FIELDING: An above-average fielder with no weakness. Handles bunts well.
BATTING: One of few weak hitters on Yankee staff. Don't worry about him.
BOARD OF STRATEGY
Leathery, wrinkled, double-talking
(37) has had unparalleled success in the World Series, both as player and manager. A National League outfielder from 1912-1925 (.284 lifetime average), Stengel batted .393 in three World Series with the Dodgers and Giants, hit two home runs for the latter in 1923, thereby accounting for only two games they won from Yankees that year. As a manager, Stengel failed to finish higher than fifth place in nine seasons with Dodgers and Braves, but as Yankee manager since 1949 his teams have won eight pennants and six World Series. Blessed with the best talent in baseball, Casey can do no wrong with his daily and sometimes confusing juggling. His moves may look daring at times, on re-examination prove to be based on sound theory backed by a vast knowledge of game, FRANK CROSETTI (2). Stengel's right-hand man, was star Yankee shortstop in '30s, veteran of seven World Series as player; this will be his ninth as third-base coach,
(33), another fabled Yankee, was part of slugging outfield of DiMaggio, Henrich and Keller in early '40s, left his Maryland breeding farm this spring to replace ailing Bill Dickey as first-base coach.
(31) pitched 14 years in minors, nine in majors, was 20-game winner in rookie season with Braves in 1937. Has been Yankee pitching coach since 1949, has long been a key factor in their success.
Typical of versatility to be found on Yankee bench is
(32). hard-hitting No. 2 catcher who also does a good job in left field. A good breaking-ball hitter but weak on high fast balls; runs well but doesn't get good jump on fly balls. Has a good strong arm and, when catching, a very quick one. If Berra's injured thumb fails to heal sufficiently, Howard will move in full time behind the plate,
(42). a wonderfully smooth and polished defensive infielder at any one of three positions, is not a strong hitter, does not run bases too well.
(15) is a superior first baseman, does only adequate defensive job in right field; a dangerous left-hand clutch hitter despite low average, he murders low balls, can run the bases. Third basemen include not only Kubek, Coleman and McDougald but the two more-or-less regulars in the Stengel system: husky blond veteran
(6) and slender blond rookie
(11). Both make all the plays at third, have good arms, can run and like to hit the fast ball. Good breaking stuff down low will get them out.
(39), NO. 3 catcher, is smart, handles pitchers well, has a good arm; a sharp hit-and-run man with little power. JOHNNY KUCKS (53), an 18-game winner last year, has been hit hard on occasion this season, now seems to be used mostly in relief; throws good assortment of pitches—sinker, slider, changeup, good fast ball—with sharp control, keeps them all low. ART DITMAR (28). a fine fielding pitcher and a good hitter, has quick but not overpowering fast ball, sinker and slider but only fair control. Aging left-hander
(23) has lost big fast ball, now primarily junk pitcher with good curve. Very good hitter. Rookie ALCICOTTE (24) throws sinker, unlikely to see action.