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Original Issue

CHICAGO CUBS

People tend to mock the Cubs. In Chicago the newspapermen like to call them the Cubbies, to demonstrate how ineffectual they are. Possibly it's true. Possibly the Cubs this year are just as bad as ever. But do not forget that there are some very fine ballplayers on this otherwise weak team
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THE MANAGER
Bob Scheffing (25) is a big, rugged, good-looking man, whose grumpy expression belies his friendly nature. He has a quiet but impressive personality that effortlessly commands the respect of his players. Scheffing spent eight seasons as a good, hard-working, utility catcher in the National League, then coached in both the American and National for four seasons before taking over as manager of the Cubs' Los Angeles farm team in 1955. He succeeded Stan Hack as manager of the Cubs after the 1956 season. Scheffing has had great success handling young and inexperienced pitchers. His coaches are fat Fred Fitzsimmons (33), slugger Rogers Hornsby (57), George Myatt (52).

ANALYSIS OF THIS YEAR'S CUBS

STRONG POINTS: The Cubs have two of the most prized young pitchers in the majors in Moe Drabowsky and Dick Drott. Roommates, only 22 and 21 respectively, and with almost identical pitching records last year, their considerable skills excite the admiration of baseball men everywhere. Drott is faster and wilder (his 129 walks led the league); Drabowsky is more poised, better rounded as a pitcher. The Cubs also possess three genuine power hitters, most prominent among them the thin shortstop, Ernie Banks, who was second in the majors in home runs last season with 43 and finished third in the National League in runs batted in (102). Walt Moryn hit 19 homers and batted in 88 runs, while Dale Long hit 21 home runs and had a .298 batting average. Behind Drott and Drabowsky the Cubs have two highly effective relief pitchers: Don Elston, who labored in the minors for nine seasons before getting his first real opportunity in the majors last year, and the veteran Turk Lown. Between them Elston and Lown appeared in 107 games.

WEAK SPOTS: The trouble with the Cubs is that they run out of good players depressingly fast. Off last year's performances, they have no pitchers, now that Bob Rush has gone to Milwaukee, to start the games that Drott and Drabowsky do not start, and they have no batters of sufficient sustained skill to get on base in front of Banks and Moryn and Long. Despite D & D and the good relief pitchers, the Cubs had the second-worst team-pitching performance in the National League last season. Despite Banks and Moryn and Long, the Cubs as a group were dead last in team batting averages. Further, the Cubs last season had no second baseman and no third baseman of real major league caliber; this year they find themselves counting on young, weak-hitting Jerry Kindall (.164 and .160 in his two big league seasons) at second and rookie Tony Taylor (.217 in the minors) at third. Lee Walls, the right fielder, looks like a good ballplayer, but his .252 batting average for his major league career doesn't bear this out.

ROOKIES AND NEW FACES: Based on his early spring training display, 22-year-old Tony Taylor is a candidate for rookie-of-the-year honors. He's a bouncy, lively, fine-looking athlete, a flashy fielder, an alert batter, an amazingly fast base runner. A Cuban, with the flat facial structure and somewhat Oriental expression of a Kid Gavilan, Taylor has shown only one real flaw: his last year's batting average, which was a miserable .217 at Dallas in the Texas League. The Cubs are praying that the .217 was an illusion and that the Taylor they've seen this spring is the real thing. Aside from rookies, the prime new face in camp is "T-Bone," the colorful Taylor Phillips, whom the Cubs obtained from the Milwaukee Braves in the controversial Bob Rush trade. Phillips is a left-handed pitcher of great promise who has never got around to fulfilling that promise. The Cubs are counting on him as a starter. With Phillips, Chicago also obtained Sammy Taylor from Milwaukee, a big left-handed hitting catcher with a sound minor league record. And from the Giants came the famous but shopworn Bobby Thomson.

THE BIG IFS: Because they can expect reasonable facsimiles of past performances from their good players—the Bankses, Drotts, Moryns, Elstons, et al.—the Cubs feel that they are sure of being as good as they were last year, which, if it is not very much to have going for them, is at least better than being worse. And they fondly hope that Taylor Phillips will come through big as a solid starting pitcher and that the youngsters, Kindall and Taylor, will plug the holes in the infield. Then, the Cubs know they will be a whole lot better.

THE VOICES
Jack Quinlan (30, melodramatic) is peculiarly fitted for his job as announcer for the last-place Cubs. He was once a gravedigger. He also attended Notre Dame, majored in speech and, after graduating in 1948, took his first radio job as sports director of a station in Tuscola, Ill. After four years in the field, he moved up to Chicago and the Cubs as assistant to the late Bert Wilson. He has been No. 1 announcer since 1956. Some folks complain that Quinlan gets too excited over any small Cub accomplishment but, when you consider what the Cubs have accomplished in the last few years, it is perhaps understandable, LOU BOUDREAU (40, green), veteran ballplayer and manager, will be serving his rookie year as a baseball announcer. Although he is untested in the broadcasting booth, his vast knowledge of the game and the fact that he was managing in the major leagues less than a year ago will undoubtedly be helpful. Jack Brickhouse (see Chicago White Sox) will handle all of the Cub home telecasts.

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ERNIE BANKS

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DALE LONG

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WALT MORYN

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CAL NEEMAN

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CHUCK TANNER

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JIM BOLGER

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LEE WALLS

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JERRY KINDALL

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JACK QUINLAN

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DICK DROTT

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TAYLOR PHILLIPS

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DON ELSTON

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MOE DRABOWSKY

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ILLUSTRATION

THE OUTLOOK: Last season the Cubs tied the Pittsburgh Pirates for seventh place. Even if Phillips and Kindall and Taylor turn the Cubs into a better team, it is doubtful that they will be as improved as the Pirates. The soundness of the sixth-place Giants is suspect, but their good rookies and the spur of moving to San Francisco should keep them out of Chicago's reach. The fifth-place Phillies have too many pitchers to fall behind the Cubs, and the other teams have too many ballplayers. Which leaves one place open. The outlook isn't brilliant for the Cubbie nine this year.