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WASHINGTON SENATORS
April 14, 1958
Summers are generally long in Washington. This year should prove no exception as far as the Senators are concerned. Charley Dressen tired of the team last year, and now it's up to Cookie Lavagetto to inspire it for another long summer. But inspiration is a weak substitute for talented young baseball players
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April 14, 1958

Washington Senators

Summers are generally long in Washington. This year should prove no exception as far as the Senators are concerned. Charley Dressen tired of the team last year, and now it's up to Cookie Lavagetto to inspire it for another long summer. But inspiration is a weak substitute for talented young baseball players

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BASIC ROSTER

no.

player

position

1957 record

1

Eddie Yost

3B

.251

2

Roy Sievers

LF

.301

3

Harmon Killebrew

IF-OF

minors

5

Norm Zauchin

1B

.264

6

Albie Pearson

CF

minors

7

Bobby Malkmus

2B

minors

8

Ed Fitzgerald

C

.272

9

Lou Berberet

C

.261

10

Steve Korcheck

C

service

14

Clint Courtney

C

.267

23

Jim Lemon

RF

.285

25

Herb Plews

2B

.271

31

Rocky Bridges

SS

.228

11

Bud Byerly

P

6-6

16

Russ Kemmerer

P

7-11

17

Camilo Pascual

P

8-17

18

Chuck Stobbs

P

8-20

24

Hal Griggs

P

minors

27

Ralph Lumenti

P

0-1

28

Pedro Ramos

P

12-16

THE MANAGER
Cookie Lavagetto (51) is starting his first full season as Senator manager Replaced Charley Dressen in May 1957 for his first crack at major league managing after two seasons as Washington coach. The soft-spoken Lavagetto started his playing career with Pittsburgh Pirates in 1934 but spent the best part of his 10-year career with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was recently honored as the Dodgers' alltime third baseman. Will always be known for his pinch-hit double in ninth inning of fourth game in 1947 World Series which broke up Yankee no-hitter and won game for Dodgers. His coaches are Billy Jurges (54), Ellis Clary (53), Boom Boom Beck (55) and Nick Altrock.

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S SENATORS

STRONG POINTS: The Senators have Roy Sievers, the American League's home-run and runs-batted-in champion, which takes care of left field; and that's almost it. However, strange as it might seem, Washington has real depth—in catching. Clint Courtney, Lou Berberet and Ed Fitzgerald are all good major league catchers who give Lavagetto his only real chance to maneuver. Right Fielder Jim Lemon showed in 1956 that he was the power hitter to complement Sievers. He slumped last year, but he still must be considered a relatively strong point on this weak-hitting club. Rocky Bridges, for years the best second-string shortstop in the National League, came to the Senators in midseason last year and showed Washington how that position should be played. Now, if he could only hit. At third base, as usual, is that Washington institution, Eddie Yost—a good, steady, dependable ballplayer known mainly for his ability to draw walks. The best thing the team has going for it pitcher-wise is Bud Byerly, who in two straight seasons has been the team's most effective relief man and one of the league's best.

WEAK SPOTS: They boil down to two fairly fundamental inadequacies—lack of hitting and lack of pitching. The pitching staff's earned run average was 4.85, worst in both leagues. Not one starting pitcher gave up fewer than four earned runs a game, and the whole staff could only put together 31 complete games. The four regular starters—Stobbs, Pascual, Ramos and Kemmerer—lost nearly twice as many games as they won, with Stobbs the worst offender at 8 and 20. Sad to say, virtually the same pitchers will be back this season. Despite Roy Sievers, the Senators tied for last as the worst-hitting team in the major leagues (.244). Because of him they weren't last in runs, hits and total bases. They were seventh. And it will be up to many of the same old hands to supply the team's batting power this year.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES: It is to the new faces that the Senators must turn if there is to be any relief from dismal contemplation of eighth place. Brightest of the rookies and perhaps the most refreshing in all of Florida this past spring has been a little guy named Albie Pearson. He came from the Red Sox chain last winter and could be the answer to a lot of things. Despite his size (5 feet 5 inches, give or take an inch), he looks as if he knows how to hit. There are no doubts that he will be able to play center field and play it well. Big Norm Zauchin (6 feet 5 inches, 220 pounds) also came over from Boston and will be the team's new first baseman. In 1955 he hit 27 home runs and had 97 RBIs. Since then he hasn't done much, but a fractional repeat of that performance this year would be important to the Senators. A big, left-handed bonus baby, Ralph Lumenti, pitched his way into the starting rotation this spring and could give a lift to the staff. Rookie Steve Korcheck came out of military service and is trying hard to make the Senators forget about the other catchers. Bobby Malkmus, drafted from the Braves' farm system, hasn't displaced Herb Plews at second, but will be a valuable utility man.

THE BIG IFS: Considering the paucity of talent on this club, it still wouldn't make too much difference if all reasonable doubts were favorably resolved. But the pitching staff could certainly benefit by a return to form by Chuck Stobbs or by proof from Ralph Lumenti that he was worth his bonus. If Albie Pearson makes it in center field and Herb Plews is helped by playing alongside Bridges in the infield, the defense will certainly be stiffened. If Eddie Yost can play all season long at third and Norm Zauchin can hit the long ball once again, the Senators would be a less dispiriting bunch than usual.

THE VOICES
Bob Wolff (37, genial) was high-school baseball star (.583 batting average) who went to Duke just so he could work under Coach Jack Coombs. When Coombs told him he could get to majors quicker as an announcer ("I couldn't hit the long ball") Wolff quit baseball play for play by play. Now in 12th season with Senators, he is considered one of better announcers. Wolff lets the action on the field speak for itself and sticks to an approach that complements the game. A hard worker with thorough knowledge of baseball, he spends a lot of time with the players digging up extra color. Some fans fault him for valiant attempt to make dull games sound more exciting than they actually are. CHUCK THOMPSON (36, quick) started his career as band singer. Switched to sports announcing when local radio station in Reading, Pa. decided he couldn't make it singing. Had own disk jockey show in Baltimore as well as Oriole and Colt broadcasts before joining Wolff in 1956. His rapid-fire delivery can be distracting on TV.

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

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