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BASEBALL'S WEEK
Herman Weiskopf
April 24, 1961
AMERICAN LEAGUE All the action was in the East where, because of bad weather, only 15 of the first 26 scheduled games were played. But everybody won a game and everybody lost one, even the two new clubs. One of baseball's best pitching combinations—Pedro Ramos and Camilo Pascual—got the Minnesota Twins off to a pair of early wins. After Ramos blanked the Yankees, Pascual threw a five-hitter at the Orioles. Harmon Killebrew pulled a hamstring muscle and may be out for three weeks. But Bob Allison kept the Twins' home-run reputation flourishing by hitting a grand-slammer and a three-run homer against the Orioles. Although it was hardly an impressive figure, the Detroit Tigers led in home runs with four (the league as a whole had only 10 home runs in its first 13 games). Frank Lary shut out the White Sox 7-0 on one hit. The Cleveland Indians stayed near the top by winning two of three. Jimmy Piersall, despite a fusillade of junk thrown at him by Detroit fans in the opener, held his temper. Responding to a barrage that included fruit, vegetables, a metal hair brush, metal tape and several golf balls, Piersall drove out four hits. The New York Yankees put on Thermal underwear—left over by the football Giants—before their cold-weather opener against Minnesota, but lost anyway. It was not until the sixth day of the beweathered season that the Yankees won for the first time. In their first three games the Chicago White Sox hitters poked out only 14 hits and scored but six runs. The pitchers matched the hitters: 11 were used in the three games. Baltimore 's hitting was so weak that Oriole President Lee MacPhail pleaded at one point, "Let's get a rally going. Let's get a couple of walks and some errors." After losing a double-header to the Twins, Baltimore was in 10th place. In spite of the fact that the Kansas City Athletics had to use seven pitchers to salvage a split of their first two games, Manager Joe Gordon said bravely, "I think I'll carry only nine pitchers this season." The Boston Red Sox got shutout pitching from Ike De-lock to introduce Los Angeles to defeat. Manager Mike Higgins writhed when local papers put added pressure on Rookie Carl Yastrzemski by printing daily boxes comparing his performances with those of Ted Williams in his first year. The Los Angeles Angels split two games, and the new Washington Senators lost three of four (see page 22).
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April 24, 1961

Baseball's Week

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TEAM LEADERS: BATTING

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Clev

Phillips

.500

Piersall

.467

Det

Wood

.417

Boros

.400

Minn

Versalles

.429

Allison

.364

NY

Skowron

.429

Howard

.333

Bos

Runnels

.571

Schilling

.500

KC

Throneberry

.250

Tuttle

.250

LA

Pearson

.286

Aspromonte
Kluszewski

.250
.250

Balt

E. Robinson

.500

Brandt

.357

Chi

Sievers

.286

Aparicio-Landis

.273

Wash

Woodling

.400

Keough

.364

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Cin

Bailey

.615

Post

.364

Pitt

Virdon

.421

Burgess

.400

SF

F. Alou

.333

Mays

.316

Chi

Zimmer

.533

Santo

.375

StL

Cunningham

.462

Javier

.316

LA

Moon

.500

T. Davis

.474

Phil

Gonzalez

.583

Callison

.353

Mil

McMillan

.385

Mathews

.294

AMERICAN LEAGUE
All the action was in the East where, because of bad weather, only 15 of the first 26 scheduled games were played. But everybody won a game and everybody lost one, even the two new clubs. One of baseball's best pitching combinations—Pedro Ramos and Camilo Pascual—got the Minnesota Twins off to a pair of early wins. After Ramos blanked the Yankees, Pascual threw a five-hitter at the Orioles. Harmon Killebrew pulled a hamstring muscle and may be out for three weeks. But Bob Allison kept the Twins' home-run reputation flourishing by hitting a grand-slammer and a three-run homer against the Orioles. Although it was hardly an impressive figure, the Detroit Tigers led in home runs with four (the league as a whole had only 10 home runs in its first 13 games). Frank Lary shut out the White Sox 7-0 on one hit. The Cleveland Indians stayed near the top by winning two of three. Jimmy Piersall, despite a fusillade of junk thrown at him by Detroit fans in the opener, held his temper. Responding to a barrage that included fruit, vegetables, a metal hair brush, metal tape and several golf balls, Piersall drove out four hits. The New York Yankees put on Thermal underwear—left over by the football Giants—before their cold-weather opener against Minnesota, but lost anyway. It was not until the sixth day of the beweathered season that the Yankees won for the first time. In their first three games the Chicago White Sox hitters poked out only 14 hits and scored but six runs. The pitchers matched the hitters: 11 were used in the three games. Baltimore 's hitting was so weak that Oriole President Lee MacPhail pleaded at one point, "Let's get a rally going. Let's get a couple of walks and some errors." After losing a double-header to the Twins, Baltimore was in 10th place. In spite of the fact that the Kansas City Athletics had to use seven pitchers to salvage a split of their first two games, Manager Joe Gordon said bravely, "I think I'll carry only nine pitchers this season." The Boston Red Sox got shutout pitching from Ike De-lock to introduce Los Angeles to defeat. Manager Mike Higgins writhed when local papers put added pressure on Rookie Carl Yastrzemski by printing daily boxes comparing his performances with those of Ted Williams in his first year. The Los Angeles Angels split two games, and the new Washington Senators lost three of four (see page 22).

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Preseason forecasters said that the league race would be much tighter this year: eight of the first 11 games were decided by one run, and at the end of the first week only two games separated first place from last. Manager Al Dark's strategy with the first-place San Francisco Giants earned him the nickname The Mad Scientist. Losing to the Pirates by one run, he had Willie Mays, who was on first, steal on the first pitch to Willie McCovey, a left-handed batter. ("A catcher has a harder time throwing to second when a lefty is up," Dark explained.) Mays stole successfully. Dark then took McCovey out and sent in Joe Amalfitano, a right-handed batter, to hit. Amalfitano scored Mays with the tying run, and the Giants went on to win 6-5. The Cincinnati Reds started with three straight wins. Wally Post hit a prodigious home run against the Cardinals. Teammate Jay Hook, who has an engineering degree, estimated that the pitch came in at 80 mph, that Post swung at 110-120 mph and that the ball was hit at 150 feet a second. He then calculated the homer would have traveled at least 569 feet had it not hit the scoreboard. The Pittsburgh Pirates hit and made double plays, settled for three victories in six games with Giants and Dodgers. The Los Angeles Dodgers won their first two games, then made six errors in two games and lost three in a row. Coach Leo Durocher had a lively kicking duel with Umpire Jocko Conlan, was ejected from the game. The Milwaukee Braves could not shake their 1960 habit of blowing early leads, lost three games on home runs in the last inning, are still looking for a reliable reliefer. St. Louis had five hard games, won three, the first on a home run by Daryl Spencer off Warren Spahn. Spencer said, "That's the first mistake Spahn's made on me in seven years." The Philadelphia Phillies wasted good pitching by Frank Sullivan and Art Mahaffey (a three-hitter), but Dallas Green shut out the Giants. The Chicago Cubs came through with storybook slugging; with two out in the ninth, Sammy Taylor hit a game-winning homer one day, and Al Heist hit one the next.

Boxed statistics through Saturday, April 16

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

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