The scouting reports on the major league baseball teams that begin on page 52 of this issue are primarily the work of the six staff members pictured below. Early in the winter Associate Editor Les Woodcock reviewed all the scouting reports that have appeared in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S annual Baseball Issues since 1955 and, working with Assistant Art Director Harvey Grut, planned the basic format for this year's reports. Staff Writers Tom Brody and Joe Jares and Writer-Reporters Mort Sharnik and Herman Weiskopf pored over spring-training schedules and worked out itineraries that would permit them to see as much as possible of the five teams assigned to each of them. Early in March, Jares went off to Arizona and California, and Brody, Sharnik and Weiskopf fanned out through Florida. They watched, they listened, they compared notes. At intervals they filed stories to New York, where their impressions and evaluations were edited by Woodcock and Baseball Editor Robert Creamer and where their copy was double-checked for factual accuracy by Reporter Gary Ronberg.
The four men in the field also expressed their opinions, the validity of which was—or is—another matter. The consensus holds that the White Sox and Cardinals will win the pennants this year, but individual predictions differ. Jares, for instance, feels rather strongly that the Indians have an excellent chance of surprising the American League and taking it all. Sharnik, on the other hand, thinks that if any outsider surprises the American League it will be the Tigers. Weiskopf, an otherwise reasonable man, argues that nine National League teams may be chasing the Pirates come September. Brody, whose teams included the White Sox and Cardinals, at the top of their leagues, and the Athletics and Mets, at the bottom, had only the Dodgers as an if team, and he is no surer than anyone else about which way the if will work. They could win or finish second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth, Brody says flatly.
So far, the only real surprise for the scouting report staff was Casey Stengel's decision not to put Yogi Berra on the active roster as the season began—a decision he made after our report on the Mets went to press. Our final prediction: Casey will activate Yogi or the Mets will finish 10th.
THE SCOUTING REPORT STAFF for spring training included (top, from left) Mort Sharnik, Tom Brody and Joe Jares and (bottom) Herman Weiskopf, Les Woodcock and Gary Ronberg.