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BASEBALL'S WEEK

May 07, 1962
May 07, 1962

Table of Contents
May 7, 1962

Point Of Fact
Yesterday
Billy Joe
No. 1
Derby Preview
Baseball
Sporting Look
Erie Cruise
Baseball's Week
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Departments

BASEBALL'S WEEK

By Herman Weiskopf

NATIONAL LEAGUE
San Francisco fans were happy. Their Giants won four of six, were all but tied for first with the Cardinals and Pirates, and the peanuts at Candlestick Park ("thirty plump legumes instead of the 20 dwarfs we got last year," one writer commented) were tastier than ever. There were problems, though. Mike McCormick had arm trouble, and Harvey Kuenn, a .382 lead-off man, managed to get injured in the on-deck circle. Pirate Pitcher Jack Lamabe, backing up a play at the plate, somehow spiked Kuenn, who lost a toenail. And women at Candlestick complained that "we wreck our nylons on the rough edges of the seats." Billy O'Dell beefed, too, when one of his pitches was called a ball. He had more to moan about after his next delivery: Cincinnati's Vada Pinson hit it over the fence. A day later Pinson had to hit the dirt to avoid a pitch by Jack Sanford of the Giants. Pinson, who batted .440 last week, got a home run on the following pitch. Wally Post hit three homers, but also made three errors (giving him five for the year already). In all, the Reds made nine errors during the week. Worse yet were the Pittsburgh Pirates, who made 10 bobbles, four by outfielders. All three Pirate catchers were hurt, Don Hoak had an infection and Pitchers Bob Gibbon and Vern Law still had aching arms. The Milwaukee Braves, however, made the most of their wounded and supposedly slumping players. The Braves got a homer from a catcher (Del Crandall) who had not hit one since 1960, a four-hitter from a Canadian sinker bailer (Ron Piche), and a leaping, game-saving catch of what should have been a home run by an outfielder (Mack Jones) who is celebrated for his poor fielding. Bob Shaw pitched a four-hitter and a five-hitter as the Braves won six of seven and climbed from eighth to fifth. Only Lou Burdette had difficulty. He lost to Los Angeles. A balk was called on Burdette as he pitched to Willie Davis. His pitch had been hit to center for an easy out, but was ruled a ball and Davis got another swing. Davis hit Burdette's next pitch for a home run. Wally Moon became the fourth "regular" first baseman. Sandy Koufax won twice, once against the Cubs when he set an NL daylight mark by striking out 18 men. Every pitcher looked like a Koufax to the Houston Colt .45s (see page 63), who hit only .211 behind continued fine pitching. The New York Mets finally won a couple of games but were still last. As bad as the Mets were, they actually outplayed their opponents in some ways. They were outhit .303 to .283, but they made more double plays (five for the Mets, four by their opponents), fewer errors (four to seven) and had the same number of stolen bases, wild pitches and passed balls (two in each instance). On top of that, Frank Thomas, Charlie Neal and Gil Hodges hit successive homers. St. Louis had only three homers all week. Curt Flood, obtained in an almost-forgotten trade with the Reds in December 1957, led the league with a .415 BA. Curt Simmons, picked up for $1 when he was cut loose by the Phillies in 1960, won his third straight. Philadelphia and Chicago officials might have been hard pressed to get $1 for some of their pitchers last week. Twenty-one Phillie pitchers gave up 39 runs in six games. Even more ineffective were the 20 Cubs who allowed 50 runs in seven contests.

This is an article from the May 7, 1962 issue Original Layout

AMERICAN LEAGUE
You have to hand it to the Kennedys; they have a magic touch. New York's Roger Maris went to the White House batting .132 and with just one home run in 11 games. He shook hands with the President and in the next two days hit .400 and two homers. Clete Boyer came to spring training saying he wanted to be moved up from eighth to second in the batting order. Last week, hitting .447 for the season, he got his chance and continued his hot streak; in three games he batted .429 and had seven RBIs. Cleveland won six of seven and moved into first place. The Indians hadn't won six games in a week since last June. Gary Bell had a mild scare when some of the lights in the Yankee Stadium bullpen would not work. "I was throwing as hard as I could to Izzy [bullpen catcher Enrique Izquierdo]," Bell said, "and doggone if he didn't catch everything without trouble in the dark. I thought I had lost my fast ball." As it turned out, it was the Yankees, six of whom struck out in four innings, who had trouble seeing Bell's pitches. Cleveland had lost 19 in a row at Yankee Stadium, and Manager Mel McGaha was asked if he felt his team was jinxed. "Jinx, my apoplexy," McGaha said and then his Indians beat the Yankees in a doubleheader. Washington's Mickey Vernon had to blame his team's 11 successive losses on the obvious: bad pitching (47 runs in six games) and bad hitting (.223). The Chicago White Sox traced some of their earlier failures to the fact that pinch hitters went 0 for 22. Then Bob Sadowski got two pinch hits, one a homer, the other a game-winning double against Boston. Galen Cisco of the Red Sox—the same Cisco Kid who played in the Ohio State backfield with Hopalong Cassady—beat the Senators with a four-hitter, and Eddie Bressoud gave the club its best shortstopping in years. He also set a team record, hitting in the first 14 games of the season. Detroit infielders had a hard time hanging on to the ball. Five infield errors cost them a 9-8 loss to the Athletics. Frank Lary was sidelined with a wrenched shoulder. Nothing, not even the Army, stopped Steve Barber of Baltimore. He finished his work on the Fort Bragg garbage truck, got a pass and won his third weekend game. Barber's win moved the Orioles into fifth place. Los Angeles slipped from third to eighth as Manager Bill Rigney had trouble convincing the Angels not to swing for the fences. Harmon Killebrew, who had a hard time finding the fences the first two weeks, hit three out of the park as the erratic Minnesota Twins split six games. Kansas City continued to show that its hitting was no longer erratic. Last year the Athletics did not have an outfielder who hit over .253 and the team as a whole batted .247. Last week Norm Siebern hit .308, Jerry Lumpe .429, the outfielders .333. The team average was .296. Gino Cimoli batted .387 and drove in nine runs, and Manny Jimenez was a .389 hitter. Jimenez also hit three homers in two days. Maybe next year President Kennedy will shake hands with Manny Jimenez.

View this article in the original magazine

TWO PHOTOSPOWER HITTERS from Los Angeles were Willie Davis of Dodgers, Leon Wagner of the Angels. Each hit four homers last week.

RUNS PRODUCED

Runs Scored

Teammates Batted In*

Total Runs Produced

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Robinson, Chi (.468)

9

19

28

Del Greco, KC (.271)

18

9

27

Siebern, KC (.292)

12

14

26

Cunningham, Chi (.352)

17

7

24

Kaline, Det (.346)

13

11

24

Howser, KC (.227)

13

11

24

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Pinson, Cin (.357)

17

18

35

T. Davis, LA (.358)

13

18

31

Cepeda, SF (.313)

13

13

26

Mathews, Mil (.26?)

14

11

25

Kuenn, SF (.382)

15

9

24

Javier, StL (.343)

17

7

24

* Derived by subtracting HRs from RBIs

Boxed statistics through Saturday, April 28