PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Larry (Bobo) Osborne is the son of one former major league pitcher, Tiny Osborne, and got his nickname because he looked like another, Bobo Newsom. He wears glasses and hits best when he is a little fat. One year with Detroit (1959) he slimmed down to 197 and reduced his average to .191, the only man who could not hit his weight even when he was handicapping the proposition. Osborne went to Denver the next year, weighed 210, hit .342 and came back to Detroit for two years of utility duty. This March the Tigers traded Bo to Washington, where Manager Mickey Vernon installed him at third base. In 13 games Osborne made four errors and hit .184. But last week, shifted to first, where he prefers to play, Bo proceeded to hit .429, with 10 RBIs and four homers in 28 at bats. Two of the home runs came in one game against the Tigers, for whom he had managed just five home runs in 405 at bats.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
What makes Kansas City win—and win and win? Several things. For one, Wayne Causey, a .240-hitting third baseman, is playing shortstop and leading the major leagues with a batting average of .426. "When a player like me can lead the league," says Causey, "it is very embarrassing to the other hitters." The other night, with the A's ahead by eight runs and rain clouds overhead, Causey tried to make an out so that the game could reach its official five-inning end. He singled by mistake. And then there is Bill Fischer, the pitcher who never walks anybody. Only one KC pitcher had ever won five games in a row; it took Fischer only 16 1/3 innings to do it. The A's are not supposed to hit left-handers (they are 6-1 vs. left-handers); yet last week they hit .319 against everybody. These are the sorts of things that make Kansas City win. But keeping it up is something else, and even Owner Charles O. Finley has been more subdued amid victory than one might expect. He knows that the A's have been favored by an early home schedule and, even if Causey never makes another out, there must be help for the three pitchers—Fischer, Orlando Pena and Ed Rakow—who have carried the stall" almost entirely by themselves so far.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
A few years ago Ron Santo almost drank himself out of baseball. "I just couldn't lay off those milkshakes," says the 23-year-old third baseman for the Chicago Cubs. "Whenever I had nothing else to do I'd slip out and get one, and when I wasn't drinking I was eating pies and candy bars." To get rid of the monkey on his back, as well as the 12 pounds he gained in 1960, Santo became a total abstainer. Last week Santo threatened to drive opposing pitchers to much stronger drink. First he unnerved Chris Short of the Phillies. Short held a 1-0 lead in the eighth when he threw a 1-2 waste pitch that Santo hit for a three-run, game-winning homer. Next came a three-run homer off Ray Washburn of the Cardinals, who barely survived for a 4-3 win. On the following day Santo hit yet another home run and drove in four runs (giving him 10 in four games) as the Cubs beat the Braves.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Unwanted, unloved and unpopular, the Chicago Cubs last week showed that they are not completely unable. Often behind, but beaten only once in five starts, the Cubs cartwheeled into fourth place, higher and happier than they have been in years. "It's Kennedy," one player said in simple tribute to Bob Kennedy, the first manager the team has had after two seasons of fitful guidance by a benchful of coaches. Kennedy's Cubs are 11 games closer to first place than a year ago. Among the unwanted players is Nelson Mathews, who once had a tryout as a pitcher with the Cardinals. Now an outfielder, Mathews hit a 400-foot homer to help beat the league leaders last week 13-8. Another player St. Louis did not want—Lindy McDaniel—was a standout. In 6 1/3 innings last week, and 12 1/3 in all, he did not allow a run. Then there is Jim Brewer, who recalls his fractured cheekbone whenever he thinks of how unloved he was by ex-Red Billy Martin in 1960. Brewer pitched four scoreless innings and won twice. And Ernie Banks, not even popular enough to win when he recently ran for alderman, had seven RBIs in one game. Well, if no one else wanted them, Bob Kennedy did and, just as important, they wanted him.