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April 15, 1958 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1958-04-15

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Bru'e lBennett
Sees Refreshing Baseball Season
Ahead; Braves, Yanks as Champs

Sen rs Oen Race

Ramos Whips Boston,


Don't look now, but the major league baseball season got under-
way yesterday and this morning's standings indicate baseball's pre-
season prognosticators. have been dealt their first blow. Lo and be-
hold, the Washington Senators led the American League, but come
around next month and the situation will probably be reversed.
Stranger things have happened in baseball annals, but Wash-
ington's "surge" provides a fitting start for what undoubtedly will
be one of the most refreshing seasons in memory.
Fan interest in the sport is reportedly up all across the country.
A number of reasons explain this: One, the game has become truly
national in scope as well as in name with the addition of Los Angeles
and San Francisco to the major league family. Then, there's a new
champion this year and the tremendous interest captured by Mil-
waukee's victory last October is bound to spill over to the new season.
And TV baseball has added countless fans.
Grandstand Managers Flourish
Baseball's' grandstand managers are ready in full voice for to-
day's openers, the performances of their favorites in the now past
spring training having mostly whetted, but sometimes sobered, their
hopes for the coming season. And the players, well, they're supposed-
ly ready for the money by now, too.
'Several have titles at stake. One wonders whether Ted Williams,
idled yesterday for an opener for the first time in his illustrious ca-
reer, can defend his batting title.
Or whether Robin Roberts can re-
gain his pitching form of past
years. But Jack Jensen of Boston
got an early start in the homer
derby, hitting the majors first
One baseball personality is well
on his way to retaining a title
he wore with dubious honor last
year. I speak of Jack Tighe, erst-
,.j hile pilot of the Detroit nine, who
gained this scribe'stvote as the
worst manager in the majors last
year. .
His record this spring hasn't
given me reason to change my
mind and if his team doesn't im-
prove in the very near future the
impatient Tiger brass may send
Jack packing.
There'll be a lot of new faces in
today's lineups and a host of fa-
miliar ones missing. Unknown
names like Cepeda, Moran, Pear-
son, Hansen, and Pinson will dot
the major league lineups for the
first time, replacing now retired
vets such as Kell, Cooper, Northey,
JACKIE JENSEN Coleman and Byrne.
... hits first homer But the familiar faces will be
there too. Casey Stengel will stomp
around the Yankee dugout, and names like Vernon, Musial, Mantle,
Mays and Wynn will begin new chapters in their brilliant careers.
And out west, where it's "Major League Baseball Week" by procla-
mation of California Governor Goodwin Knight, the fans will get a
taste of the home run by major league power boys.
Babe Ruth's Record Periled .. .
They call it major league ball, but outmoded Seals Stadium (San
Francisco) and the football Coliseum (Los Angeles) make pikers of,
the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field as home run parks. In Los An-
geles, the trick is to hit a fly ball to left field. If it's hit high enough,
there's a good chance it'll be, a home run, because the 251 foot bar-
rier will be mighty inviting to the likes of Hodges, Furillo & Co. It's
50 feet shorter than Fenway Park's famed wall!
This time of the year is ripe for predictions and the qualifica-
tions-are few. The Daily sports staff straggled back to town yesterday
from far flung vacations and a poll showed.Milwaukee a unanimous
choice for the flag in National. But three Detroit fans (Borman, Be-
nagh and Jones) stood by the Tigers entry and prevented the Yan-
kees from making a clean sweep for American League honors.
Down the line, the 22 sportswriters polled picked it this way:
National League -- Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Redlegs, Giants, Phil-,
lies, Cubs, and Pirates. American League -- Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox,
White Sox, Indians, Orioles, Athletics and the Senators, My personal
darkhorse choices are tne Indians and the Giants, for what it's worth.{

Rest of Majors Open Today

Bf The Associated Press
For at least 24 hours the Wash-
ington Senators ,last year's cel-
lar-dwellers, can look down at the
rest of the American League from
their first place perch.
They beat Boston 5-2 in a spe-
cial opening game before 26,674
Griffith Stadium spectators, in-
cluding President Eisenhower.
Everything went Washington's
way. The President, inaugurating
NL Changes
r S
The rest of the American
League takes out in hot pursuit
of the Washington Senators to-
day in the 1958 pennant race,
while the National League sees
history made.
The league-leading Senators, by
virtue of their win over Boston,
will be at Baltimore, while New
York is at Boston, Detroit at Chi-
cago, and Kansas City at Cleve-
The National League will bring
major league baseball to the west
coast when San Francisco Giants
open at home against the Los An-
geles Dodgers.
California will see its first of-
ficial major league game when
the Giants play host to the
The Cincinnati Redlegs, open-
ing at home for the 73rd time,
will play host to the Philadelphia
Phils. It has been a tradition
that the Redlegs, long recognized
as the first professional ball club,
always open at home.
This game will also mark the
first time in the 20th century
that the Phils haven't played
their opening game in the east.
Milwaukee who along with the
Redlegs became eastern division
clubs due to the west coast shift,
will entertain Pittsburgh.
An interesting story concerning
these two teams is the fact that
from 1900 to 1953 the Pirates were
considered a Western Club. Then
in 1953 when the Pirates moved
from Boston, the Pirates became
an Eastern division ball club and
the two teams assumed each
others original schedule.
The final opener will see the St.
Louis Cardinals, who prefer night
games, host the Chicago Cubs,
who are so very much against
night games that they don't have
lights in their park. The opener
in St. Louis - obviously - is un-
der the lights.

his sixth straight A m e r i c a n
League campaign, came up with
two tiaditional right-handed toss-
Williams Out
The Senators got a break even
before the opening pitch. Ted Wil-
liams, Boston's great slugger, who
had batted 1.000 in five pinch hit-
ting appearances during the spring
exhibitions, with two home runs,
a single and two walks, could not
play. The 39-year-old batting king
came down overnight with a se-
vere attack of food poisoning.
Washington's good fortune con-
tinued during the game. Tiedat
2-2 in the bottom half of the,
sixth, the Senators capitalized on
two Red Sox errors to score three
unearned runs. That proved to be
the ball game as right-hander
Pedro Ramos held Boston hitless
and runless over the last three
innings in his first opening game
Full Slate Today
Everybody gets into the act to-
day with a full 8-game schedule.
Williams was expected to have
plenty of company on the side-
lines on opening day.
The world champion Braves will
be forced to open their home sea-
son without two of their regular
outfielders. Left fielder Wes Cov-
ington jammed a knee in spring
training and center fielder Billy
Bruton has not yet recovered sur-
gery on a knee last winter.
Wertz Sidelined
Cleveland will open without
the services of their leading slug-
ger, Vic Wertz, who fractured an
angle in the spring exhibitions.
The Yankees have two casualties.
Shortstop Tony Kubek has a
pulled tendon in the back of his
knee and left fielder Harry Simp-
son has a fractured wrist.
Duke Snider, still limping fol-
lowing a winter knee operation,
probably will miss Los Angeles'
TV Today
Local fans will get a chance
to see one of the major league
openers . on .television .today
when channel 2 in Detroit will
air the Detroit-Chicago game.
opener in San Francisco. Phila-
delphia may be without the serv-
ices of third baseman Willie
Jones, who left the club to attend
the funeral of his 3-year-old son,
who died of pneumonia.
Left fielder Al Smith of the Chi-
cago White Sox, hobbled by a foot
injury all spring, is not expected
to play. Shortstop Willie Miranda
of Baltimore, a sprained ankle
victim, also is laid up with bron-







A-101, - ,- Alw


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