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Original Issue



Fresh from a romp in Boston, the Cleveland Indians were brought up short by two losses to the Yanks. Still, Manager Gordon saw the pennant clearly in sight. One big reason was the play of Vic Power, in Gordon's opinion the finest fielding first baseman of all time. Handling his glove like a jai alai cesta, Power ranged far in every direction, short-hopping tricky bounders, flagging wild throws, making unassisted double plays. Four straight losses to Detroit dropped the Baltimore Orioles from first place. Overloaded with starting pitchers, Manager Richards recalled Billy Hoeft from Miami, considered returning Hoyt Wilhelm to the bullpen. The New York Yankees played their best ball in almost two years and moved ever closer to the top. Mickey Mantle and Elston Howard revived the clutch hit tradition, and Hector Lopez—frightened by rumors that Kansas City wanted him back—suddenly became the league's most dangerous batter. The pitching was even better: four complete games and fine relief work by Bobby Shantz and Johnny James. The Chicago White Sox' feeble hitting had Manager Lopez worried. Biggest problem was with the cleanup men: prior to a 13-run explosion at Boston, the No. 4 hitters had driven in four runs, batted .221 in 19 games. The Detroit Tigers finally got hitting to match their pitching and fashioned another five-game winning streak. Coach Billy Hitchcock, blushing and bashful when credited with Rocky Colavito's comeback, could not deny his public a second time. When pupil Frank Boiling homered twice against the Orioles, Hitchcock admitted he was the secret slump breaker. The relief-poor Washington Senators got a lift when Tex Clevenger blossomed into a first-rate bullpen man. Clevenger saved his sixth and seventh games of the season, helped give the team a firm hold on sixth place. Fresh from a winning home stand, the Kansas City Athletics crumpled on the road, losing seven out of nine. One cheery note was the pitching of Rookie Ken Johnson, who six-hit the Senators. Changing managers again, the Boston Red Sox came up with a snappy new double-play combination—Higgins to Jurges to Higgins. Said Owner Tom Yawkey with deadening logic: "Mike Higgins knows the players and can move right into the situation."

Standings: Clev 28-19, Balt 31-23, NY 27-21, Det 26-23, Chi 28-25, Wash 22-28, KC 22-30, Bos 17-32


The Pittsburgh Pirates made it six losses in nine games but still held first place. Vern Law was hit hard in two starts (20 hits in 10[2/3] innings), and Fred Green had to relieve four days in a row; on the fourth day he blew a ninth-inning lead to the Cardinals. Bad baseball cost the San Francisco Giants two games and the disenchantment of the press. Even the editorial columns were trained on the "lackluster Giants," and Manager Rigney began to show the strain of not winning with a winner. He benched Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda, scrambled the infield around and stirred up the ashes of last year's collapse by relieving with ace starter Sam Jones. The Milwaukee Braves finally hit their away-from-home stride and closed the gap behind the faltering leaders. For the first time in ages they won with a late-inning rush, as slumping Red Schoendienst beat the Dodgers with a base-clearing double. Hard-pressed for relief pitching, Manager Dressen brought up lefty George Brunet, then used him as a starter. The Cincinnati Reds continued to play like champions on the Coast. They made it seven wins in eight games there before losing to the Dodgers. The St. Louis Cardinals grabbed fifth place and held on. Week-legged, weak-armed Bob Nieman clubbed the Pirates with timely doubles, lifted his BA to a team-leading .330. Reliever Bob (Ach) Duliba won one game, saved another, and starter Larry Jackson captured his sixth and seventh victories in a row. The Los Angeles Dodgers slugged their way past Cincinnati for the league home run lead, but otherwise lazed along, losing ball games. "We have a bunch of cold, lethargic guys," said Vice-president Fresco Thompson. "We need a real bell cow, someone who can light a fire under them." Ernie Banks was hitting homers at a relentless pace (six in 10 games), but otherwise the erratic Chicago Cubs played like a solid seventh-place club. They did produce one shiny new hero: veteran Yankee farm hand Mark Freeman, who showed a good slider in beating the Phils for his first major league victory. Said college man Freeman after the game: "It was an unmitigated thrill." The Philadelphia Phillies got fine pitching from John Buzhardt and Chris Short, plus a victory (the first in six weeks) from venerable Robin Roberts.

Standings: Pitt 32-20, SF 32-21, Mil 24-20, Cin 26-27, StL 25-27, LA 24-28, Chi 20-26, Phil 19-33

Boxed statistics through Saturday, June 11



AGED HEROES Ted Williams, Duke Snider hit two homers each. Ted's gave him 497, Duke's put him eighth on all time list.