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LOS ANGELES DODGERS

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

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

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

STRONG POINTS
The Dodgers have one of the youngest and certainly the hardest-throwing pitching staffs in the majors. It is not now the best, but the potential is certainly here. Only relievers Clem Labine and Johnny Klippstein—and Carl Erskine—are over 30 (and not by much), while the rest range from 20 to 28. For the 11th year in a row, the staff struck out more batters than any other team in the league. They also had the worst team ERA. The biggest reason for this completely unexpected performance by the highly rated Dodger pitchers was that monstrosity hovering over their shoulders in left field. One pitcher that infamous fence didn't bother, strangely enough, was the left-handed Johnny Podres, at 26 the dean of the starters, who won 11 of his 13 victories in the Coliseum. Tall (6 feet 6), young (22) Don Drysdale had trouble getting started, but was 8-4 with a 2.85 ERA from the All-Star Game on. His sweeping sidearm delivery, by way of third base, is plenty rough; just ask the batters. Left-handed fast-baller Sandy Koufax, at 23, has yet to utilize all his pitching possibilities. Behind these three are such good young men as hard-throwing Stan Williams (22), who only needs a little more finesse; Danny McDevitt (26), whose fast ball sometimes gets out of control; and knuckle-baller Fred Kipp (27), the long-relief man and spot starter. Strongman Clem Labine had arm troubles but was still an effective reliever at times with six wins and 14 saves. The defense is sound and a lot of times brilliant. (The Dodgers set a new National League record with 198 double plays last year.) There is a nice balance of speed and power all the way down the lineup. (The Dodgers led the league in stolen bases and were second in home runs.) Gil Hodges didn't hit 90 homers over the left-field screen, but who's to say he won't this time around? Duke Snider didn't have a chance last year but don't count him out; O'Malley brought in the fence in center and right just for him. Although Carl Furillo is 37, he still batted close to his normal .300 and hit 18 home runs. Infielders Charlie Neal and Don Zimmer are speedy and hit with power, too, while Jim Gilliam, who can play all over, is faster yet and an ideal lead-off man. Catcher John Roseboro adds even more speed to the team and hit pretty well as Campy's replacement last year.

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

WEAK SPOTS
Because of the sore-arm history of such former regulars as Don Bessent, Ed Roebuck, Roger Craig and Carl Erskine, a lot depends upon the youngsters who are expected to round out the pitching staff. Perhaps the odd-shaped Coliseum will still be too much of a handicap for the pitchers no matter how good they are. After all, the Dodgers allowed the most home runs in the league and the most earned runs. Since the staff has so many young, hard-throwing youngsters, it's a tough one to catch well. Campanella would have been just right for it, but Roseboro, as promising as he is, still has a lot to learn. Last year the right-handed hitters didn't hit the screen often enough. Hodges slumped badly, and Neal and Zimmer, despite their power, were .260 hitters. So was Gilliam, who depends on singles and doubles. Snider's bad knee let him down last year as much as the distant right-field fence did; if it fails again, there goes Snider, and without his bat the Dodgers are in trouble.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
The addition of left-handed Wally Moon and right-handed Rip Repulski gives the Dodgers two once-good hitters and a chance for more maneuvering in the outfield. Rookie Bob Lillis, the last of a long line of shortstops who waited for Pee Wee Reese to wear out, hit .391 in 20 games with the Dodgers late in the year. If he can hit just some of that for a full season, Manager Walter Alston will have the pleasant problem of trying to figure out where he will play whom in the infield. The most pleasing rookie to land with the Dodgers in years is 20-year-old Ron Fairly, who led the USC team to the NCAA championships less than a year ago. Right now, Fairly seems to have all the know-how of a veteran, and with his great poise and determination will be a Dodger for many years to come.

THE BIG IFS
The main question mark about the Dodgers is the menacing left-field screen, and whether the pitchers and hitters have learned how to get along with it. If they have, and the veterans Hodges, Furillo and Snider are still good for another season, it will be sunny in Los Angeles. If not, and the young pitchers don't develop as expected, Walter O'Malley had better try to lose himself in the smog.

THE OUTLOOK
After a decade of great teams in little Ebbets Field, the Dodgers moved into the spacious Coliseum and suddenly were a seventh-place ball club. Despite that finish, none of the other National League teams is taking the Dodgers lightly. It will be no real surprise to anyone if Los Angeles joins San Francisco as the Coast's second pennant contender.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOLOS ANGELES' BEST PITCHER IS JOHNNY PODRES, WHO, ON ANOTHER MOUND IN ANOTHER YEAR, PITCHED DODGERS TO WORLD SERIES VICTORYPHOTOSNIDERPHOTONEALPHOTOFURILLOPHOTOHODGESPHOTOGILLIAMPHOTOZIMMERPHOTOMOONPHOTOROSEBOROPHOTOPODRESPHOTODRYSDALEPHOTOKOUFAXPHOTOLABINEILLUSTRATION

BASIC ROSTER

NO.

NAME

POSITION

1958 RECORD

4

DUKE SNIDER

CF

.312

5

NORM LARKER

1B

.277

6

CARL FURILLO

RF

.290

8

JOHN ROSEBORO

C

.271

9

WALLY MOON

OF

.238

14

GIL HODGES

1B

.259

19

JIM GILLIAM

IF-OF

.261

20

RIP REPULSKI

OF

.244

23

DON ZIMMER

SS-3B

.262

30

BOB LILLIS

SS

.391

43

CHARLIE NEAL

2B

.254

55

RON FAIRLY

OF

.283

58

JOE PIGNATANO

C

.218

16

DANNY MCDEVITT

P

2-6

22

JOHNNY PODRES

P

13-15

26

FRED KIPP

P

6-6

32

SANDY KOUFAX

P

11-11

35

JOHNNY KLIPPSTEIN

P

6-7

41

CLEM LABINE

P

6-6

53

DON DRYSDALE

P

12-13

PAST PERFORMANCE CHART

YEAR

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

1958

7

71

83

21

1957

3

84

70

11

1956

1

93

61

1955

1

98

55

1954

2

92

62

5

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

BATTING

PITCHING

1958

FURILLO

.290

PODRES

13-15

1957

FURILLO

.306

DRYSDALE

17-9

1956

GILLIAM

.300

NEWCOMBE

27-7

1955

CAMPANELLA

.318

NEWCOMBE

20-5

1954

SNIDER

.341

ERSKINE

18-15

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

1958

HODGES, NEAL

22

FURILLO

83

1957

SNIDER

40

HODGES

98

1956

SNIDER

43

SNIDER

101

1955

SNIDER

42

SNIDER
HODGES

136

1954

HODGES

42

SNIDER

130

HOME SCHEDULE

*Night game

APRIL

ST. LOUIS

14*,15*,16*

CHICAGO

17*,18*,19

SAN FRANCISCO

20*,21*,22*

MAY

PHILADELPHIA

11*,12*

PITTSBURGH

13*,14*

MILWAUKEE

16*,17

CINCINNATI

18*,19*,20,20*

SAN FRANCISCO

22*,23*,24

CHICAGO

27*,28*,29*

ST. LOUIS

30*,31

JUNE

MILWAUKEE

15*,16*,17,17*,18*

CINCINNATI

19*,20*,21

PHILADELPHIA

22*,23*,24*,25*

PITTSBURGH

26*,27*,28

SAN FRANCISCO

29*,30*

JULY

CHICAGO

22*,23*

ST. LOUIS

24*,25*,26

PITTSBURGH

28*,29*,80*

AUGUST

PHILADELPHIA

1*,2

CINCINNATI

4*,5*

MILWAUKEE

8*,9

SAN FRANCISCO

28*,30,31*

SEPTEMBER

ST. LOUIS

1*,2*,3*

CHICAGO

6,6,7*

PHILADELPHIA

9*,10*

PITTSBURGH

11,11*,13

MILWAUKEE

14*,15

CINCINNATI

16*,17*