In the American League two rookies—Tom Tresh and Phil Linz—each hope to become the Yankee shortstop, at least until Tony Kubek returns from service. Tresh is the son of Mike Tresh, a former catcher with the White Sox. "I just can't remember the time when I didn't have a baseball in my hands," Tom Tresh says. "My folks have movies taken when I was 2 years old which show me throwing a ball around our apartment in Chicago."
Tresh is now 23, 6 feet 1 and solidly built. Last year he hit .315 at Richmond, for which he was named Rookie of the Year in the International League.
Phil Linz is 22 and is built along the same lines as Tresh. He wears steel-rimmed glasses when playing ball and recently he decided to wear them off the field, too. In spite of trouble with his eyes, Linz hit .349 with Amarillo to lead the Texas League last year.
So far this spring Tresh and Linz have shared the shortstop job without noticeably affecting the efficiency of the Yankee machine. There are those who believe the Yankees could win the pennant without a shortstop.
The Baltimore Orioles, a team that hopes to be a contender, have come up with a baby giant named John Wesley Powell, nicknamed "Boog." Powell is only 20 but he stands 6 feet 4 and weighs 235 pounds. A left-hand-hitting left fielder, he batted .321 with Rochester last year and showed plenty of power. His only problem seems to be an inability to catch fly balls, but minor details like that have never kept a long-ball hitter out of the major leagues. Powell will make it, and so, probably, will Mike Hershberger, Joe Horlen, Bob Rodgers, Dick Radatz, Ty Cline, Ken Hubbs, Lou Brock, Cliff Cook and Bob Veale, all of them good prospects, all of them looking a little better than they really are because of the seller's market in the rookie business. Any one of them could be outstanding. But baseball is an unpredictable game, and it's just possible that the Rookie of the Year will be old Diomedes Olivo. That would be nice.