The U.S. major league baseball teams have been busy in spring training, looking towards Opening?
The U.S. major league baseball teams have been busy in spring training, looking towards Opening Day (21 April). The majority have been working out in Florida, including the American League Champion New York Yankees and the National League and World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers this spring season have been reshaping the winning combination that beat the New York Yankees in four straight World Series games in 1963. An advance poll of sports editors indicates that they may do it again this year. Our film shows Jim Gilliam, a veteran credited with being the key man in the Dodger infield, outfielder Wally Moon, infielder Maury Wills (noted for bunting), out-fielder Willie Davis who batted .245 in 1963, rookie John Werhas and rookie Wes Parker. The Dodgers pitching, however, will spell the difference to the team. Our film shows pitcher Don Drysdale with manager Walt Alston. Drysdale -- and Sandy Koufax, Johnny Podres and Ron Perranoski -- will be the principal pitchers.
Manager Walt Alston says he has a couple of problems with his team. He isn't quite sure where to place his rookie players, he needs to increase the team's hitting power, and he's worried about his pitching. The big four pitching staff has not done to well in spring exhibition games.
As for the New York Yankees, it seems certain that they will take the American League pennant again. They have won thirteen pennant in the last fifteen years. The Yanks are said to have what looks like a top defense, the league's best catcher, plenty of hitters, and an outstanding pitching staff. Pitching coast Whitey Ford has twenty-one game winner Jim Bouton, plus Al Downing, Roland Sheldon, Bill Stafford and Ralph Terry, all top pitchers. Mickey Mantle appears to be at or near the top of his form as a batter, and has been hitting well in spring practice. Roger Maris will see more action in 1964 than he did last year, and Tom Tresh will be on hand to round out the most powerful outfield in sight. Bobby Richardson and Joe Pepitone will be playing in the infield and John Blanchard will be catching when Biston Howard takes an infrequent break. Yogi Berra, the famous Yankee catcher, is coaching the team this year. And just for added insurance, Joe DiMaggio came down to Florida to help out with advice.