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Chicago CUBS

April 11, 1960
April 11, 1960

Table of Contents
April 11, 1960

Toothpick
Cards
1960 Olympic Basketball Team U.S.
Bally Ache
Scouting Reports
  • Two full major league teams could be fielded from the Los Angeles roster, and there'd still be fine players on the bench. Yet this club will have to be lucky to win the pennant again

  • Red Schoendienst was out last year but even so the Braves were heavily favored to win the pennant. They failed. Now Red is back, there's a fiery new manager and Milwaukee is favored

  • The San Francisco Giants are hungry. Last year they were just about to eat the cake when it was stolen away. Now they are smarter and tougher, as the National League will soon discover

  • Friend, Mazeroski and Skinner are back inform, and the Pirates are dangerous once more. But without real power, they must play near-perfect baseball to rise above fourth this year

  • Slipping steadily since their third-place finish in 1956, the Reds have frantically plugged first one deficiency and then another. Now, at last, they seem to have a sound, solid team

  • Tied for seventh in 1957, tied for fifth in 1958, tied for fifth again last year, the Cubs have been improving. It would seem that this year...but no. The higher you go the tougher it gets

  • The Cardinals have gained in power and the pitching should be improved. But in 154 games an awful lot of baseballs are destined to find their way safely through that leaky defense

  • The Phillies have junked an old, losing club to give their youngsters a chance. This will be no miracle of 1950, but at least the Phils will lose in a younger, more interesting way

  • The Sox won in a weakened league and no one knows it better than Bill Veeck. He has strengthened the attack and made them the team to beat for the first time since 1920

  • A group of pawns on Frank Lane's chessboard came surprisingly close to capturing last year's pennant. Now, having exchanged a few key men, Lane feels he has a winner

  • The old Yankees are dead, and their replacements are not in the same class. This is a sound team but it is far from being a great one and it will need lots of luck to rise above third place

  • Tactical troubles—at shortstop and first base—still plague the Tigers. But the main problem is strategic: how to stir contented also-rans and give the faithful something really to shout about

  • The Red Sox finished in the second division last season for the first time since 1952. Now Jensen is gone and Williams is going, going. It may be a while before the Sox climb back up

  • After several halfway seasons, the Orioles are now fully committed to their youth program. Youngsters have taken over as the old names fade. It will all pay off...someday

  • There's a new optimism in Kansas City. The outfield is solid, the infield and pitching are better, and Hank Bauer has pepped up the whole ball club. Fifth place could be the result

  • A few years ago Washington was a one-man ball club and a last-place team. Things are brighter now. The Senators are still a cellar team but now they have some players people have heard of

Track
Tennis
Motor Sports
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

Chicago CUBS

Tied for seventh in 1957, tied for fifth in 1958, tied for fifth again last year, the Cubs have been improving. It would seem that this year...but no. The higher you go the tougher it gets

The Cubs have been a second-division team for 13 years. This winter they traded extensively and came up with players as good as Frank Thomas and Richie Ashburn (together, left). The Cubs look better, but the key man—this year, last year, for the past five years—is still Ernie Banks.

This is an article from the April 11, 1960 issue Original Layout

•WORDS FROM ERNIE

Banks was standing beside the batting cage in Mesa, Ariz. this spring, watching his teammates hit. Hitting is what the Cubs do best, and on this particular day baseballs were disappearing into the thin mountain air like jets. Banks looked pleased.

"I like the looks of this club," he said at length. "We have a good team. Only trouble is, so does everybody else. I can hardly wait to see how this all turns out."

Because of Banks himself, things can't turn out too badly for the Cubs. Last year the team tied Cincinnati for fifth place, but it was only Banks, with his 45 home runs and 143 runs batted in, that kept people from confusing the Cubs with the last-place Phillies. Banks hits home runs like a man brushing an ash from his sleeve—just a flick of the wrist and it's gone. Ask any pitcher.

•THE RUN SCORERS

Many of the runs Banks batted in last year were scored by Tony Taylor, who hit .280 in the lead-off spot. This year Tony may bat second because the Cubs now have Ashburn, who was leading off for the Phillies when Taylor was in grammar school. Ashburn is 33 now and last year was his worst in the majors, but both he and the Cubs do not believe the end is in sight. The Cubs got another good hitter in Thomas, who also had his worst season. Thomas can hit home runs—for six years he averaged 27 a season—and he is only 30.

So the Cubs will present a very respectable top of the batting order—Ashburn, Taylor, Banks and Thomas. What follows is anybody's guess. First Baseman Dale Long (do you remember when he...?) and Outfielder Walt Moryn are two free-swinging left-handed hitters, the all-or-nothing type. Outfielder George Altman, First Baseman Dick Gernert and Catcher Sam Taylor fit that general description, too. Outfielder Irv Noren is still a fair hitter, and a rookie outfielder named Lou Johnson has been hitting every pitch in sight. Let the members of this merry band have a good day together and the Cubs will score enough runs to win a war.

•DEL RICE?

Trouble is, other teams are going to score well against the Cubs. Chicago fans, spoiled by the fine defense and pitching of the White Sox, may find the Cubs hard to digest. Catching is a Grade A problem. Manager Charlie Grimm named Del Rice captain of the team when spring training began, a curious move. Rice is 37 and spent most of last year as a Milwaukee coach. He has not played regularly since 1953, yet Grimm has said he is counting on old Del to steady the team's young pitching staff. The Cubs also have Sam Taylor (nice hitter, poor catcher) and Cal Neeman (poor hitter, nice catcher). Of the group, Neeman would seem to be the best bet, but the position is definitely a trouble spot. So is third base. Frank Thomas can play it, but poorly, and is better in left field. Jerry Kindall, a weak hitter, may be used there, although second base and shortstop are his positions. Harry Bright, who couldn't make it with the Pirates, pleased Grimm in spring training.

At shortstop and second base, Banks and Taylor are very good. Long and Gernert at first base—they will probably be platooned—are slow but reasonably sure. The outfield of Thomas, Ashburn and Johnson, will be better than some, worse than most. Thomas is slow, Ashburn's arm is weak, Johnson is still only a rookie.

•LACK OF PITCHING
Despite the defensive deficiencies, the Cubs would be a first-division team if it were not for their paucity of big-league pitchers. True, no team would refuse Glen Hobbie or Bob Anderson, both young, strong right-handers who last year pitched well over 200 innings apiece and won 16 and 12 games respectively. And Don Elston is still a top reliever. But after these three come problems. Two years ago the Cubs thought they had two future stars in Dick Drott and Moe Drabowsky, and nobody argued differently. Together they won 28 games in 1957, their first full season. Since then they have been hampered by enough arm ailments to drive a manager mad. Last year neither was of any help to the team (Drabowsky had a 4.12 ERA, Drott 6.00), and Drott wound up in the minors. This spring, however, both pitchers were throwing easily and without pain. Should Drott and Drabowsky regain their 1957 form, the Cubs would look a lot better. And yet, even with help from D & D, the Cubs are short of pitchers. Two shopworn left-handers, Art Ceccarelli and Seth Morehead, show promise, but that is about all.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOPHOTOElstonPHOTOT. TaylorPHOTOHobbiePHOTOLongPHOTOMorynPHOTOBanks

BASIC ROSTER

NO.

NAME

POSITION

1959 RECORD

1

RICHIE ASHBURN

CF

.266

5

TONY TAYLOR

2B

.280

7

WALT MORYN

RF

.234

8

DALE LONG

1B

.236

9

DEL RICE

C

.207

11

CAL NEEMAN

C

.162

12

DICK GERNERT

1B

.262

14

ERNIE BANKS

SS

.304

15

SAM TAYLOR

C

.269

16

JERRY KINDALL

IF

Minors

20

IRV NOREN

OF

.311

21

GEORGE ALTMAN

OF

.245

25

FRANK THOMAS

3B-OF

.225

33

LOU JOHNSON

RF

Minors

30

DICK DROTT

P

1-2

32

BOB ANDERSON

P

12-13

36

DON ELSTON

P

10-8

38

SETH MOREHEAD

P

0-3

39

MOE DRABOWSKY

P

5-10

40

GLEN HOBBIE

P

16-13

1959 TEAM PERFORMANCE

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

5 (tie)

74

80

13

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

BATTING

PITCHING

BANKS

.304

HOBBIE

16-13

T. TAYLOR

.280

ELSTON

10-8

S. TAYLOR

.269

ANDERSON

12-13

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

BANKS

45

BANKS

143

MORYN

14

MORYN

48

LONG

14

ALTMAN

47