The Brooklyn Dodgers were the oldest team in the majors when they won the pennant last year. Calculating the ages of the starting eight (pitcher omitted) on September 30, 1956, the Dodgers spotted an average five years per man to the second-place Braves and third-place Redlegs and more than seven years per man to the coltish Pittsburgh Pirates. Only other club to average over 30 years per man was the Chicago White Sox. Average age of the 128 major league starters is 27.8.
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Linked inseparably with old age is insurance. Baseball men can only speculate how much the Dodgers have slowed down in recent years, but Mutual of Omaha can tell you. Last year the value of the habitual National League champions had depreciated, they said, exactly 40% since 1953. The Dodger regulars were insured at $150,000 apiece, compared to $250,000 three years ago. (Incidentally, Mutual of Omaha took a jaundiced view of managers which would cause many an armchair general to mutter, "I knew it." Insurance value of Dodger Manager Walter Alston: $0.) This year they are the Flying Dodgers; a blanket policy of $2,800,000 will cover the whole Convair-load of players on each trip, averaging $112,000 a man.