ANALYSIS OF TEAM STRENGTH
1B STAN MUSIAL ( Cardinals, No. 6). 36, 16th year,
14th All-Star (.319 in 47 AB). Season .349. Bats L.
2B JOHNNY TEMPLE (Redlegs, No. 16). 27, 6th year, 2nd All-Star (.500 in 4 AB).
Season .285. Bats R.
SS ROY McMILLAN (Redlegs, No. 11). 26, 7th year, 2nd All-Star (.667 in 3 AB).
Season .243. Bats R.
3B DON HOAK (Redlegs, No. 12). 29, 4th year, 1st All-Star. Season .286. Bats
1B Gil Hodges ( Dodgers, No. 14). 33, 11th year, 8th All-Star (.364 in 11 AB).
Season .331. Bats R.
2B Red Schoendienst (Braves, No. 4). 34, 13th year, 10th All-Star (.211 in 19
AB). Season .307. Bats L-R.
SS Johnny Logan (Braves, No. 23). 30, 7th year, 2nd All-Star (.333 in 3 AB).
Season .261. Bats R.
3B Ed Mathews (Braves, No. 41). 25, 6th year, 4th All-Star (.000 in 5 AB).
Season .302. Bats L.
3B Ernie Banks (Cubs, No. 14). 26, 5th year, 3rd All-Star (.000 in 2 AB).
Season .259. Bats R.
Near farce perpetuated unintentionally by sincere
Cincinnati fans has, strangely enough, given National League one of finest
defensive infields in All-Star history. The three Reds--Temple, McMillan and
Hoak--are super glovemen; it may take a cannon to get anything past them. No
one speaks of Stan Musial in the same breath as these three where fielding
excellence is concerned, but then no one speaks of them in the same breath with
Musial when the talk swings to hitting, either. His prowess at the plate has
been surpassed only by Williams in recent All-Star Game history and it is
because of Musial's ability to carry the attack that Alston may be able to
leave the other three in for nine full innings. However, if more power is
needed, there is Slugger Eddie Mathews to sub for Hoak and either Johnny Logan
or Ernie Banks to outhit McMillan. Gil Hodges, a superior first baseman and
dangerous hitter, is available if Musial should tire or move into left field.
And Schoendienst--or Don Blasingame, who will replace him if Red fails to
recover from a hip injury in time--can adequately relieve Temple.
LF FRANK ROBINSON (Redlegs, No. 20). 21, 2nd year,
2nd All-Star (.000 in 2 AB). Season .327. Bats R.
CF WILLIE MAYS ( Giants, No. 24). 26, 6th year, 4th All-Star (.500 in 8 AB).
Season .322. Bats R.
RF HENRY AARON (Braves, No. 44). 23, 4th year, 3rd All-Star (.667 in 3 AB).
Season .340. Bats R.
LF Wally Moon ( Cardinals, No. 20). 27, 4th year, 1st All-Star. Season .266.
CF Gus Bell (Redlegs, No. 25). 28, 8th year, 4th All-Star (.200 in 5 AB).
Season .285. Bats L.
RF Gino Cimoli ( Dodgers, No. 9). 27, 2nd year, 1st All-Star. Season .324. Bats
This is an outfield that could be around at All-Star
time for years to come. The three starters--tall, strong Frank Robinson, fleet,
brilliant Willie Mays and the quiet but dangerous Henry Aaron--have in common
youth, great power, high batting averages and the type of speed that can beat
you both on the bases and in the field. If there is an imperfection, it is
Robinson's arm. Yet despite their shining records, the three right-handers do
not hit any harder than Williams, Mantle and Kaline, nor do they run any faster
nor throw any harder than the last two. And none has yet proved himself to be a
Williams in an All-Star Game. Alston's reserves-- Moon, Cimoli, Bell--are less
impressive than the usual lineup on the National League bench but, aside from
pinch-hitting duties, it probably isn't too important. Mays, Aaron and Robinson
should go all the way.
ED BAILEY (Redlegs, No. 6). 26, 5th year, 2nd
All-Star (.000 in 3 AB). Season .293. Bats L.
Hal Smith ( Cardinals, No. 18). 26, 2nd year, 1st All-Star. Season .305. Bats
Hank Foiles ( Pirates, No. 38). 28, 3rd year, 1st All-Star. Season .313. Bats
Big, strong, hard-throwing Ed Bailey has moved past a
declining Campanella to become the National League's best catcher. With Berra
slumping, he is also perhaps the best in all baseball. With two .300 hitters,
Smith and Foiles, to help him out, he gives the National League a big
Johnny Antonelli ( Giants, No. 43). 27, 8th year, 3rd
All-Star (4.50 ERA in 6 IP). Season 6-6. Throws L.
Lew Burdette (Braves, No. 33). 30, 6th year, 1st All-Star. Season 5-5. Throws
Larry Jackson ( Cardinals, No. 39). 26, 3rd year, 1st All-Star. Season 9-4.
Clem Labine ( Dodgers, No. 41). 30, 7th year, 2nd All-Star. Season 3-4. Throws
Jack Sanford (Phillies, No. 39). 27, 1st year, 1st All-Star. Season 9-2. Throws
Curt Simmons (Phillies, No. 28). 28, 9th year, 3rd All-Star (0.00 ERA in 5 IP).
Season 7-4. Throws L.
Warren Spahn (Braves, No. 21). 36, 13th year, 9th All-Star (4.50 ERA in 8 IP).
Season 8-5. Throws L.
Facing a well-balanced American League team which
tilts neither predominantly to the left nor right at the plate, Alston will
waste little time plotting pitching strategy--although he admits it would be
nice if his left-handers were having less erratic years. Despite the slightly
stronger left-hand-hitting lineup the opposition will present at the beginning,
the National League may have to depend most upon right-handers Jack Sanford,
the Philadelphia Whiz Kid with the whizzing fast ball; Larry Jackson, the
converted Cardinal relief pitcher; tough, steady Lew Burdette; and Alston's own
relief ace, Clem Labine. Or the left-handers, if they are right, of course,
could steal the show: wise old Warren Spahn; Johnny Antonelli, pitching star of
the big game a year ago; and Philadelphia's Curt Simmons. The staff has speed,
very good stuff and above-average control. But its dependability, at this
point, would appear to be low.
Should the National League get off to a quick lead, it will be doubly hard to
catch; it is then that Alston can stick with his weaker-hitting but magical
defensive infield all the way. Superior team speed represents a marked
advantage not only in the field but helps the attack, too. Mays, Hoak, Temple,
Moon and Robinson are base runners capable of opening up another club's
defense, forcing it into errors and keeping the pressure on. But the hitting of
the starting lineup, despite Musial and the outfield, has to give something
away and Alston cannot quite match Stengel in second-line punch, either. With
several of the pitchers operating at something below peak efficiency--and with
others like Newcombe and Roberts not even around--it is doubtful that the staff
is capable of holding the line. Too much of the load, for an All-Star Game, may
have to be carried by the defense.
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