (most by a rookie since Ted Williams in 1939) and was a bigreason why San Francisco made such a good run at the pennant. Albie Pearson,Washington's second-ranking golfer, did well despite an avalanche of preseasonpublicity. The 5-foot-5 centerfielder hit a solid .275, which for the Senatorsis the world. The National League had three fine young pitchers in CarltonWilley, Ray Semproch and George Witt, but none caused as much excitement asRyne Duren. Duren's faulty vision, which at times led him to mistake a batter'sear for the heart of the plate, helped him as much as his nerve-shattering fastball. His relief work for the Yankees was superb.

The moment:Musial's 3,000th
It was just a slap double to left field, but almost with the crack of the batphotographers began to emerge from various parts of the stands and sprintacross the infield to second base. There stood Stan Musial, who had just madehis 3,000th hit, only the eighth player in history to do so. While the umpirestolerantly delayed the game, St. Louis Manager Fred Hutchinson came out andshook his player's hand. Then he called for a pinch runner, and Musial trottedoff to a standing ovation. There were other great moments: Wilhelm's no-hitteragainst the Yanks and Bunning's against the Red Sox and, of course,California's first major league pitch.

X-RAY FOR THE1958 SEASON

[This articlecontains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

TEAM PERFORMANCE

TEAM LEADERS

 

Batting

 
 

Season

This Week
(9/21-9/28)

Homers Week

Season

Week

Homers Season

Runs Produced Season

Pitching Season

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Milwaukee

92-62

.597

..

3-2

.600

5

Aaron

.326

Schoendienst

.353

Mathews

31

Aaron

174

Spahn

22-11

Pittsburgh

84-70

.545

8

0-5

.000

2

Skinner

.321

Virdon

.333

Thomas

35

Thomas

163

Friend

22-14

San Francisco

80-74

.519

12

3-3

.500

3

Mays

.347

Mays

.500

Mays

29

Mays

188

Antonelli

16-13

Cincinnati

76-78

.494

16

1-3

.250

1

Lynch

.312

Pinson

.500

Robinson

31

Robinson

142

Purkey

17-11

St. Louis

72-82

.468

20

2-4

.333

6

Musial

.337

Musial

.375

Boyer

23

Boyer

168

Jones

14-13

Chicago

72-82

.468

20

4-2

.667

4

Banks

.313

Thomson

.360

Banks

47

Banks

201

Hobbie

10-6

Los Angeles

71-83

.461

21

3-3

.500

4

Furillo

.290

Lillis

.571

2 with

22

Neal

130

Podres

13-15

Philadelphia

69-85

.448

23

6-0

1.000

3

Ashburn

.350

Ashburn

.593

Anderson

23

Anderson

154

Roberts

17-14

AMERICAN LEAGUE

New York

92-62

.597

..

3-3

.500

6

Mantle

.304

Mantle

.435

Mantle

42

Mantle

182

Turley

21-7

Chicago

82-72

.532

10

3-4

.429

2

Fox

.300

Landis

.375

Lollar

20

Fox

131

Pierce

17-11

Boston

79-75

.513

13

6-1

.857

12

Williams

.328

Williams

.591

Jensen

35

Jensen

170

Delock

14-8

Cleveland

77-76

.503

14½

4-2

.667

10

Power

.312

Colavito

.429

Colavito

41

Power

162

McLish

16-8

Detroit

77-77

.500

15

3-4

.429

4

Kuenn

.319

Boiling

.387

Harris

20

Kaline

153

Lary

16-15

Baltimore

74-79

.484

17½

5-2

.714

4

Boyd

.309

Boyd

.300

Triandos

31

Triandos

108

Portocarrero

15-11

Kansas City

73-81

.474

19

3-3

.500

6

Cerv

.305

Chiti

.412

Cerv

38

Cerv

159

Garver

12-11

Washington

61-93

.396

31

0-8

.000

2

Sievers

.295

Bridges

.300

Sievers

39

Sievers

155

Ramos

14-18

THE SEASON

 

BEST

WORST

Batting (NL)

Ashburn, Phil .350

Logan, Mil .226

Batting (AL)

Williams, Bos .328

DeMaestri, KC .219

Home run hitters (NL)

Banks, Chi 47
(1 per 13 AB)

Schoendienst, Mil 1
(per 427 AB)

Home run hitters (AL)

Mantle, NY 42
(1 per 12 AB)

Fox, Chi 0
(per 623 AB)

Pitching (NL)

Spahn, Mil 22-11

Simmons, Phil 7-14

Pitching (AL)

Turley, NY 21-7

Kemmerer, Wash 6-15

ERA (NL)

Miller, SF 2.47

Drott, Chi 5.39

ERA (AL)

Ford, NY 2.01

Sisler, Bos 4.95

Complete games (NL)

Spahn, Mil 23
(in 38 starts)

Raydon, Pitt 2
(in 20 starts)

Complete games (AL)

Pierce, Chi 19
Turley, NY 19
(in 31 starts)

Griggs, Wash 3
Pappas, Bait 3
(in 21 starts)

Team HR (NL)

Chicago 182

St. Louis 111

Team HR (AL)

New York 164

Chicago 101

MONTH BY MONTH WITH THE LEADERS

 

Apr.-May

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Final

Batting (NL) Richie Ashburn, Phil

.338

.333

.328

366

.386

.350

Batting (AL) Ted Williams, Bos

.269

.345

.311

.371

.411

.328

Home runs (NL) Ernie Banks, Chi

13

5

11

13

5

47

Home runs (AL) Mickey Mantle, NY

4

10

14

9

5

42

RBIs (NL) Ernie Banks, Chi

40

14

29

27

19

129

RBIs(AL) Jackie Jensen, Bos

27

33

31

19

12

122

Pitching (NL) Warren Spahn, Mil

8-1

2-3

3-3

4-3

5-1

22-11

Pitching (AL) Bob Turley, NY

7-1

4-2

4-1

5-2

1-1

21-7

Won and lost (NL) Milwaukee

25-15

13-13

16-14

23-11

15-9

92-62

Won and lost (AL) New York

26-10

17-13

22-11

15-16

12-12

92-52

RUNS SCORED AND YIELDED

 

Av. Runs per Game

Opp. Runs per Game

Difference

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Milwaukee

4.38

3.51

+.87

Cincinnati

4.51

4.03

+.48

Pittsburgh

4.30

3.94

+.36

San Francisco

4.72

4.53

+.19

Chicago

4.60

4.71

-.11

St. Louis

4.02

4.57

-.55

Los Angeles

4.34

4.94

-.60

Philadelphia

4.31

4.95

-.64

AMERICAN LEAGUE

New York

4.90

3.72

+1.18

Cleveland

4.54

4.15

+.39

Detroit

4.28

3.93

+.35

Chicago

4.09

3.97

+.12

Boston

4.50

4.46

+.04

Baltimore

3.38

3.72

-.34

Kansas City

4.12

4.57

-.45

Washington

3.54

4.79

-1.25

PITCHERS' % OF CLUB VICTORIES

 

Top Pitcher

Pitcher's Wins

Club Wins

% of Wins

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pitt

Friend

22

84

26.2

Phil

Roberts

17

69

24.6

Mil

Spahn

22

92

23.9

Cin

Purkey

17

76

22.4

SF

Antonelli

16

80

20.0

StL

Jones

14

72

19.4

LA

Podres

13

71

18.3

Chi

Hobbie

10

72

13.9

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Wash

Ramos

14

61

23.0

NY

Turley

21

92

22.8

Clev

McLish

16

77

20.8

Det

Lary

16

77

20.8

Chi

Pierce

17

82

20.7

Balt

Portocarrero

15

74

20.3

Bos

Delock

14

79

17.7

KC

Garver

12

73

16.4

RUNS PRODUCED

 

Runs Scored

Teammates Batted In

Total Runs Produced

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Banks, Chi (.313)

119

82

201

Mays, SF (.347)

121

67

188

Aaron, Mil (.326)

109

65

174

Boyer, StL (.307)

101

67

168

Thomas, Pitt (.281)

89

74

163

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Mantle, NY (.304)

127

55

182

Jensen, Bos (.286)

83

87

170

Power, Clev (.312)

98

64

162

Cerv, KC (.305)

93

66

159

Runnels, Bos (.322)

103

52

155

Sievers, Wash (.295)

86

69

155

THE ROOKIES

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Batting

Cepeda, SF .312

Pearson, Wash .275

Home runs

Cepeda, SF 25

Harrell, Clev 7
Throneberry, NY 7

RBIs

Cepeda, SF 96

Pearson, Wash 33

Pitching

Semproch, Phil 13-11

Bell, Clev 12-10

PHOTOBANKS LED THE MAJORS IN HOMERSPHOTOTURLEY WON 20 GAMES FOR YANKEESPHOTOMURTAUGH WAS A SURPRISING SECONDPHOTOCEPEDA KNOCKED IN OVER 90 RUNSPHOTO