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CHICAGO CUBS

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

CHICAGO CUBS

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

STRONG POINTS
The Cubs have corralled a collection of free-swinging home run sluggers who care little for opposing pitchers' reputations. Major league leaders in home runs (182) and total bases, Chicago was second-best in the National League in hits and runs scored. Five players—Ernie Banks, Walt Moryn, Lee Walls, Bobby Thomson and Dale Long—had 20 or more homers and impressive slugging averages. Mightiest of this crew of ponderous hitters is the smallest—willowy Ernie Banks—Most Valuable Player in the league last season. Hitting sharply with beautiful coordination, Banks snapped his powerful wrists for a major league high of 47 home runs and 129 RBIs. On top of that, he hit .313 and led the league in slugging. There has never been such a hard-hitting shortstop before in baseball. From the heavy outfield bats of Moryn in left, Thomson in center and Walls in right came 71 homers and 231 runs batted in, while big (6 feet 4 inches, 218 pounds) First Baseman Dale Long bashed 20 home runs and 75 RBIs. The inspirational third baseman, Al Dark, hits few home runs, but can do everything else with a bat. Two fine young fast-ball pitchers, Moe Drabowsky (23) and Dick Drott (22), form the nucleus of the youngest pitching staff in the majors. And, luckily for Chicago, 30-year-old Don Elston is a first-rate reliever whose 69 appearances led both leagues and whose 2.88 ERA led the Cubs.

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

WEAK SPOTS
Old age, lead-footed runners, pitiful defense and inexperienced pitching could be enough to waste all that power hitting. Al Dark is 36, and simply isn't able to play a full schedule any more. Thomson is 35 and Long and Moryn are 33; that's a lot of age for a club to field every day, no matter how well these aged ones hit last season. No one in the outfield can throw hard enough to slow up opposing base runners, and there's practically no mobility in the infield. Even 23-year-old Second Baseman Tony Taylor, one of the few Cubs who can run, has little polish at his position. And the rest, for one reason or another, don't stop many balls from skittering through for hits. Except for heavy-hitting First Baseman Jim Marshall and the unproved Earl Averill, there is little reserve strength to cheer Manager Bob Scheffing when he has to go to his bench, which he may have to do frequently this summer. Sammy Taylor and Cal Neeman are promising catchers, but neither hit better than .259 last season. The pitchers have youth on their side and great potential, but outside of Drabowsky and Drott, who ever heard of any of them? There are Dick Ellsworth and Glen Hobbie and John Buzhardt and Bob Anderson and Taylor Phillips, and a bunch of other older names like Henry, Hillman, Singleton, Solis and Ceccarelli. Even the "veterans" Drabowsky and Drott have had only one good year apiece since they've been in the majors. Last season this pitching staff walked nearly 200 more batters than the champion Braves and was worst in the majors in complete games (27) and shutouts (5). Why, even the Senators did better than that. Despite all the runs scored by the team, the pitchers allowed even more to the opposition. To be fair, remember that Drabowsky did miss all of spring training in 1958 (he was in the Army) and nearly all the second half of the regular season (he had a bad elbow). Too, Drott suffered from various injuries, and possibly from having had too good a rookie season the previous year. And both Drott and Hobbie, the starter-reliever who won 10 games last season, were in the Army this spring during training. Most of the young pitchers can throw hard, and in time they might make a fine pitching crew. But probably not in 1959.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
For the first time in years, the Cub lineup was set before spring training even started. Perhaps the most important addition to the reserves was husky Earl Averill, the Pacific Coast League's MVP in 1958. An extremely versatile player who hits with good power, Averill can play the outfield, all the infield positions and catch. He may be a useful replacement for Dark or anyone else who needs a rest. Rookie John Buzhardt came up to the Cubs the last few weeks of the season in 1958 and won three games while losing none. Two of his wins were five-hitters and his ERA was an impressive 1.88. He will be worked into the starting rotation this year.

THE BIG IFS
The old folks have to swing those big bats the way they did last year, and they have to play regularly. Injuries and tired muscles would really hurt this unbalanced team with its thin reserve strength. If the hitters do as well, or come close to, their extraordinary 1958 performances, then the team's chances for a big year depend on the young pitching staff.

THE OUTLOOK
The Cubs are putting a lot of faith in the past performances of their hitters and the future performances of their pitchers. The old hitters and the young pitchers could come through to give the Cubs a hot team. More likely, though, both will fail, and the poor Cubs will be toying with last place again.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOWITH A LONG SWEEPING SWING, ERNIE BANKS OF THE CHICAGO CUBS SHOWS HOW HE HIT 47 HOME RUNS LAST YEAR, MOST IN EITHER LEAGUEPHOTOBANKSPHOTOWALLSPHOTODARKPHOTOMORYNPHOTOTHOMSONPHOTOLONGPHOTOT. TAYLORPHOTOS. TAYLORPHOTODRABOWSKYPHOTODROTTPHOTOHOBBIEPHOTOELSTONILLUSTRATION

BASIC ROSTER

NO.

NAME

POSITION

1958 RECORD

2

LEE WALLS

RF

.304

4

JOHN GORYL

IF

.242

5

TONY TAYLOR

2B

.235

7

WALT MORYN

LF

.264

8

DALE LONG

1B

.271

9

BOBBY THOMSON

CF

.283

11

CAL NEEMAN

C

.259

14

ERNIE BANKS

SS

.313

15

SAMMY TAYLOR

C

.259

17

ALVIN DARK

3B

.295

27

JIM MARSHALL

1B

.232

39

EARL AVERILL

C-IF-OF

(minors)

18

DICK DROTT

P

7-11

23

JOHN BUZHARDT

P

(minors)

26

MOE DRABOWSKY

P

9-11

28

GLEN HOBBIE

P

10-6

29

TAYLOR PHILLIPS

P

7-10

32

BOB ANDERSON

P

3-3

36

DON ELSTON

P

9-8

43

ELMER SINGLETON

P

(minors)

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

YEAR

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

1958

5T

72

82

20

1957

7T

62

92

33

1956

8

60

94

33

1955

6

72

81

26

1954

7

64

90

33

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

BATTING

PITCHING

1958

BANKS

.313

HOBBIE

10-6

1957

LONG

.298

DROTT

15-11

1956

BANKS

.297

RUSH

13-10

1955

BANKS

.295

RUSH

13-11

1954

SAUER

.288

RUSH

13-15

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

1958

BANKS

47

BANKS

129

1957

BANKS

43

BANKS

102

1956

BANKS

28

BANKS

85

1955

BANKS

44

BANKS

117

1954

SAUER

41

SAUER

103

HOME SCHEDULE

No night games

APRIL

LOS ANGELES

10,11,12

ST. LOUIS

21,22,23

SAN FRANCISCO

24,25,26

MAY

MILWAUKEE

11,12

CINCINNATI

13,14

PITTSBURGH

16,17,17

PHILADELPHIA

19,20,21

ST. LOUIS

22,23,24

JUNE

CINCINNATI

9,10,11

MILWAUKEE

12,13,14

PITTSBURGH

16,17,18

PHILADELPHIA

19,20,21

ST. LOUIS

30

JULY

ST. LOUIS

1

SAN FRANCISCO

2,3

LOS ANGELES

4,5,5

MILWAUKEE

14,15,16

CINCINNATI

17,18,19,19

AUGUST

PHILADELPHIA

4,5,6

PITTSBURGH

7,8,9

LOS ANGELES

11,12

SAN FRANCISCO

13,14,15,16

MILWAUKEE

28,29,30

SEPTEMBER

CINCINNATI

9,10

ST. LOUIS

11,12,13

PITTSBURGH

15,16

PHILADELPHIA

17,18

SAN FRANCISCO

22,23

LOS ANGELES

25,26,27