Publish date:

THE YANKEES ARE STILL THE TEAM TO BEAT

If they win, it will be six straight pennants, six straight World Series. If they fail, the team that beats them will always be known as the team that stopped the unstoppable Yanks

Man, like the pack rat, collects things. Like the pack rat, he most enjoys collecting things that have no practical use. Things like cancelled stamps and old coins. Unlike the pack rat, he assigns arbitrary values to these things. A stamp that wouldn't carry a letter to Hoboken is worth a fortune to the stamp collector. And a bubble-gum baseball card that appears to have the same colors and the same texture and practically the same face as any other baseball card is the prize of prizes to the small boy who collects them.

There is a difference, however. To the small boy the rarity or the beauty or the history of the prized card is not as important as the prowess of the subject pictured. A Stan Musial card is worth more than a Bob Borkowski. A collection of New York Yankee cards is worth more than a collection of Pittsburgh Pirates.

Musial is worth more than Borkowski because Musial is the best baseball player in the major leagues and Borkowski is not. The Yankees are worth more than the Pirates or any other team in the major leagues because they are the best team and the others are not. Boys know this. They knew it in Babe Ruth's day when card #181 in the Big League Chewing Gum series (see cut) was the card to get, and they know it today. Oh, there are local favorites, sure, but over the country the New York Yankees dominate the world of bubble gum as emphatically as they long have dominated baseball.

This bubble-gum index of performance is probably as sound a measure of baseball reality as there is. Boys are unsophisticated. They cannot appreciate, as older and wiser men can, the splendor of a hopeless fight, such as the one Paul Richards and his Chicago White Sox are waging this year, or the fine humor that grew into a warm legend around the old Wilbert Robinson Dodgers, or the lonesome beauty of a really good ballplayer surrounded by fumblers with fingers of clay, like Murry Dickson with the hapless Pirates a year or two ago.

Boys have no time for such abstractions. They go for the team that wins, the heroes. No team has ever won the way the Yankees have won. No team has ever had the Ruths, the Gehrigs, the DiMaggios, the Mantles, the Berras, the Yankees have had. No team has ever been able to create the dynasty the Yankees have created, with one great crop of ballplayers rising as the old crop dies, picking up the cadence of victory and increasing the tempo.

Since 1921 the Yankees have won 20 pennants. In the same period the Cleveland Indians have won one pennant, the Chicago White Sox none. Since 1921 the Indians have finished fourth or worse 18 times, the White Sox 28 times, the Yankees just twice. Since 1921 the Yankees have never gone more than three seasons without winning a league championship. Since 1921 the Yankees have been the team to beat. And whenever baseball cards have been in circulation, the Yankees have been the team to collect.

The only thing is, it's just about impossible for a boy to collect a complete set of cards for the roster of any major-league club, let alone the Yankees. Reasons of economics and practicality oblige the bubble-gum companies to limit the number of cards they issue for each team, and reasons of law rising from the great bubble-gum battle (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Aug. 16) restrain some companies from printing cards for certain players.

Topps Chewing Gum, Inc., one of the leading gum-and-card concerns, issues an average of 15 cards per team, and this average holds for the Yankees. The 15 Yankee cards in Topps's 1954 series are reproduced front and back in color on the following foldout. They are, of course, prize items. But SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has added prize items of its own to fill out the Yankee squad to full strength: black-and-white "cards," front and back, of those Yankees for whom Topps—for one good reason or another—did not print cards. The result is a collector's dream: 27 Yankees, a collection almost beyond the highest hopes of the most avid gum-chewing, card-collecting boy.

But even when dealing with such steady perfection as that of the Yankees, you can get gummed up. Since we went to press with our foldout, old Casey Stengel, as hungry for his sixth pennant as he was for his first, kept shuffling the cards, got rid of pitchers Gorman and Kuzava, added pitchers Ralph Branca, Marlin Stuart and Art Schallock.

TOPPS 62
WILLIAM EDWARD ROBINSON
first base N.Y. YANKEES

Ht.: 6'2½"
Weight: 205
Bats Left
Throws Right
Home: Baltimore, Maryland
Born: December 15, 1920

Ed came to the Yanks from the A's during the winter. Last year was the 3rd straight time he Batted In over 100 Runs. He had 117 and 104 in 1951-52. In 1950-51-52, Ed led A.L. 1st Basemen in Putouts and those same years, he hit 21, 29 and 22 Homers. In pro ball since 1939, he came up with the Indians in '46, and also played for Washington and Chicago.

INSIDE BASEBALL

When Ed was a White Sox, two players gave him a hard time.

One was Gene Woodling who robbed him of many hits with his catches.

The other was Pitcher Ed Lopat. In '54, he won't have this trouble. They're all on the same team now!

IRVING ARNOLD NOREN
OUTFIELD
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6:00
Weight: 190
Throws: Left
Bats: Left
Born: Jamestown, N.Y., Nov. 29, 1924

Casey Stengel calls Irv "the best No. 4 outfielder in baseball." He's a steady hitter and an exceptional fielder. Irv started in the Dodger chain but came up with Washington in 1950. He hit .295 that year. In 1952 he was traded to the Yankees and promptly became a member of their two-platoon outfield.

TOPPS 96
CHARLES ANTHONY SILVERA
catcher NEW YORK YANKEES

Ht.: 5'10"
Weight: 175
Bats Right
Throws Right
Home: San Jose, California
Born: October 13, 1924

Charlie is the real strongman in the Yankees' second line of defense. In '49 he hit .315 in 58 contests and in 55 games batted .327 in '52. Starting with Wellsville in '42 Charlie spent 3 years in Service before joining Kansas City in '46. Portland in '48 he hit .301, led his League in Fielding and came to the Yanks late that season.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Charley is one of the most feared baseball!

When he's not catching, he's very effective in upsetting Yank opponents—

Because Charley is the best bench jockey in the game today!

GILBERT JAMES McDOUGALD
INFIELD
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6:01
Weight: 180
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Born: San Francisco, Calif., May 19, 1928

Gil had quite a year for a rookie in 1951. He led the world champion Yankees in hitting with .306, hit a grand-slam home run against the New York Giants in the World Series and was named Rookie of the Year in the American League. Gil has as odd a batting stance as there is in the majors, but it gets results!

TOPPS 130
HENRY ALBERT BAUER
outfield NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6'
Weight: 185
Bats Right
Throws Right
Home: Overland Park, Kan.
Born: July 31, 1922

Hank had the best Batting Average among Yankee regulars in '53. His highest Major League mark was .320 in '50. In his five full A.L. seasons, the Yankees have won the World Series each year. He started at Oshkosh in '41 and spent 4 years in the Marines. He hit .323 at Quincy in '46, then .313 and .305 with Kansas City in '47 and '48 before joining the Yanks.

INSIDE BASEBALL

In the '51 World Series Hank tripled in the final game, driving in 3 important runs!

In the 9th inning, he made a sit-down catch on Sal Yvars' drive for the final out of the Series!

TOM STEPHEN MORGAN
PITCHER
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6:02
Weight: 190
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Born: El Monte, Calif. May 20, 1930

They call Tom "The Ploughboy" because of his trudging walk, but he didn't waste too much time on the farm teams before coming up to the Yankees in 1951. He won nine and lost only three that year and had another impressive season in 1952, with an earned-run average of 3.06. Tom spent part of 1952 and all of 1953 in the Army.

TOPPS 105
ANDREW ARTHUR CAREY
third base NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185
Bats Right
Throws Right
Home: Alameda, California
Born: October 18, 1931

Although Andy saw limited action as a utility man in '53, had the highest Batting mark on the Yankees and led team in Slugging (.531). He came from the St. Mary's College campus to Kansas City in 1951 to hit .288. Andy hit .284 next year and the Yanks gave him a brief trial in mid-season. He returned in '53 to make the grade.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Last season Andy proved to be a top Yankee. He led the New Yorkers in batting as a Utility man—

And was the biggest eater on the club—a leader at the PLATE both on and off the diamond.

JIMMIE LEROY McDONALD
PITCHER
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 5:11
Weight: 192
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Born: Grants Pass, Ore., May 17, 1927

Jim toiled in the minor leagues for six seasons before he got a brief trial with the Red Sox in 1950. He went down again but came back with the St. Louis Browns in 1951. He was traded to the Yanks after that season. The high point of his career came when he was a surprise starter and victor in the 1953 World Series.

TOPPS 239
WILLIAM JOSEPH SKOWRON
1st base NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 195
Bats Right
Throws Right
Home: Austin, Minnesota
Born: December 30, 1928

Bill's .318 Batting Average at Kansas City in 1953 was the lowest in his 3 pro seasons, chiefly because of an ankle injury. The previous season at K. C., he was named Minor League Player-of-the-Year after hitting .341 and leading the circuit Homers (31), RBI's (134) and Total Bases (344). At Norfolk '52 he topped the Piedmont Loop in Batting with .334.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Bill was a baseball, football and at Purdue!

He was rated one of the top the Big 10 Conference

A weak at first, he improve his

ALD FRANCIS COLEMAN
INFIELD
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6:00
Weight: 165
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Born: San Jose, Calif., Sept. 14, 1924

One of the best-liked players in the game, Jerry has everyone rooting for him this year after spending most of 1952 and 1953 flying with the Marines in Korea. Jerry was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1949, and in 1950 his great play won him the Babe Ruth Award as the outstanding player in the World Series.

TOPPS 50
LAWRENCE PETER BERRA
catcher NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 5'8"
Weight: 183
Bats Left
Throws Right
Home: Woodcliffe Lk., N.J.
Born: May 12, 1925

One of baseball's best sluggers, Yogi led the Yankees in Homers, Total Bases (263) and RBI's in 1953. He was 5th in the American League in Slugging with a rousing .523 average and hit .428 in the 1953 Series. In 1951, Yogi paced the New Yorkers to the Championship and was voted the American League's Most Valuable Player.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Yogi was always a top notch slugger. But teaching made him a 1st string catcher.

He learned to control his pegs and in 1950 and 1951 he led the AL catchers in assists.

ROBERT HENRY CERV
OUTFIELD
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6:00
Weight: 205
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Born: Weston, Neb., May 5, 1926

A great minor league hitter, Bob has yet to hit his stride in the majors. He hopped from the University of Nebraska campus to Kansas City in 1950 and hit .304. In 1951 he hit .344, with 22 doubles, 21 triples, and 28 home runs. He came up to the Yankees in 1951 and spent part of the 1952 and 1953 seasons with them.

TOPPS 101

Height: 5'9"
Weight: 175
Bats Left
Throws Right
Home: Fairlawn, New Jersey
Born: August 16, 1922

After leading the A.L. Flychasers in Fielding 52, Gene repeated his '51 performance last season by tying for top Fielding Honors. He also led the Yankee regulars with the highest Batting Average, hitting over .300 for the second straight year. Before coming to New York in '49 Gene won 4 Batting Crowns in his Minor League career.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Because Gene is one of the top Yank outfielders—

The fans gave him a "Gene Woodling Day" last year and showered him with presents.

But instead of keeping the gift money, he gave it to the Little league team he coaches at home.

TOPPS 17
PHILIP FRANCIS RIZZUTO
shortstop NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 5'6"
Weight: 156
Bats Right
Throws Right
Home: Hillside, N.J.
Born: September 25, 1918

Phil has played in 8 World Series in his 10 years as a Yankee. He led A.L. Shortstops in Fielding in '49 and '50, and was voted the Most Valuable Player in '50 when he hit .324. Called "Scooter" because of the ground he covers, he was named the All-Time Yankee Shortstop by New York Sportswriters.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Phil was turned down by the Dodgers because he was too small.

He tried out for the Yanks. Despite his size a scout liked him and sent him to a Yank farm.

Later Phil was the Yank shortstop who helped N.Y. beat the Dodgers in 3 World Series!

TOPPS 56
GUILLERMO MIRANDA (y PEREZ)
shortstop N.Y. YANKEES

Ht.: 5'9½"
Weight: 150
Bats L & R
Throws Right
Home: Havana, Cuba
Born: May 24, 1928

Regarded as one of the best-fielding shortstops in the American League, the Yankees got Willie from the St. Louis Browns last year as "pennant insurance". He broke into organized ball with Sherman-Denison in '48 and played for Chattanooga in 1949-50. In '51, Willie got a trial with Washington and hit .444 in 7 games. He was with Chicago and St. Louis in '52.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Willie hit a homer in his first time at bat for the white Sox in their aitial '53 exhibition game.

Later, as a Yankee, he belled his first Major League Homer. Against whom? The White Sox!

ROBERT ANTON GRIM
PITCHER
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6:01
Weight: 175
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Born: New York, N. Y., March 8, 1930

Bob was not even on the Yankee roster when he reported for spring training at St. Petersburg in 1954 after two years in the service. However, his hurling was so impressive that Casey Stengel promoted him before the season began. Bob soon proved to be one of the Yanks' most dependable pitchers.

TOPPS 205
JOHN FRANKLIN SAIN
pitcher NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200
Throws Right
Bats Right
Home: Newport, Arkansas
Born: September 25, 1918

Johnny, used as a starter and in relief, shared the 4th ERA in the A.L. in '53 and had the 6th best Percentage. He won the opening World Series game in relief. With the Bra he won 20 in '46, 21 in '47 and led the N.L. with 24 in After a '49 slump, he won 20 in '50. In '48 he became the pitcher ever to lead the N.L. in Sacrifices.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Johnny planned to retire from baseball this spring and devote his time to his automobile agency!

But he didn't! When spring came, he found the lure of baseball too strong, and rejoined the Yanks!

THOMAS ALOYSIUS GORMAN
PITCHER
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6:01
Weight: 195
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Born: New York, N. Y., Jan. 4, 1926

Tom was in 40 games for the Yankees in 1953 but started only one. He's a relief pitcher by trade and a good one. Tom spent six full seasons in the Yankee chain before coming up to the majors in 1952. In 1951 he pitched 42 consecutive scoreless innings for Beaumont to set a Texas League record.

TOPPS 5
EDMUND WALTER LOPAT
pitcher NEW YORK YANKEES

Ht.: 5'10"
Wright: 182
Throws Left
Bats Left
Home: Hillsdale, N.J.
Born: June 12, 1918

Ed was the top hurler in the A.L. last year chalking up the best Earned Run and Won-Lost Averages! His tantalizing curves and pin-point control permitted the fewest walks and least defeats. When Ed beat the Dodgers in the '53 Series it was his 4th win in 7 Fall Classic Games. Ed had a 21-9 record in 1951.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Ed wanted to be a Yank 1st sacker in '36—but they had Gehrig!

So he tried out and was signed by a Dodger farm. He then became a pitcher.

12 years later he was a Yankee—one of their star chuckers! Ed's won 97 games for them since '48.

MICKEY CHARLES MANTLE
OUTFIELD
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 5:11
Weight: 185
Throws: Right
Bats: Left-Right
Born: Spavinaw, Okla., Oct. 20, 1931

A backhanded compliment came Mickey's way after the 1953 season. He hit .295, had 92 R.B.I.s and 24 home runs, yet critics said he'd had a poor season! Only the best have "poor seasons" like that. Mickey is lightning fast, a good fielder and probably the most powerful switch hitter ever to play in the major leagues.

TOPPS 83
JOSEPH EDWARD COLLINS
first base NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6'
Weight: 185
Bats Left
Throws Left
Home: Union, New Jersey
Born: December 3, 1922

Joe broke his '52 World Series Jinx in '53 with a Homer against Brooklyn in the first game. Coming to the Yanks in '49 after hitting .319 and belting 20 homers for Kansas City, Joe shifted between the outfield and 1st Base until '52. In '51 he hit .286 and in '52 he poled 18 homers while batting .280. Joe has been in pro ball since 1939.

INSIDE BASEBALL

'42 the Yanks has a 'pushover' exhibition game Amsterdam. A young player upset the Yanks.

He hit a tremendous homer! His name Joe Collins, The Yankees' present

ALLIE PIÈRCE REYNOLDS
PITCHER
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6.00
Weight: 195
Throws: Right
Bats: Right
Born: Bethany, Okla., Feb. 10, 1917

The Chief has been the mainstay of the Yankee pitching staff for eight seasons, although he's had only one 20-game year. At his best in the clutch, he has won seven World Series games to tie an all-time record set by another Yankee great, Red Ruffing. Allie pitched two no-hit, no-run games during the 1951 season.

TOPPS 37
EDWARD CHARLES FORD
Pitcher NEW YORK YANKEES

Ht.: 5'10½"
Weight: 175
Throws Left
Bats Left
Home: Jackson Hgts., N.Y.
Born: October 21, 1928

"Whitey" returned from 2 years in the Army last season and picked up right where he left off. The 1950 Rookie-of-the-Year was the 4th ranking A.L. hurler in Earned Run Average and paced the Yank mound staff in Wins, Strikeouts and Complete Games (11). Among "Whitey's" wins were 3 Shutouts and a 1 and 2-hitter.

INSIDE BASEBALL

In '49 with Kansas City, Whitey phoned the Yanks.

He said he could help win the pennant. They laughed and said, "No thanks".

But 1 year later, Whitey helped them do just that by winning 9 out of 10 games as a Yankee.

HARRY GLADWIN BYRD
PITCHER
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6:02
Weight: 215
Throws: Right
Bats: Left-Right
Born: Darlington, S. C., Feb. 3, 1925

Harry was voted the Rookie of the Year in the American League after winning 15 games for the Athletics in 1952. Although his 1953 record was comparatively disappointing, the Yankees went after him a of the biggest baseball trades armed strikeout special

TOPPS 175
FRANK JOHN LEJA, JR.
first base NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6'4"
Weight: 205
Bats Left
Throws Left
Home: Easthampton, Mass.
Born: February 7, 1936

A prize Big League prospect, Frank signed with the Yanks prior to the 1953 World Series for a sizeable bonus. A slugg first baseman, he has been likened by Yankee scouts to immortal Lou Gehrig, when he came out of Columbia University Frankie attracted the attention of the Big League teams his hitting at Holyoke High School.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Frank got Big League bids the day he was out of high School!

Every team wanted him—but Frank picked the Yankees.

He signed for a $50,000 bonus— and experts think he is worth it! The believe he will be a second Gehrig

ENOS BRADSHER SLAUGHTE
OUTFIELD
NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 5:09
Weight: 190
Throws: Right
Bats: Left
Born: Roxboro, N.C., April 27, 1916

In the seventh and deciding game of the 1946 World Series, Enos scored the run that won the Series for the St. Louis Cardinals by racing all the way home from first on a single to center! The Cards sold "Country" to the Yankees in 1954 in one of the most startling deals in baseball history.

TOPPS 230
ROBERT LEROY KUZAVA
pitcher NEW YORK YANKEES

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 204
Throws Left
Bats L. & R.
Home: Wyandotte, Mich.
Born: May 28, 1923

Blond Bob, effective as a starter and reliever, lost a no-h with one out in the 9th against the White Sox in '53 wh sub lined a double to left. He came up to the Major stick in '49 with the White Sox and compiled a 10-6 record In '51, when the Senators traded him to the Yankees, Bob 11 and lost 7. At Charleston in '42 he had a 21-6 mark.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Bob is known for his relief jobs in two World series!

In '51 he retired the Giants with bases loaded in the 9th inning!

In '52 the Dodgers had loaded t bases in the 7th—but Bob came and lead the Yanks to victory!

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PHOTO

COLLECTOR STENGEL

ILLUSTRATION

COLLECTOR'S ITEM: CIRCA 1933

TWENTY SEVEN PHOTOS

THIRTY NINE ILLUSTRATIONS

©T.C.G. Printed in U.S.A.

FIFTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS