THE QUESTION: Which player on your team is the most interesting to watch? (Asked of sports broadcasters)

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

Horse Racing
Motor Sports
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

THE QUESTION: Which player on your team is the most interesting to watch? (Asked of sports broadcasters)

Milwaukee Braves
Hank Aaron—our great home run slugger. In the outfield he does the impossible and makes it look easy. When chasing a fly or low liner he may trip or fall, but he'll make the catch, often with his bare hand, and he'll whip the ball to the infield like a bullet.

This is an article from the April 13, 1959 issue

Pittsburgh Pirates
Bill Mazeroski—acknowledged the greatest second baseman in either league. In the field he continually amazes me and everyone else. He's big, 190 pounds of fielding grace, and he can hit. We call him Golden Boy. If he sneezes we—figuratively—wrap blankets around him.

San Francisco Giants
Of course, Willie Mays is in a class by himself; and then you go to Orlando Cepeda, who, although a good-natured kid, looks like a raging bull. He seems to approach the game from the attitude of brute strength, like a steam roller. He is an unusual player to watch.

New York Yankees
It's hard to choose between Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle. Perhaps from an all-round viewpoint I'd have to select Mantle. There's always the potential of an explosion in everything he does. But Yogi blends color with clutch performance.

Detroit Tigers
Al Kaline. The way he runs bases makes him one of the most exciting players in baseball. He's a great defensive right fielder, with a rifle arm, and death to a player running from first to third on the hit-and-run. Last year he had 23 assists from the outfield.

Cleveland Indians
Rocky Colavito. Not only is he interesting and colorful, but he is one of today's great players, with the chance of becoming one of the greatest hitters of all time. Although he has been in the majors only three years, already he has one of the largest fan clubs in the country.

Cincinnati Reds
In the field, Shortstop Roy McMillan is one of the finest fielders I've ever seen. His acrobatic plays frequently electrify the fans. I've seen all the shortstops from Maranville's time. Roy is as good as any and better than most.

Chicago While Sox
Nellie Fox—a great second baseman and a very important cog in the White Sox team. He is wonderful to watch in the field and at bat—a scientific hitter who leads the league almost every year in the number of hits.

St. Louis Cardinals
Of course we have Stan Musial but, when you look past him, the guy who gives the crowd the biggest bang is First Baseman Joe Cunningham. He is a throwback to the Gashouse Gang, always hustling and scrapping. The fans love him.

Boston Red Sox
Ted Williams—not only because of his great skill but because of the excitement he causes when he steps into the batter's box. Ted is all color on the field and off. You have to follow him for years, as I have, to know his impact on baseball.

Chicago Cubs
Ernie Banks—a great fielding shortstop and the National League's home run king. When he goes to the plate there's first a roar from the crowd and then a hush of expectancy, just as when Ted Williams is at the plate swinging his big bat.

Kansas City Athletics
Bob Cerv—as a batter. Every time he goes to the plate, he can hit the ball out of the park and to any field. Last July 4 in Chicago, with a fractured jaw, a bruised hand and a broken toe, he hit a home run to beat the White Sox.

Los Angeles Dodgers
The kid who captured the imagination of the crowd last year—Don Zimmer. He always has a big cud of tobacco in his cheek and the players call him Pop-eye. He has great courage. Beaned badly twice in his career, he came right back.

Baltimore Orioles
A pitcher, Billy O'Dell, who was the star of the All-Star Game in Baltimore last year. He is a topflight pitcher with courage and the will to win. He won 14 last year and lost 11, good for our club. The fans get a great kick watching him pitch.

Philadelphia Phillies
Richie Ashburn. Every year he must make a positive compensation for the numerous defensive alignments set up against his particular kind of hitting. In the outfield he never fails to make at least one spectacular play per game.

Washington Senators
Roy Sievers—because of his power at the plate. He was the American League's home run champion in 1957. He is also an interesting fielder. Instead of diving for low balls and risking injury, he slides feet first into them.