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Original Issue


With one eye looking ahead to the glories of the 1957 season and the other searching back into the past of the fine arts, Joe Kaufman discovers some startling kinships—and some mutual problems

Boasting the physical proportions of the Greek god upon whose pedestal he stands, Ted Williams, whose bat can sing the loveliest song in baseball, strums a lyre borrowed from Apollo. The Thinker is a thinker indeed: Manager Paul Richards of the Orioles is one of the game's finest tacticians—and with the Orioles, he needs to be. Another noted thinker stands behind him, but Casey has more help; he flies to victory after victory on the strength of "the new Babe" he holds so lovingly: Mickey Mantle. The lone mortal who has wandered upon the scene ponders the fate of his beloved Dodgers now that the most famous of them all, Jackie Robinson, has deserted the flock. As Bill Rigney of the Giants grasps two of the snakes which plague him (Bill White and Jackie Brandt lost to the U.S. Army, perhaps?), a third sneaks up from below; this one could be Bill Sarni's untimely loss—and where is Rigney to get another catching hand? A rapturous sight to Cleveland fans is the Big Three of the Indian staff. Although Stan Musial staggers under the weight of the longest current consecutive-game record, he looks firmly ahead toward the National League mark of 822. The mighty Hercules of the Redlegs, Ted Kluszewski, flexes his muscles for another big year; and that Mercury-footed base thief of the Giants, Willie Mays, prepares to harry National League catchers again.