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MILWAUKEE BRAVES

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

MILWAUKEE BRAVES

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

STRONG POINTS
Armed with confidence bred by two straight pennant-winning years, plus the best pitching in the National League, the Braves, who also have some pretty fair batters, are the team to beat. At 25, Henry Aaron is already one of the mighty hitters in baseball. He, along with Wes Covington, Eddie Mathews and Joe Adcock, can knock a ball out of sight at any time. Left Fielder Covington, playing only 90 games because of a bum knee, nevertheless hit 24 homers and drove in 74 runs. He seemed to be in good condition this spring: what might he do with two sound legs? Mathews, despite a subpar batting average, hit 31 home runs. Del Crandall, the finest handler of pitchers around, hits with good power and is ably backed up by the veteran Del Rice. Adcock is still bothered by injuries, but that leaves first base in the competent hands of Frank Torre, a superior gloveman who stepped in and batted .309 last year. Still the best lefty-righty combination in the league, if not all baseball, the fun-loving pitching twins Warren Spahn and Lew Burdette picked up 42 wins between them. The venerable Spahnie, at 38, looks as if he will never slow down, and Burdette, a mere 32, is just getting warmed up. Behind these two pitching geniuses is the best depth in the league. When Bob Buhl, an 18-game winner the previous season, was forced to the sidelines by a bad shoulder for more than three months last summer, Joey Jay, the 23-year-old ex-Little Leaguer, and Rookie Carlton Willey moved right into the starting rotation. The two won 16 games between them; Jay had a scintillating 2.13 ERA and Willey a solid 2.70. Youthful Juan Pizarro is on the verge of big things, and Bob Rush is yet another dependable starter. Reliever Don McMahon's only problem on a staff that completed 72 of its games is how to find work. Then there are also Bob Trowbridge and Humberto Robinson, neither of whom gets the action his pitching qualifications seem to deserve or that he would get on any other club.

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

WEAK SPOTS
The major weakness of the Braves seems to be an inability to escape injury or sickness. The team broke through to a pennant when it obtained the inspirational Red Schoendienst to play second base. Now Red is recovering from tuberculosis, and the Braves need someone to take his place. They thought they had their man in Mel Roach, who hit so well last summer when Schoendienst was out of the lineup with injuries, but Roach has a torn knee ligament and no one knows when, or if, he'll be able to take over. Felix Mantilla and Casey Wise are two reserve infielders who can play second fairly well, but neither can hit. There are shaky knees in the outfield (Bruton's in center and Covington's in left) which don't help an already questionable defense. Buhl's absence wasn't noticed too much last year—after all, the Braves did win the pennant—but this year it might be different. The Braves would still like Pizarro to come through, since some make the rash assumption that Spahn is not eternal, and 37-year-old Andy Pafko is the only experienced replacement in the outfield.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
The Braves would have stood pat if it hadn't been for Schoendienst's illness. Since then Birdie Tebbetts, John McHale, Fred Haney and Co. have searched long and hard for a second baseman to take his place. Rookie Chuck Cottier, who was a good fielder in the minors but a weak hitter, was given a careful look in spring training. His inexperience seems to be too much to overcome, though; and the Braves' frantic efforts to talk some other team out of an established second baseman finally landed them Johnny O'Brien, of all people. He's a handy reserve but not the big second baseman Milwaukee was looking for. Injury-prone Catcher Stan Lopata also came from the Phils and will add bench strength. The Braves, as usual, have many fine young pitchers coming up from their farm system, but it's tough to crack Milwaukee's staff. Because he's a left-hander, 21-year-old Bob Hartman may have the best chance.

THE BIG IFS
The Braves couldn't play pennant-winning baseball before Red Schoendienst came along, and they may not be able to now that he is gone. Covington's big bat will be badly missed if his knee fails again. If Shortstop Johnny Logan muddles through another .226 year, the Braves' infield defense will be that much weaker, because his hitting seems to affect his fielding. It's possible, too, that Spahn might be nearing the end of the line. With so few replacements, except for pitching, injuries to any other key man might mean sudden death to "Milwaukee hopes of retaining the pennant.

THE OUTLOOK
Despite the loss of Schoendienst, the Braves are still a solid club with a lot of pitching and hitting. It's a moot point whether any of the pack snapping at Milwaukee's heels is ready to take advantage of Red's absence. But it is a tough league, and Milwaukee can't relax if it intends to win again.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOGOOD AS MILWAUKEE'S YOUNG PITCHERS ARE, NONE IS BETTER THAN THE LAUGHING, CLOWNING VETERANS, LEW BURDETTE AND WARREN SPAHNPHOTOAARONPHOTOMATHEWSPHOTOCRANDALLPHOTOCOVINGTONPHOTOLOGANPHOTOTORREPHOTOADCOCKPHOTOBRUTONPHOTOMANTILLAPHOTOWILLEYPHOTOMcMAHONPHOTOJAYILLUSTRATION

BASIC ROSTER

NO.

NAME

POSITION

1958 RECORD

1

DEL CRANDALL

C

.272

5

FELIX MANTILLA

IF

.221

7

DEL RICE

C

.223

9

JOE ADCOCK

1B

.275

12

MEL ROACH

2B

.309

14

FRANK TORRE

1B

.309

23

JOHNNY LOGAN

SS

.226

27

CASEY WISE

IF

.197

38

BILL BRUTON

CF

.280

41

ED MATHEWS

3B

.251

43

WES COVINGTON

LF

.330

44

HENRY AARON

RF

.326

10

BOB BUHL

P

5-2

16

CARLTON WILLEY

P

9-7

17

BOB RUSH

P

10-6

20

DON MCMAHON

P

7-2

21

WARREN SPAHN

P

22-11

33

LEW BURDETTE

P

20-10

34

JUAN PIZARRO

P

6-4

47

JOEY JAY

P

7-5

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

YEAR

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

1958

1

92

62

...

1957

1

95

59

...

1956

2

92

62

1

1955

2

85

69

13½

1954

3

89

65

8

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

BATTING

PITCHING

1958

AARON

.326

SPAHN

22-11

1957

AARON

.322

SPAHN

21-11

1956

AARON

.328

SPAHN

20-11

1955

AARON

.314

SPAHN

17-11

1954

ADCOCK

.308

SPAHN

21-12

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

1958

MATHEWS

31

AARON

95

1957

AARON

44

AARON

132

1956

ADCOCK

38

ADCOCK

103

1955

MATHEWS

41

AARON

106

1954

MATHEWS

40

MATHEWS

103

HOME SCHEDULE

*Night game

APRIL

PHILADELPHIA

14,16

PITTSBURGH

17,18,19

CINCINNATI

21

CHICAGO

27*,28

ST. LOUIS

29*,30*

MAY

SAN FRANCISCO

1*,2,3

LOS ANGELES

4*,5*,6

CINCINNATI

8*,9,10,10

PITTSBURGH

26*,27*,28

PHILADELPHIA

29*,30,31,31

JUNE

SAN FRANCISCO

1*,2*,3*,4

LOS ANGELES

5*,6,7

ST. LOUIS

23*,24*,25

CHICAGO

26*,27,28

JULY

LOS ANGELES

9*,10*,11

SAN FRANCISCO

12,13

CINCINNATI

21*,22*,23*

PITTSBURGH

24*,25,26

CHICAGO

28*,29*,30*

ST. LOUIS

31*

AUGUST

ST. LOUIS

1,2,2

LOS ANGELES

17*,18*

SAN FRANCISCO

19*,20*

CHICAGO

21*,22,23

SEPTEMBER

PHILADELPHIA

1*,2*

PITTSBURGH

7,7

ST. LOUIS

9*,10

CINCINNATI

11*,12,13

PHILADELPHIA

25*,26,27