ANALYSIS OF TEAM STRENGTH
1B VIC WERTZ ( Indians, No. 23). 32, 11th year, 4th
All-Star (.200 in 5 AB). Season .305. Bats L.
2B NELSON FOX ( White Sox, No. 2). 29, 11th year, 7th All-Star (.385 in 13 AB).
Season .325. Bats L.
SS HARVEY KUENN (Tigers, No. 7). 26, 6th year, 5th All-Star (.222 in 9 AB).
Season .256. Bats R.
3B GEORGE KELL ( Orioles, No. 3). 34, 15th year, 9th All-Star (.190 in 21 AB).
Season .287. Bats R.
1B Bill Skowron ( Yankees, No. 14). 26, 4th year, 1st All-Star. Season .319.
2B Bobby Richardson ( Yankees, No. 29). 21, 1st year, 1st All-Star. Season .299.
SS Joe DeMaestri ( Athletics, No. 2). 28, 7th year, 1st All-Star. Season .279.
3B Gil McDougald ( Yankees, No. 12). 29, 7th year, 3rd All-Star (.000 in 1 AB).
Season .306. Bats R.
3B Frank Malzone ( Red Sox, No. 11). 27, 2nd year, 1st All-Star. Season .331.
Starting infield, which must remain in game at least
three innings, features exceptionally sharp hitting, with accent on skill
rather than power. Only Wertz, always a big home-run and RBI threat,
consistently hits the long ball. Fox and Kuenn rip singles and doubles to all
fields, are hard to fool, run very well. Kell, although now past his prime, is
smart and tough to get out. But only Fox is rated a superior fielder; Wertz,
Kuenn and Kell all lack range. Stengel, however, is blessed with replacements
superior to the starters in the field and in some cases capable of hitting
better, too: Skowron at first, the exceptionally gifted McDougald at third or
short and Malzone at third. The rookie Richardson would be in the same category
except for Fox's all-round brilliance; as it is he will furnish defensive
insurance, with DeMaestri, on the bench. It is the type of lineup Stengel likes
to have, one which affords him the opportunity of maneuvering to meet any
situation. Versatility and superior hitting give American League a very slight
edge. [Check mark]
LF TED WILLIAMS ( Red Sox, No. 9). 38, 16th year, 13th
All-Star (.361 in 36 AB). Season .362. Bats L.
CF MICKEY MANTLE ( Yankees, No. 7). 25, 7th year, 6th All-Star. (.294 in 17 AB).
Season .385. Bats L-R.
RF AL KALINE (Tigers, No. 6). 22, 5th year, 3rd All-Star (.286 in 7 AB). Season
.283. Bats R.
LF Roy Sievers (Senators, No. 2). 30, 9th year, 2nd All-Star (.000 in 1 AB).
Season .302. Bats R.
LF Minnie Minoso ( White Sox, No. 9). 34, 7th year, 5th All-Star (.556 in 9 AB).
Season .302. Bats R.
RF Charley Maxwell (Tigers, No. 4). 30, 7th year, 2nd All-Star (.000 in 0 AB).
Season .282. Bats L.
One of the All-Star Game's great outfields, with its
only weak ness Williams' defensive deficiencies in left. But when one considers
the terrific speed and range of Mantle and Kaline—and the fact that Williams
has been the most dominant figure in All-Star history—this is a petty point.
The three are thunderous hitters; each has won at least one batting
championship, and they all drive the ball out of the park. In addition, at
least as far as opposing pitchers are concerned, the three are actually four:
Williams hitting left, Kaline right and Mantle either way. The reserves rank
high in run production (Sievers has led the league most of the year) and
furnish pinch-hitting depth. But it is mainly because of Williams and Mantle
that the American League has a slight edge here too. [Check mark]
YOGI BERRA ( Yankees, No. 8). 32, 12th year, 10th
All-Star (.222 in 27 AB). Season .226. Bats L.
Gus Triandos ( Orioles, No. 11). 26, 5th year, 1st All-Star. Season .286. Bats
Elston Howard ( Yankees, No. 32). 27, 3rd year, 1st All-Star. Season .269. Bats
In a normal year, one would have only to look to
Berra and rate American League catching as the best. But for Berra 1957 has
hardly been a normal year. His hitting has fallen off badly both in average and
run production and neither Triandos, who hits hard but is slow, nor Howard,
whose catching experience is limited, can fill the void. [Right Sign]
Jim Bunning (Tigers, No. 14). 24, 3rd year, 1st
All-Star. Season 8-2. Throws R.
Bob Grim ( Yankees, No. 55). 27, 4th year, 1st All-Star. Season 8-2. Throws
Billy Loes ( Orioles, No. 18). 27, 8th year, 1st All-Star. Season 9-3. Throws
Don Mossi ( Indians, No. 12). 26, 4th year, 1st All-Star. Season 5-2. Throws
Billy Pierce ( White Sox, No. 19). 30, 11th year, 4th All-Star (1.00 ERA in 9
IP). Season 10-6. Throws L.
Bobby Shantz ( Yankees, No. 30). 31, 9th year, 3rd All-Star (0.00 ERA in 1 IP).
Season 9-1. Throws L.
Early Wynn ( Indians, No. 24). 37, 18th year, 4th All-Star. (0.00 ERA in 4 IP).
Season 10-8. Throws R.
Against a predominantly right-hand-hitting National
League lineup, a manager might be expected to start with the best and most
dependable right-hander on his staff, in this case, the smooth, tireless old
veteran, Early Wynn. But Stengel, who likes surprises, might choose to open up
instead with the biggest surprise of the year, Billy Loes, or the youthful
Tiger strikeout whiz, Jim Bunning. However, the real strength of the American
League staff is left-handed: smart little Bobby Shantz, in the midst of the
season's finest comeback, and the pitcher who has started three of the last
four All-Star Games, Chicago's brilliant Billy Pierce. Ready for emergencies
are the two relief aces, Grim (right) and Mossi (left). It is a crew with good
speed, above-average control and a bewildering variety of pitches. It is also
dependable, and rates a solid edge. [Check mark]
The starting lineup, with five left-hand hitters operating in a park with a
friendly right-field fence, has an offensive advantage over the opposition
which will be only partially diminished by inferior speed and defensive skill.
It is hard to imagine a team which includes Mantle, Williams, Wertz, Kaline,
Kuenn, Fox and Berra held in check for long; they are sure to score some runs.
The reserves are also impressive, perhaps more so than those of the National
League: Skowron, McDougald, Malzone, Minoso, Sievers and the rest. And the
pitching staff, which undoubtedly would have been made a great deal more
dazzling by the presence of a healthy Whitey Ford and Herb Score, still appears
to be capable and smart and steady enough to do the job. It is about time that
Stengel won another All-Star Game, and this year he appears to have the edge.
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