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
April 13, 1959

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.

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.

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PHOTOLOS ANGELES' BEST PITCHER IS JOHNNY PODRES, WHO, ON ANOTHER MOUND IN ANOTHER YEAR, PITCHED DODGERS TO WORLD SERIES VICTORY PHOTOSNIDER PHOTONEAL PHOTOFURILLO PHOTOHODGES PHOTOGILLIAM PHOTOZIMMER PHOTOMOON PHOTOROSEBORO PHOTOPODRES PHOTODRYSDALE PHOTOKOUFAX PHOTOLABINE ILLUSTRATION

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*

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)