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NEW YORK YANKEES
April 14, 1958
It is a new year but the Yankees of '58 are an old story. As in the past, they have power, pride and the winning habit. Some critics may argue that this team is not to be compared with the great Yankee teams of '27 or '36, but what does it really matter? They are good enough to win...and easily
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April 14, 1958

New York Yankees

It is a new year but the Yankees of '58 are an old story. As in the past, they have power, pride and the winning habit. Some critics may argue that this team is not to be compared with the great Yankee teams of '27 or '36, but what does it really matter? They are good enough to win...and easily

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BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1957 record

1

Bobby Richardsi

2B

.256

6

Andy Carey

3B

.255

7

Mickey Mantle

CF

.365

8

Yogi Berra C

C

.251

9

Hank Bauer

RF

.259

10

Tony Kubek

OF-IF

.297

11

Jerry Lumpe

3B

.340

12

Gil McDougald

SS

.289

14

Bill Skowron

IB

.304

25

Norm Siebern

LF

minors

32

Elston Howard

C-OF

.253

36

Harry Simpson

0F-1B

.270

16

Whitey Ford

P

11-5

18

Don Larsen

P

10-4

19

Bob Turley

P

13-6

21

Sal Maglie

P

8-6

30

Bobby Shantz

P

11-5

47

Tom Sturdivant

P

16-6

53

Johnny Kucks

P

8-10

55

Bob Grim

P

12-8

THE MANAGER

Bewildering, amusing, tough and kindly-all these are Casey Stengel (37), the master manager. In nine years as leader of the Yankees he has won eight pennants and six World Series. Stengel has been in baseball since 1912. He was an outfielder for 15 years (lifetime average: .284) before turning to managing. In three years with Brooklyn and six with the old Boston Bees, Casey's boys never finished higher than fifth place, but after a five-year exile to the minors he returned with the Yankees and a winner. Stengel's coaches are Frankie Crosetti (2) at third base, Ralph Houk (35), the man many believe will eventually succeed Stengel, at first base, and Pitching Coach Jim Turner (31).

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S YANKEES

STRONG POINTS: Better sit down, this might take a while. The Yankees have every pennant ingredient...power, speed, youth and depth. Most important is depth, for it permits Casey Stengel the luxury of juggling his lineup daily according to opposing pitchers, batting slumps and personal whim. Yogi Berra and Elston Howard provide first-rate catching. Last year was not Yogi's (.251), but there are few who would bet on another year like it. Some say Howard is the league's second-best catcher. At first base is Moose Skowron, who in four years has never hit below .300. If he gets hurt, as is his habit, two free-swinging left-handers will be waiting: Harry Simpson, once the toast of Kansas City, and Marv Throneberry, who in three seasons with Denver hit 118 home runs. Five young men (average age 25) will play the other three infield positions, and no matter which combination plays, it will be good. Gil McDougald, as reliable as a government bond, has seniority rights to shortstop. Bobby Richardson is a talented second baseman, as Frank Lane is quick to admit. Andy Carey, who can field, and Jerry Lumpe, who can hit, will alternate at third. That leaves Tony Kubek, last year's top rookie, as the swing man. He can and has played short, second and third and he will probably play all of them this year. And left field, too. The young man can run, hit and field. So can another young man in center field, except he can run a little faster and hit a little further. That would be Mickey Mantle. Should his legs require rest in the late innings, Bobby Del Greco, a little speedster the Yankees picked up late last season, will spell him. In right field is tireless Hank Bauer. A team such as this might be able to get by without pitchers, but the Yanks have them too. Because there are so many of them, no one ever wins a lot of games, but a look at the staff's record for the last two seasons indicates their quality: Whitey Ford (30-11), Tom Sturdivant (32-14), Bob Turley (21-10), Don Larsen (21-9), Johnny Kucks (26-19) and Bob Grim (18-9). Three of last year's newcomers, Bobby Shantz, Art Ditmar and Sal Maglie, had a combined 21-6. All nine of them will be around this year.

WEAK SPOTS: They just don't exist. In comparison to the rest of the team, left field might be considered inadequate, but there are teams that would happily accept any one of the men who will play there this season. Howard is one and Simpson makes two. Kubek will spend time there and even 42-year-old Enos Slaughter, primarily a pinch hitter these days, may have to answer the call to arms. But the one with the best chance is the fellow who opened there two years ago, Norm Siebern

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES: Siebern got hurt two years ago and was shipped to Denver. He hit .349 there last year. If he can hit in the majors, and it looks like he can, left field is his, despite his only-adequate fielding ability. Throneberry is no fielder either, but if he can hit a couple into the Stadium's short right-field seats, he may play a lot of home games, for at the Stadium the powerful Skowron, who hits mainly to center field, is a long out. One or two new pitchers may turn up, all graduates from the Denver team. Mark Freeman (12-6), Rine Duren (13-2) or Zack Monroe (16-10) will round out the Yankee pitching staff.

THE BIG IFS: The Yankees are in the happy position of being able to afford one major disaster and still win the pennant. An injury to Mantle's legs or Ford's arm would hurt but not shatter the team's chances. Aside from injuries, there is no one player who must come through if the Yankees are to win. Only a total reversal of form on the part of several key players could do this team real harm.

THE VOICES

Mel Allen (45, worldly) entered the University of Alabama at 15 and graduated eight years later with a law degree. While in college, he broadcast local sporting events. When he was heard by a CBS executive, Mel Allen was on his way. In 1939 he was assigned to the Yankees and, with the exception of three years in the Army, has been with them ever since. Some fans can't stand him. They say he's biased, only compliments opponents when the Yankees are ahead. But even his critics must admit he is a pro, a colorful personality and a sponsor's dream. No one can sell a can of beer like Mel Allen, RED BARBER (50, gentle) emcees pre-and post-game shows, fills in all too seldom for play-by-play. The "old redhead" became a legend with Brooklyn before joining New York. They don't come any better, PHIL RIZZUTO (39, excitable), who was previously employed by the Yankees in another capacity, made his announcing debut last year. Rizzuto treats his audience to his vast experience and feeling for the game.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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