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NEW YORK YANKEES

April 13, 1959
April 13, 1959

Table of Contents
April 13, 1959

Ask Him Anything
Wondrous Wall
Florida Derby
Wonderful World Of Sport
They Call It Baseball
  • HERE, beginning with a few ideas on what one can expect in 1959, Sports Illustrated presents its fifth annual preview of the major league season, with pictures in both color and black and white, scouting reports, schedules, statistics and features

The Umpire
Scouting Reports
  • Even in an inflationary economy there is no safer and better return on your money than the 40¢ profit you get in the fall from the dollar you bet in the spring that the Yankees will win the pennant. New York will win again in 1959

  • The White Sox feel that this is the year the Yankees can be beaten. If such a feat is possible, this is the team that can do it, if only someone would start hitting home runs. The rest of the pennant-winning ingredients are all there

  • Let the small letter i represent the American League. The Yankees, of course, are the dot, so the best the Boston Red Sox can hope for is a place near the top of the stem. Much depends on whether life truly begins at 40 for Ted Williams

  • Colavito, Minoso, Piersall, Power and Martin are about as colorful a crew as you will find in baseball. The team as a whole isn't nearly as good as the perpetual second-place finishers of a few years ago, but it's going to be more fun to watch

  • Every spring the Tigers promise much, but when summer rolls around they deliver little. This year they are keeping quiet, hoping that this team of many stars can finally do what everyone feels it should do—contend for the pennant

  • The Orioles' outstanding pitching and good defense should guarantee a fight for any opponent. Last season they finished sixth, but a good sixth, just three games out of the first division. To finish in fourth place, then, is their goal for 1959

  • The fury of mass trading is just about over, and the Athletics are a lot closer to that glorious day when they will be able to boast 25 major leaguers on the roster. Nevertheless, a .500 season for Kansas City is still a remote possibility

  • The road to the American League cellar is paved with the good intentions of the Washington Senators. Baseball magnates feel it needs a major league club in the national capital, but Cal Griffith provides only the palest imitation of one

  • An original statistical report

  • The Braves are not too blasé to appreciate those fat World Series checks every fall. With a well-rounded band of seasoned players and the richest pitching resources in the league, Milwaukee will not be easily beaten. But it can be

  • The Pirates will be a stimulating team to watch this summer as they throw strong pitching, superior defense, sharp hitting and fast legs onto the field. They'll be nearly everyone's sentimental favorite and might just win it all

  • Talented young players with great arms, blazing speed, sure instincts in the field and powerful bats in their hands are the trademark of the 1959 Giants. Sophisticated San Franciscans are in for excitement if the pitching holds up

  • The great power teams of 1956 and '57 are gone, but so is the bad pitching that wrecked them. Changed also is last year's squad, which was unbalanced in the opposite sense. Now the Reds plan to field a ball club with a smoother blend

  • Bad days have fallen upon the St. Louis Cardinals, and the bright promise of two years ago has been faithless. The effects on the club of uncertain, divided direction and erratic trading policies are now being felt. Busch has a loser here

  • Heavy trading during the past two seasons and a thorough search of the farm system produced last year a hard-hitting lineup that gave the Cubs the best team they've had in a long time. There is, however, still lots of work to be done

  • Walter O'Malley made all the money he expected to last year. Now it's time for the Dodgers to start playing ball. This is too good a team to be fooling around down in the second division. It should be a more pleasant season for Los Angeles

  • The good old days for the Phillies were in 1950, when Manager Eddie Sawyer led the club to its first pennant in 35 years. Those days are gone, and the Phillies are back in eighth place. Once again it's Sawyer's job to take them on and up

Boxing
Horse Racing
Motor Sports
Food
Dogs
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

NEW YORK YANKEES

Even in an inflationary economy there is no safer and better return on your money than the 40¢ profit you get in the fall from the dollar you bet in the spring that the Yankees will win the pennant. New York will win again in 1959

STRONG POINTS
You name it, and the Yankees have it—in more abundance than anyone else in the American League. Consider pitching. Maybe the top three of some teams are as good as Ford, Turley and Larsen. But who can follow with the likes of Duke Maas, Art Ditmar, Tom Sturdivant and Bobby Shantz—and still have a Ryne Duren lounging in the bullpen? (The Yankees led the league in ERA with a low 3.22.) Is there a better pitcher than Whitey Ford, the stylish left-hander? (Of all pitchers in the majors, he has the best won-and-lost record, 105-40, and the lowest ERA, 2.59.) Bob Turley, one of the early-to-bed Yankees, became the winningest pitcher in the league when he learned to mix a good curve with his fast ball. That splendid athlete, Don Larsen, has yet to realize his full pitching talents over an entire season because of various injuries. The others are dependable starters who can be called upon to relieve. And if all else fails, there's always Ryne Duren, who throws the hardest ball in baseball for an inning or two. With all this pitching, the Yankees really don't need too much hitting, but they have a barrelful of that, too. In spite of a late-season slump the team led the league in batting average, hits, runs, home runs, total bases and runs batted in. When Yogi Berra slowed down, Elston Howard stepped up and hit .314. But don't forget that Berra, in a bad year for him, still hit 22 homers and drove in-90 runs. He won't be sitting on the bench very often. Mickey Mantle disappointed a lot of folks by not batting .400 or breaking Babe Ruth's home-run record. But he's capable of doing it sometime, if he ever puts his mind to it. Tough Hank Bauer at 36 is still one of the roughest hitters in baseball with the winning run on base, and young Norm Siebern, despite his World Series setbacks, is a .300-hitting left fielder. Bill Skowron, Gil McDougald and Tony Kubek had poor years, but the Yankee attack didn't hurt too much. Also, where are there two better part-time third basemen than Andy Carey and Jerry Lumpe? That isn't all; the Yankees have speed, both afield and on the bases, and a tight defense that forces the other team to make the mistakes. Their depth and versatility are unmatched. Casey Stengel can take Berra, Howard, McDougald, Kubek, Lumpe and Bobby Richardson, the dandy utility infielder, and mix them around to suit his fancy.

This is an article from the April 13, 1959 issue Original Layout

WEAK SPOTS
This may sound facetious, but there just aren't any. Oh, sure, Casey says he'd like another pitcher, but every manager says that automatically. And he claims he could use another outfielder. Don't feel sorry for Casey.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
The Yankee team is the toughest to crack in baseball, yet every year one or more rookies are eased onto the squad. It's going to be a little tougher this year, though. Fritz Brickell, the sparkplug infielder with the sure hands, may stay around for a while, at least until Tony Kubek gets back into shape after his Army tour, and he could stay longer if he hits. Deron Johnson, who is built like Mantle and hits like him (at least in the spring) but doesn't run or throw like him, is probably another year or two away. The only rookies with a good chance of staying all season are a tall, 26-year-old catcher named John Blanchard, whose options are used up, and Jim Bronstad, a pitcher. Blanchard, a power hitter, will have to wait his turn in the Yankee Stadium bullpen until Berra or Howard wears out. Bronstad, a lanky righthander, is from Texas. He spent last season with Richmond under the watchful eye of Eddie Lopat and compiled a 13-13 record.

THE BIG IFS
Probably the worst thing that could happen to this well-balanced team would be for the players to misjudge the time to relax. It's hard for the Yankees to play at a maximum all the time in a league that offers weak competition. Last year the Yanks coasted through the last half of the season and still won by 10 games. Stengel's toughest job as manager is keeping his team keyed up long enough to clinch the pennant early. Presumably, complacency could become a habit. Ford, Larsen and Sturdivant might have arm trouble again, and Johnny Kucks, a good pitcher a few years back, might be all through. Skowron is accident prone and rarely plays a full schedule, and injuries to a Mantle or a McDougald would hurt, but not critically. Even Ryne Duren might lose his control, or his glasses. There is more than enough depth here, though, to withstand almost anything.

THE OUTLOOK
Coach Frankie Crosetti will cash his 18th World Series check and Manager Casey Stengel will handle his 10th pennant winner in his 11 years with the Yankees. Yankee-haters and those obsessed with the club's invincibility are not yet about to witness the crumbling of the dynasty. No matter how pessimistic Casey may sound at times during the season, don't be fooled. He knows he has too much hitting, pitching, speed, defense and depth to be seriously challenged this year.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOSTRENGTH AND ICY DETERMINATION OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES ARE REFLECTED IN THE FACES OF PITCHERS WHITEY FORD AND BOB TURLEYPHOTOMANTLEPHOTOHOWARDPHOTOMcDOUGALDPHOTOBERRAPHOTOSKOWRONPHOTOBAUERPHOTOKUBEKPHOTOSIEBERNPHOTOCAREYPHOTODITMARPHOTOLARSENPHOTODURENILLUSTRATION

BASIC ROSTER

NO.

NAME

POSITION

1958 RECORD

1

BOBBY RICHARDSON

IF

.247

6

ANDY CAREY

3B

.286

7

MICKEY MANTLE

CF

.304

8

YOGI BERRA

C-OF

.266

9

HANK BAUER

RF

.268

10

TONY KUBEK

IF-OF

.265

11

JERRY LUMPE

IF

.254

12

GIL McDOUGALD

IF

.250

14

BILL SKOWRON

1B

.273

17

ENOS SLAUGHTER

OF

.304

25

NORM SIEBERN

LF

.300

32

ELSTON HOWARD

C-OF

.314

16

WHITEY FORD

P

14-7

18

DON LARSEN

P

9-6

19

BOB TURLEY

P

21-7

24

DUKE MAAS

P

11-8

26

RYNE DUREN

P

6-4

28

ART DITMAR

P

9-8

30

BOBBY SHANTZ

P

7-6

47

TOM STURDIVANT

P

3-6

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

YEAR

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

1958

1

92

62

1957

1

98

56

1956

1

97

57

1955

1

96

58

1954

2

103

51

8

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

BATTING

PITCHING

1958

MANTLE

.304

TURLEY

21-7

1957

MANTLE

.365

STURDIVANT

16-6

1956

MANTLE

.353

FORD

19-6

1955

MANTLE

.306

FORD

18-7

1954

NOREN

.319

GRIM

20-6

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

1958

MANTLE

42

MANTLE

97

1957

MANTLE

34

MANTLE

94

1956

MANTLE

52

MANTLE

130

1955

MANTLE

37

BERRA

108

1954

MANTLE

27

BERRA

125

HOME SCHEDULE

*Night game

APRIL

BOSTON

10,11,12

BALTIMORE

25,26,26

MAY

WASHINGTON

9,10,10

CLEVELAND

12*,13

CHICAGO

15*,16

KANSAS CITY

17,17

DETROIT

19*,20

BOSTON

26*

BALTIMORE

28*,29

JUNE

KANSAS CITY

9*,10,11

DETROIT

12*,13,14,14

CHICAGO

16*,17,18

CLEVELAND

19*,20,21,21

JULY

WASHINGTON

3*,4,4,5

CLEVELAND

14*,15,16

CHICAGO

17*,18,19,19

AUGUST

DETROIT

4*,5,6

KANSAS CITY

7*,8,9,9

WASHINGTON

12*,13

BOSTON

14*,15,16,16

SEPTEMBER

WASHINGTON

2*,3

BALTIMORE

4*,5,6

KANSAS CITY

9*,10

DETROIT

11,12

CLEVELAND

13,13

CHICAGO

15,16

BOSTON

18*,19,20

BALTIMORE

25*,26,27