Expected power (six homers by Mantle and Maris) and unexpected power (eight HRs by Lopez, McDougald and Kubek) put the New York Yankees back in the lead for the ninth time this year. The Baltimore Orioles, suffering from illness (see page 33), slipped in the West and fell to second. Manager Lopez of the Chicago White Sox got timely hitting from Ted Kluszewski and a strong win from previously unsteady Bob Shaw ("He looked like a different guy," said Lopez"). Fourth place still belonged to the Washington Senators after a split with their Cleveland pursuers. Jim Lemon neared 40 homers and planned to ask Owner Cal Griffith for $1,000 for each one in next year's contract. The Cleveland Indians made a mild surge as Rookie Pitcher Frank Funk won twice. A sentimental Ted Williams Night in Briggs Stadium helped Boston but not the Detroit Tigers, who lost six in a row. The Red Sox made menacing overtures for sixth, counted on a spoiler role (10 games left with the contenders) and some late-season fun. Inspired by beauty contests at home plate, the Kansas City Athletics closed in on the 850,000 home attendance needed to keep the team in KC. Said one fan: "Keep the franchise and get rid of the team."
Not even the loss of Captain Dick Groat could detour the Pittsburgh Pirates into losing ways. Fiery Don Hoak put it succinctly: "It's all over." The St. Louis Cardinals, with no more games with the Pirates, seemed certain to finish second best. Warren Spahn pitched three times in five days, but the Milwaukee Braves failed to get the necessary sweep over Pittsburgh. "If we only had relief pitching," moaned Manager Dressen. The Los Angeles Dodgers tried youngsters Willie Davis and Charlie Smith, appeared resigned to a bleak fourth. Chub Feeney, San Francisco Giants vice-president, hinted at a housecleaning. Only untouchables: Willie Mays, Mike McCormick, Juan Marichal, Felipe Alou and Orlando Cepeda. Probably first to go: Johnny Antonelli (5-7) and Willie McCovey (.231). Bob Purkey (17 wins) could become the Cincinnati Reds' first 20-game winner since Ewell Blackwell. "If you watch him warm up," Birdie Tebbetts once said, "you wouldn't give 5¢ for him." Rumblings were heard around the Chicago Cubs. College men Jerry Kindall (Minnesota) and Mark Freeman (LSU) supported Manager Boudreau (Illinois); other players were either indifferent or antagonistic. The Philadelphia Phillies staged a teen-agers' "future Phils" game. Result: a Phillie-like bloop single in five innings.
RETURN TO FORM by Braves' Eddie Mathews (five HRs), White Sox' Mike Garcia (hitless relief) sparked late season.