President Dwight D. Eisenhower deployed Federal troops to uphold the integration of public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas after local authorities refused to implement court-ordered desegregation. Little Rock Mayor Woodrow Mann had sent the President a telegram asking for assistance in maintaining order and completing the integration process. The President responded by sending 1,000 members of the 101 st Airborne Division and federalizing the 10,000-man Arkansas National Guard. On September 25 th , nine black students finally entered Central High School under Army escort.
Ted Williams set an American League record after being intentionally walked thirty-three times during the regular season. It was the highest American League total since the league had started compiling the statistic in 1955.
On June 2 nd , New York Yankees ace Whitey Ford fanned six batters in a row to tie an American League record as he shut out the Chicago White Sox 3-0.
Bob Keegan of the Chicago White Sox tossed the only no-no of the season (in either league) on August 20th, shutting down the Washington Senators who were going to lose 99 games and finish forty-three games out of first.
On August 17 th , Richie Ashburn of the Phillies proved that lightning could strike twice after hitting spectator Alice Roth twice in the same at bat. The first foul struck the wife of Earl Roth, sports editor at the Philadelphia Bulletin in the face and the second hit her body while she was being removed from her seat on a stretcher. Mrs. Roth went on to the hospital to be treated for a broken nose and Philadelphia went on beat the New York Giants 3-1.
The Brooklyn Dodgers tied a National League record on August 24 th after using eight pitchers during a single game. The expanded rotation failed miserably as the first-place Milwaukee Braves dominated the entire bullpen for a 13-7 massacre. The Dodgers' Johnny Podres surrendered three home runs in the fourth and Hammerin' Hank Aaron added insult to injury with the first grand slam of his career. The St. Louis Cardinals also tied the record on September 21 st while losing 9-8 (in ten innings) against the Cincinnati Reds.
Milwaukee Braves' ace Warren Spahn hurled the forty-first shutout of his career during an 8-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on September 3rd setting a new National League record for left-handed pitchers.
The Dodgers became the first Major League baseball team to own their own plane after they purchased a forty-four passenger, twin-engine airliner for $775,000 to transport the club during the season.
The Associated Press named Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jack Sanford as its National League Rookie of the Year and the Milwaukee Braves' Henry Aaron as the 1957 National League Most Valuable Player with two-hundred thirty-nine votes. Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals was a close second with two-hundred thirty. On the American League side, Tony Kubek of the Yankees was elected the American League Rookie of the Year and teammate Mickey Mantle edged out Red Sox rival Ted Williams two-hundred thirty-three to two-hundred nine votes to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award.
After the Minor Leagues threatened to sue Major League Baseball if Sunday games were televised in their territory, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) announced that it would not broadcast any big league match-ups at the time a Minor League game was scheduled.
New York City Mayor Robert Wagner formed an exclusive four-member committee to find a National League "replacement team" for the vacating Dodgers and Giants.
"If thirteen major league teams can come up with colored players, why can't the other three?" - Jackie Robinson (1957 retirement comment about Philadelphia, Boston & Detroit)
Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard
Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard
On April 18, 1957, rookie Roger Maris of the Cleveland Indians hit his first Major League home run - a grand slam in the eleventh inning that propelled his club over the Tigers in Detroit 8-3.
The American League chase was not as easy for the Yankees as it might appear. The upstart White Sox got off to a fast start and held onto first place through the end of June. The Sox were a team of speed, solid defense and superior pitching. As good as they were with Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox, Minnie Minoso and ace pitcher Billy Pierce they were not able to hold back the power of Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Hank Bauer, Moose Skowron and a well balanced pitching staff. The Yanks won the race primarily by defeating manager Al Lopez’s White Sox in 14 of their head to head 22 matches.
The once powerful Cleveland Indians took a decided fall partially due to losing the very talented young pitcher Herb Score when he was hit in the eye off the bat of Yankee 3B Gil McDougal on May 7. The Red Sox were stagnant despite the incredible .388 batting average of Ted Williams at the age of 39. Williams was the oldest player ever to win a batting average title.
#1 New York Yankees (98-56) . Although it was an off year for pitcher Whitey Ford, and Johnny Kucks was not the pitcher of 1956, an arsenal of solid but unspectacular pitching provided all the support the awesome batters required. Tom Sturdivant posted a second consecutive 16 win season while Bob Turley, Don Larsen and Bob Grim posted bounce back seasons. Adding 40 year old Sal Maglie did not pan out. Rookie pircher Ralph Terry made his debut. Mantle could not match the 52 home run season of 1956, but he did smack 34 and enjoyed a career high .365 batting average.
#2 Chicago White Sox (90-64) . The White Sox were showing the league that it was not just power that won baseball games. Second baseman Nellie Fox hit .317, outfielder Minoso .310 with 103 RBIS and Luis Aparicio’s league leading 38 stolen bases led the way. The solid starting pitching staff headed by twenty game winner Pierce and supported by 16 wins from Dick Donovan and 15 wins from Jim Wilson kept the team in contention.
#3 Boston Red Sox (82-72) . If only the Red Sox could find some pitching they might break out of their rut. In addition to batting .388, Ted Willams homered 38 times. Jackie Jensen continued his fine career hitting 23 home runs and knocking in 103. Frank Malzone took over third base and batted a solid .292 with 15 home runs, quite an improvement from his .165 average his rookie season. Again it was a team void of pitching talent with the possible exception of Tom Brewer (16-13).
#4 Detroit Tigers (78-76) . Not a hitter above .300 and only two with more than 20 home runs, but a surprise future Hall of Fame pitcher, Jim Bunning, came out of nowhere. The twenty five year old Bunning earned a spot in the rotation and responded with a twenty win season. Neither Al Kaline or Harvey Kuenn were able to match their previous successes.
#5 Baltimore Orioles (78-76) . The Orioles with no big stars surprised with their first above .500 season. First baseman Bob Boyd and catcher Gus Triandos continued to carry the offense. There were two youngsters starting their career; (HOF) third baseman Brooks Robinson played in 50 games and future twenty game winner, 18 year old Milt Pappas, was a September call up.
#6 Cleveland Indians (76-77) . When Herb Score went down in May there was only Early Wynn left from the fabulous pitching staffs of the past three years and he suffered through a paltry 14-17 season. Al Rosen and Luke Easter had retired and Larry Doby was playing in Chicago, leaving only Bobby Avila and Rocky Colavito to carry the depleted offense.
#7 Kansas City Athletics (59-94) . With the start of the cozy A’s and Yankees lopsided trading partners, the A’s picked up 2B Billy Martin who had become the bad boy of the Yankee nighttime carousers. It did not help, nor did other Yankee castaways Irv Noren and Billy Hunter. When your best pitcher, Virgil Trucks, is forty years old and wins only 7 games you have a bad baseball team. Buried deep in the bullpen was Ryne Duran who would join the cast of A’s that would play for the Yankees.
#8 Washington Senators (55-99) . Another hopeless season in the nation’s capitol. No hitters over .300, and no pitchers with more wins than losses. There was a twenty one-year old infielder on the bench named Harmon Killebrew that years later would take this future relocated franchise to a World Series and be elected to the Hall of Fame.
On June 13, 1957, Ted Williams hit three home runs during a game for the second time during the same season (the first came on May 8, 1957). Did you know that he was the first American League player to accomplish this slugging feat?
On August 10, 1957, Mickey Mantle displayed his power in Baltimore's Memorial Stadium by becoming the first player to hit a ball, which traveled an estimated distance of four-hundred sixty feet, over the center field hedge.