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CLEVELAND INDIANS

April 10, 1961
April 10, 1961

Table of Contents
April 10, 1961

Point Of Fact
  • By M. Allen

    A baseball quiz to test the ingenuity and add to the knowledge of both the casual fan and the armchair expert

Too Young
Auto War
Cubs And Coaches
Scouting Reports 1961
Goren
Acknowledgments
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back
Departments

CLEVELAND INDIANS

A solid first team, with Jim Piersall promising no more of last year's antics, will make the Indians tough all year long. Injuries, however, would hurt this benchless club

ANALYSIS OF THE INDIANS

This is an article from the April 10, 1961 issue Original Layout

STRONG POINTS
Cleveland will field eight regulars shaded in ability and performance only by the Yankees. Infield of Vic Power, Johnny Temple, Woodie Held and Bubba Phillips outstanding both offensively and defensively. Power, peerless with first baseman's glove, had .288 BA, drove in 84 runs. Held, out with injuries part of year, hit 21 HRs in only 109 games. Temple, also subpar physically, should rebound after .268 season. Phillips, although mediocre with bat, is speedy and able afield. Outfield stronger than most. Center Fielder Jim Piersall will try to set slower pace on and off field, avoid 1960's late-season slump. Ex-Giant Willie Kirkland hits with power (57 HRs in three years). So does Left Fielder Tito Francona, now an established major leaguer after second solid season (.292, 79 RBIs). John Romano set home run record for Cleveland catchers with 16, hit .272.

WEAK SPOTS
Reserves, second-line pitching. Team has no reserve outfielders with major league experience, and among infielders only journeyman Joe Morgan is dry behind ears. Except for Bobby Locke (3.37 ERA), second-line starters are unimpressive: Jim Grant 4.39, Wynn Hawkins 4.23, Barry Latman 4.04, Dick Stigman 4.50.

THE BIG IFS
First-line pitching, relief pitching. Only sure winner on staff is lanky Jim Perry, who took 18 games last year, 12 the year before. Gary Bell, who won five of first six in 1960, developed shoulder hitch in midseason and is not completely rid of it. He must win big if club is to be serious contender. Johnny Antonelli, acquired from Giants in Kuenn deal, could more than make up for Bell if he can settle down in American League. Big problem for Manager Jimmy Dykes is finding assistance for Reliever Frank Funk, fireballing right-hander who last year excelled for Cleveland in September (four victories, 1.97 ERA) after recall from Toronto. With Johnny Klippstein (2.92 ERA) gone in draft, prospects for help are slim.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES
Major additions are, of course, Antonelli and Kirkland. Woodie Held will move to third base if Jack Kubiszyn can hit enough to take over at shortstop. Kubiszyn, who has good range and an accurate arm, batted .336 at Mobile. Dapper Walter Bond, 6 feet 6 and 228 pounds, is back for another try after year of seasoning in minors.

OUTLOOK
If Bell and Antonelli have big years, club could win. If they don't, club won't.

JAMES J. AND FRANK L.

In a corner of the Cleveland Indians' dressing room was James Joseph Dykes, manager. Dykes sat in the Dykes fashion—legs crossed, right elbow on right knee, right hand supporting large cigar. He also talked in Dykes fashion—short bursts mixed with long sentences, all heavily larded with cuss words and throaty laughter.

"What's Frank Lane doing, Jimmy?" asked a sportswriter. "Maybe he's trying to trade for you. He did it before."

"Yeah," said Dykes, "but he realized what a mistake that was. He got away from me again as quick as he could."

Dykes stood up and began rummaging around in his locker. "I had 15 cigars in here. I go away for two days, I come back—none there. I think the coaches are taking them and selling them cut-rate to the kids."

One of the writers mentioned an 18-year-old bonus pitcher named Sam McDowell the Indians had. "That kid can really throw," he said.

Dykes nodded. "Fast as hell. Other day he threw two wild pitches in one inning. They hit the backstop and came back past the catcher as fast as they'd gone by him. Hoot Evers got all worried about his wildness. Frank Lane said to Hoot, 'Why should you worry? I'll give you $100,000 for him right now.' "

As if on cue, Lane, wearing a yellow polo shirt and dark glasses, stepped into the room. Dykes grinned. "Well, Frank," he said, "what brings you here?"

Frank Lane smiled at the reporters, turned to Dykes and almost at once started to talk of trades. They mentioned players more often by allusion than by name ("that shortstop you got"), and weighed and discarded whole careers in seconds. No trades were made.

Finally Lane said, "Hell, Jimmy. I talk all the time and I never say. anything."

Dykes puffed on his cigar and said, "Frank, sometimes that's actually true."

They discussed several young Indian players from a purely professional standpoint, with no mention of trades. Then Lane looked at his watch and said, "I have to go, Jimmy." Dykes stood up, put his hand on Lane's arm and walked him slowly to the door.

"It's always good to see you, Frank," Dykes said sincerely.

"Same here, Jimmy." They shook hands and returned to their jobs—Dykes as manager of his sixth major league ball club, Lane as general manager of his fourth.

Johnny Temple, bald and 31 and a major league second baseman for nine seasons now, sat in the Indians' dressing room and talked about McDowell, the bonus pitcher. "He has fantastic natural ability," Temple said, "but no head. I mean, he has the wrong idea about pitching. He has a great fast ball and a great curve ball—the best curve in camp. But I went over to watch him warm up the other day, and what was he working on? Knucklers, sliders, screwballs—everything but his fast ball and his curve. I said, 'What the devil are you doing?' 'I'm working on my pitches,' he said. 'You got to have six or seven pitches to make the majors." Can you imagine that? A kid with a fast ball and a curve like that? 'Keep that up,' I told him, 'and you won't have any pitches at all.' "

THE FRONT OFFICE
William Daley, president of Otis & Co., a Cleveland investment-banking firm, is Indians' largest stockholder (45%) and chairman of the board, but key man in front office is Vice-president Nate Dolin, who formed syndicate which bought Indians from Bill Veeck in 1949. Even Frank Lane, when he was Indian general manager (1958-60), checked with Dolin before closing a trade. Walter (Hoot) Evers, former major league outfielder, did excellent job as farm director for three years, is now director of player personnel. Only six teams in farm chain (down one from last year), but two are Triple-A: Salt Lake City and Toronto. Evers will serve as a sort of general manager (the title itself has been dropped) under Dolin, will work closely with Field Manager Jimmy Dykes on details of trades.

THE BALL PARK
Municipal Stadium (73,811 capacity) on north rim of city, right on the shore of Lake Erie. Half mile (10 minutes by foot, five by bus, a twinkling by car or cab, unless there's traffic jam) from Public Square, the center of town. Parking (75¢ average) for 8,000 within half mile. Many park downtown, take shuttle bus to game. Several concession stands have been added, which should relieve marathon quality of trips for refreshments at crowded games. Specialties: pizza (65¢), fish sandwiches (35¢). Three-piece band provides live music at all games. Management frowns on tips for ushers. Pleasant pregame dinner parties (held beyond the outfield in grassy space between fence and bleachers) for companies and fraternal groups will continue. New, enlarged, message-bearing scoreboard similar to Yankees' is being constructed this year.

View this article in the original magazine

PHOTOJOHNNY ANTONELLIPHOTOWOODIE HELDPHOTOWILLIE KIRKLANDPHOTOJIM PERRYILLUSTRATIONBILL CHARMATZ

1960 TEAM PERFORMANCE

FINISHED

WON

LOST

GAMES BEHIND

4

76

78

21

1960 INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES

BATTING

PITCHING

Francona

.292

Perry

18-10

Power

.288

Grant

9-8

Piersall

.282

Latman

7-7

HOME RUNS

RUNS BATTED IN

Held

21

Power

84

Kirkland

21

Francona

79

Piersall

18

Held

67