HANK BAUER, RF (No. 9), Bats R
Best hitter on team since end of August; before this year played only against left-handers, will now stay in all the way. Has power and speed, hits fast ball hard, is often fooled by curve. Right-handers can sidearm him. Runs bases well, will steal. Superb outfielder with very strong arm; don't try to run on him.
BILL SKOWRON, IB (No. 14), Bats R
Tremendously strong, hit over .400 in early-season spree but hasn't found range since leg injury benched him for several weeks in May and June. Plays against lefties, pinch-hits. Doesn't give an inch at plate, hits curve well, murders fast ball over outside edge; pitch him tight. Will chase low curve in dirt.
YOGI BERRA, C (No. 8), Bats L
Best late-inning hitter in baseball; ranks with Campanella as catcher. This is seventh World Series, hit .429 in 1953, hit first pinch homer in Series history in '47. Pulls everything with power; pitch him high and tight, save fast ball on outside for tight situation in late innings—it will work only once.
JOE COLLINS, 1B (No. 15), Bats L
Another member of left-handed-hitting, slick-fielding platoon; real virtuoso with glove around first base. Lowest season batting average of any Yankee regular but one of most dangerous in clutch; hit two home runs in one game several times during year. Death on low balls; pitch him high, mix 'em up.
ELSTON HOWARD, C-LF (No. 32), Bats R
Power-hitting rookie and, like Skowron, platoons against lefty pitching. Came up as catcher after winning International League MVP award; as outfielder has speed and catches anything he gets to but doesn't get good jump on ball. Needs to learn to pull. Good curve-ball hitter, won't chase bad pitch.
GIL McDOUGALD, 2B-3B (No. 12), Bats R
One of best fast-ball hitters in league; never throw him fast ball over plate. Mix in curve, changeup, move ball around. Fine defensive infielder at either position, has good speed, runs bases well, will bunt and steal. Fair power. Along with Mantle, one of four players to hit grand-slam homer in Series.
IRV NOREN, LF (No. 25), Bats L
Fine defensive outfielder with good arm, good speed; will play against right-handers and in late innings as defensive move. May also be used in center if leg continues to bother Mantle. Hits fast ball with fair power; slow up on him, keep curve sinking. Hit .300 in 1952 Series, pinch-hit in '53.
PHIL RIZZUTO, SS (No. 10), Bats R
Used as reserve most of season, has now won back old job. Can still hurt you. Best bunter in league, guards plate well, terrific base runner, comes up with big play afield. Holds shortstop record for most World Series (eight), led Series hitters with .381 in '42, batted over .300 three other times.
Billy Martin was great performer in two World Series (1952-53) but may have to miss this one unless Army furlough extended. If available, will certainly play second. Lacks power but pesky right-hand hitter, produces in clutch... ANDY CAREY was regular until Martin returned and moved McDougald over to third. Doesn't pull, power only fair but hits sharply from right side; good stuff down low and away will get him out. Fine defensive infielder. Third year with Yankees but first World Series... EDDIE ROBINSON (bats left), BOB CERV (bats right), two big power hitters who will pinch-hit, may see some action in field. Robinson fair glove man at first; Cerv is slow and has weak arm in outfield... JERRY COLEMAN has failed to gain pre-Korean War form at plate, will help Rizzuto at shortstop if little veteran needs relief...CHARLEY SILVERA backs up Berra and Howard, sees very little action...Bonus Babies FRANK LEJA and TOM CARROLL will get World Series experience from bench.
Probably most solid defensive team in baseball; in a year in which their pitching has been weak and hitting erratic, good fielding has kept them in race, BERRA is good target, handles pitchers well, has strong arm and is very quick behind plate. COLLINS is superlative first baseman, Robinson and Skowron both adequate. McDOUGALD has good hands, covers ground, makes the throw from either second or third. Carey ranks with him as infielder, Martin only slightly behind. RIZZUTO hasn't slowed down enough to be worried, still makes plays most other shortstops in league will never make. Best defensive outfield of NOREN, MANTLE and BAUER ranks with White Sox as No. 1 in baseball with speed, knowledge of hitters, ability to catch the ball and three very strong arms.