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WASHINGTON SENATORS

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

WASHINGTON SENATORS

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

STRONG POINTS
The only attraction that keeps that small group of fans wandering back to Griffith Stadium and retains the franchise in Washington is the batting prowess of Roy Sievers. The team's one-man offensive show, Sievers hit one-third of the Senators' home runs (39) and knocked in 108 runs to rank third-best in both categories in the American League. Otherwise, the sole pretense of power Washington can boast of with a straight face comes from two 6-foot 5-inch swingers, Right Fielder Jim Lemon (26 homers) and First Baseman Norm Zauchin. Standing a full foot shorter in the batter's box, tiny Albie Pearson stroked enough singles and doubles to win the league's Rookie of the Year award; because of him, the Senators have an outfielder who can run as well as hit. Scrappy Clint Courtney, who doesn't let the Washington lethargy affect him too much, gives the Senators a solid major league catcher who hits an occasional long ball. The nicest thing to happen in Washington since Dolley Madison was the development of Submarine Pitcher Dick Hyde into the top reliever in baseball. He wasn't too sharp this spring, but last year he won 10 games and saved 19 others to account for just about half the Senators' wins. On top of that, he had a remarkable 1.75 ERA. The long-relief man for the team, Tex Clevenger, appeared in the most games in the league (55) and won nine of them. Pedro Ramos and Camilo Pascual, the Senators' only starting class pitchers, are both able young men—so able, in fact, that the Yankees have expressed interest in both of them.

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

WEAK SPOTS
They still pay off in baseball on hitting, pitching, fielding and a few other talents like those. The Senators don't have much of any of them. Once again, they finished last in both leagues in pitching and batting, and nothing Washington did over the winter and spring seems likely to change that. New additions Reno Bertoia and Ron Samford have lifetime major league batting averages of .239 and .206 respectively. Infielders Ken Aspromonte and Jose Valdivielso can stop a ball but not hit one. Reserve outfielders Faye Throneberry and Jim Delsing don't scare many pitchers when they walk up to the plate. Jim Lemon hits home runs but he strikes out far too often, and batted only .246 last year. And so on down the line. Once you get past Ramos and Pascual, the list of starting pitchers fades into negligibility. Russ Kemmerer is considered the third man, but he lost 15 games and allowed 4.62 earned runs a game last season. Beyond him there's some hope, but mostly an aching void. Sievers and Lemon are not good outfielders, to phrase it gently. Too many balls that should have been stopped have been skipping through the infield for years. Herb Plews plays second base because he can hit, which is a sad commentary on the hitting skills of the other infielders.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
In an all-out effort to get some youth and speed on the team, the Senators finally got around to trading their old third-base fixture, Eddie Yost, along with Shortstop Rocky Bridges, to Detroit for Third Baseman Bertoia and Shortstop Samford. Neither of the newcomers has proved he can hit major league pitching but both can run and field. J. W. Porter, a bonus baby nearly a decade ago, came from the Indians, where his only statistic of note showed 19 RBIs on 17 hits. He is a versatile player who can catch, play first or the outfield. Chuck Stobbs, once the ace of the staff, is back again, hoping to regain his control now that he's wearing glasses. Rookie Center Fielder Bob Allison, a former fullback who runs well and can throw, has the hitting potential but needs more experience. The same is true of Outfielder Dan Dobbek, who has been in the Army for two years. Twenty-two-year-old left-hander Jack Kralick was the most promising rookie pitcher this spring.

THE BIG IFS
The Senators could have a reasonably successful year—that is, for them—if a number of delightful things occur all at once. If, for instance, Norm Zauchin could recover his pull-hitting form and hit a lot of home runs. Or, in case Norm doesn't, if one of the reserve or rookie outfielders could hit well enough to move Roy Sievers to first base. If Jim Lemon could have a big year in everything except strikeouts, and the glovemen in the infield start to use their bats. If Chuck Stobbs's glasses do the trick; if newcomer Billy Loes, the temperamental righthander with just about every pitch in the book, will feel he's well enough to pitch. If and if and if...then the Senators' summer won't be quite as long as usual.

THE OUTLOOK
Manager Cookie Lavagetto knows he is not going to set the world on fire, or even singe it, with these Senators. If there is a surer prospect than the Yankees finishing first, it's the Senators finishing last. Should they win a few more times than last season, then that will be all Washington can expect to do until more money is spent on developing young talent.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOWASHINGTON'S BIG STICK IS CARRIED BY BIG ROY SIEVERS, WHO IN THE PAST TWO YEARS HAS HIT 81 HOME RUNS FOR THE LAST-PLACE SENATORSPHOTOSIEVERSPHOTOPEARSONPHOTOCOURTNEYPHOTOLEMONPHOTOBERTOIAPHOTOSAMFORDPHOTOZAUCHINPHOTOPLEWSPHOTORAMOSPHOTOPASCUALPHOTOHYDEPHOTOKEMMERERILLUSTRATION

BASIC ROSTER

NO.

NAME

POSITION

1958 RECORD

1

RENO BERTOIA

3B

.233

2

ROY SIEVERS

LF

.295

4

KEN ASPROMONTE

2B

.219

5

NORM ZAUCHIN

1B

.228

6

ALBIE PEARSON

CF

.275

8

ED FITZGERALD

C

.263

9

J. W. PORTER

C-1B-OF

.200

11

CLINT COURTNEY

C

.251

23

JIM LEMON

RF

.246

25

HERB PLEWS

2B

.258

29

JULIO BECQUER

1B

.238

32

RON SAMFORD

SS

.301

39

JOSE VALDIEVIELSO

IF

(minors)

12

TEX CLEVENGER

P

9-9

16

RUSS KEMMERER

P

6-15

17

CAMILO PASCUAL

P

8-12

18

BILL FISCHER

P

4-10

27

CHUCK STOBBS

P

3-9

28

PEDRO RAMOS

P

14-18

35

DICK HYDE

P

10-3

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

YEAR

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

1958

8

61

93

31

1957

8

55

99

43

1956

7

59

95

38

1955

8

53

101

43

1954

6

66

88

45

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

BATTING

PITCHING

1958

SIEVERS

.295

RAMOS

14-18

1957

SIEVERS

.301

RAMOS

12-16

1956

RUNNELS

.310

STOBBS

15-15

1955

VERNON

.301

MCDERMOTT

10-10

1954

BUSBY

.298

SCHMITZ

11-8

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

1958

SIEVERS

39

SIEVERS

108

1957

SIEVERS

42

SIEVERS

114

1956

SIEVERS

29

LEMON

96

1955

SIEVERS

25

SIEVERS

106

1954

SIEVERS

24

SIEVERS

102

HOME SCHEDULE

*Night game

APRIL

BALTIMORE

9,11,12,12

NEW YORK

21*,22*,23

BOSTON

24*,25,26

MAY

DETROIT

12*,13*,14*

KANSAS CITY

15*,16

CHICAGO

17,17,18*

CLEVELAND

19*,20*

BOSTON

28*,29

NEW YORK

30,30,31*

JUNE

CHICAGO

9*,10*,11*

CLEVELAND

12*,13,14,14

KANSAS CITY

15*,16*,17*,18*

DETROIT

19*,20,21

BOSTON

30*

JULY

BOSTON

1*,2

BALTIMORE

9*,10*,11,12

DETROIT

14*,15*,16*

KANSAS CITY

17*,18,19,19

AUGUST

CLEVELAND

4*,5*,6*

CHICAGO

7*,8,9

NEW YORK

28*,29,30

SEPTEMBER

BOSTON

4*,5,6

CHICAGO

9*,10*

CLEVELAND

11*,12

DETROIT

13,14*

KANSAS CITY

15*

BALTIMORE

18*,19,20

NEW YORK

22*,23