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BALTIMORE ORIOLES

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

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

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

STRONG POINTS
Pitching. With a staff that allowed but 3.40 earned runs a game and gave up the fewest home runs, walks and total runs in the league, the Orioles have few worries here. Only Whitey Ford and Billy Pierce compiled a better ERA than lean lefthander Jack Harshman's 2.90. If his 12 and 15 record seems unimpressive, consider that in 11 of his games the Orioles scored no more than one run. Another southpaw, Billy O'Dell, was a bit luckier, since he had a winning record of 14 and 11 to-show for his low 2.97 ERA. Manager Paul Richards lived up to his prestidigitator's reputation last year by pulling one out of the hat: Arnold Portocarrero, a big right-hander who couldn't win more than nine games in three years with the Athletics, set a modern Oriole record with 15 wins. Nineteen-year-old Milt Pappas was carefully brought along last season and still managed to win 10 games. He should be ready to step up the pace now. Superior pitching, sound defense and a well-coached team have been Baltimore's balm under Paul Richards. The only home-run hitter in the Baltimore popgun attack is big Gus Triandos, the Orioles' All-Star catcher, who ranks with the best in the league. Ageless Bob Boyd at first base will hit enough line drives to average .300. Outfielders Bob Nieman and Gene Woodling, both great competitors, round out the Orioles' meager list of legitimate major league hitters. A six months' tour in the Army killed spring training for Brooks Robinson, the third-base virtuoso, and may hinder his progress for a while. When he was hitting last year, he was the most exciting player Baltimore had.

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

WEAK SPOTS
The Orioles have proved rather conclusively that it takes more than a heap of pitching to make a pennant contender, or even finish in the first division. Someone has to get some hits and someone has to drive in some runs once in a while. The Orioles found it impossible to do any of these things: they finished last in the majors in hits, runs, total bases and runs batted in. And next to last in homers. Even the extremely stingy pitching staff gave up more runs and home runs than the hitters could produce. Granted that the Orioles' home park, with its big in-play area and spacious outfield, seems designed by and for a pitcher, but as long as they send fancy glovemen with .200 batting averages up to the plate the Orioles will never get too healthy.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
The Oriole farm system, which has been unspectacularly but steadily abuilding, may have come up with a beauty in 26-year-old Willie Tasby. An exciting ballplayer, the trim Tasby was named Rookie of the Year in the American Association last season (.322 batting average, 22 home runs, 95 RBIs). He could finally be that long-sought Orioles center fielder who can hit as well as field. Lennie Green, another fleet center fielder, is back for another try and hit well this spring. Ron Hansen, the rangy shortstop, will only be stopped by his hitting. Bonus Pitcher Jerry Walker looks ready to join the staff. In an effort to add punch to his anemic infield, Richards has picked up an assortment of shopworn infielders. Chico Carrasquel arrived from Cleveland, via Kansas City, and at 31 is still capable of good play at short. Ex-Indian Second Baseman Bobby Avila hit .253 last year but it looks like .400 in the Oriole infield. Billy Klaus had a few good years in Boston and could win the third-base job with his hitting, while Jim Finigan and Whitey Lockman, fair hitters once, add depth.

THE BIG IFS
It would be a shame if the Orioles once again waste all that good pitching for want of a base hit. Richards feels he may have solved that problem with his new infielders. If Carrasquel and Klaus can make the difference with their bats, there will be fewer losing 2-1 games. Of course, if those fantastic young glovemen, Robinson and Hansen, could learn to hit, infield problems would vanish. It would be pleasant, too, if scrappy Second Baseman Billy Gardner were to return to his hitting prowess of two years ago when he was the most valuable Oriole. The same could be said of Al Pilarcik, the speedy outfielder with so much talent who was such a disappointment last season. The Orioles can't afford to lose the big bats of Nieman and Woodling for even a short time but they are liable to, since Nieman has an aching back and Woodling, at 37, needs occasional rest. A lot depends on Willie Tasby making it big in the outfield.

THE OUTLOOK
It wouldn't take much—a few base hits at critical moments—for the Orioles to make life uncomfortable for the block of teams ahead of them. It also wouldn't take much—a weakening in the defense, a letdown by the pitchers—for the Orioles to slip way back. This is a fringe club which has, temporarily at least, found its home near the middle of the league, and it could move either way without straining the probabilities or the imagination of the fans. It will be an enjoyable team, tough to beat, but chances are it will finish little better than last year.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOGOOD PITCHING—AND BALTIMORE HAS IT—CAN BE WASTED WITHOUT GOOD CATCHERS. BUT THE ORIOLES HAVE A GOOD ONE IN BIG GUS TRIANDOSPHOTONIEMANPHOTOWOODLINGPHOTOBOYDPHOTOROBINSONPHOTOGARDNERPHOTOTASBYPHOTOCARRASQUELPHOTOO'DELLPHOTOHARSHMANPHOTOPORTOCARREROPHOTOPAPPASPHOTOWILHELMILLUSTRATION

BASIC ROSTER

NO.

NAME

POSITION

1958 RECORD

1

BOB BOYD

1B

.309

2

AL PILARCIK

RF

.243

3

RON HANSEN

SS

(minors)

4

BOB NIEMAN

LF

.325

5

BROOKS ROBINSON

3B

.238

6

BILLY KLAUS

IF

.159

8

BOBBY AVILA

2B

.253

9

BILLY GARDNER

2B

.225

11

GUS TRIANDOS

C

.245

14

GENE WOODLING

RF

.276

17

CHICO CARRASQUEL

SS

.234

22

JOE GINSBERG

C

.211

34

WHITEY LOCKMAN

IF-OF

.238

44

WILLIE TASBY

OF

(minors)

15

HOYT WILHELM

P

3-10

24

ARNOLD P'CARRERO

P

15-11

28

HAL BROWN

P

7-5

29

JACK HARSHMAN

P

12-15

32

MILT PAPPAS

P

10-10

41

BILLY O'DELL

P

14-11

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

YEAR

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

1958

6

74

79

17½

1957

5

76

76

21

1956

6

69

85

28

1955

7

57

97

39

1954

7

54

100

57

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

BATTING

PITCHING

1958

BOYD

.309

P'CARRERO

15-11

1957

BOYD

.318

JOHNSON

14-11

1956

NIEMAN

.320

MOORE

12-7

1955

PHILLEY

.299

WILSON

12-18

1954

ABRAMS

.293

TURLEY

14-15

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

1958

TRIANDOS

30

TRIANDOS

79

1957

TRIANDOS

19

TRIANDOS

72

1956

TRIANDOS

21

TRIANDOS

88

1955

TRIANDOS

12

TRIANDOS

65

1954

STEPHENS

8

STEPHENS

46

HOME SCHEDULE

*Night game

APRIL

NEW YORK

14,15*,16

WASHINGTON

17*,18,19,19

MAY

BOSTON

8*,9,10,10

KANSAS CITY

12*,13*,14*

DETROIT

15*,16

CLEVELAND

17,17,18*

CHICAGO

19*,20*

NEW YORK

22*,23,24,24

WASHINGTON

26*,27*

JUNE

CLEVELAND

9*,10*,11*

CHICAGO

12*,13,14,14

DETROIT

15*,16*,17*,18

KANSAS CITY

19*,20*,21

NEW YORK

30*

JULY

NEW YORK

1*,2

BOSTON

3*,4,5,5

KANSAS CITY

14*,15*,16

DETROIT

17*,18*,19

AUGUST

CHICAGO

4*,5*,6*

CLEVELAND

7*,8*,9

BOSTON

12*

WASHINGTON

14*,15*,16

NEW YORK

31*

SEPTEMBER

BOSTON

2*,3*

WASHINGTON

7,7

CLEVELAND

9*,10*

CHICAGO

11*,12

KANSAS CITY

13,14*

DETROIT

15*,16*