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 May 27, 1957, the National League approved the territorial rights change of the Brooklyn franchise to Los Angeles . On September 24, 1957, the Dodgers played their final game at Ebbets Field and defeated the Pirates 2-0.
The upward movement of the Braves reached the pinnacle in 1957. Having come within one game of the Dodgers in 1956, the Braves withstood some mid- season challenges from the Cardinals, Dodgers and Redlegs to walk home with an eight game lead. There were many side stories to their accomplishment, but much credit had to go manager Fred Haney.
In June, Haney made a trade with the Giants for Red Schoendienst that paid big dividends as the Redhead hit .310 and played a stellar second base. Shortly after, 1B Joe Adcock and OF Biily Burton went down for the season with injuries. Haney reached into his Wichita farm club and pulled up Wes Covington (21 homeruns) and OF Bob “Hurricane” Hazel who batted an amazing .403 over the remaining 41 games of the season. Also included in the call up was relief pitcher Don McMahon who fortified a leaky bullpen with nine saves. These moves, added to Aaron, Mathews, Spahn and Burdette, were enough to close the door on the competition.
#1 Milwaukee Braves (95-59) . Spahn, Burdette and Bob Buhl combined for 56 wins. Aaron and Mathews combined for 76 home runs and 224 RBIs. Aaron was awarded his first MVP award. Not to be overlooked was the contribution from veteran catcher Del Crandall’s 15 home runs and fine defensive play. It was a great turnaround for manager Haney, who had come to Milwaukee in 1956, after managing the Pirates to three consecutive last place finishes 1952-1955.
#2 St. Louis Cardinals (87-67) . A nice leap from the sub .500 team of 1956. Improved starting pitching was a key to the improvement with five starters winning ten or more games. Rookie right hander, 21 year-old Lindy McDaniel’s 15 wins added some much needed depth to the pitching staff. Outfielder Del Ennis came over from the Phillies and added further to the offense fueled by Stan Musial, Ken Boyer and Wally Moon, by swatting 25 homers and driving in 105 runs.
#3 Brooklyn Dodgers (84-70) . A tough year for Dodger fans. Jackie Robinson was traded to the rival Giants, but elected to retire instead. The cast of Pee Wee Reese, Don Newcombe, Roy Campanella, and Carl Erskine were in decline as age caught up to their memorable roster. In addition, the fans suffered through the threat of relocating if a new stadium was not built. To top off a bad season HOF catcher Roy Campanella suffered a paralyzing car accident during the off-season and would never play again.
#4 Cincinnati Redlegs (80-74) . Cincinnati held on to four place although losing six more games than ‘56. Kluzewski went down for the season after 27 games, but surprising veteran George Crowe took over 1B and hit 31 home runs. The power was still remarkable with outfielders Frank Robinson, Wally Post, Gus Bell and catcher Ed Baily and 3B Don Hoak all blasting 20 or more round trippers. The Redlegs could never build the pitching staff that fit well with their hitter friendly stadium.
#5 Philadelphia Phillies (77-77) . Philly fans were seeing host of new names in a half-hearted rebuilding attempt. Twenty four year old 1B Ed Bouchee and newly acquired outfielder Rip Repulski produced some power but no one, including Richie Ashburn, had a .300 batting average. Jack Sanford led the pitching staff with 19 wins, but he was not enough to overcome the collapse of Robin Roberts who only won 10 games.
#6 New York Giants (69-85) . The one man show of Willie Mays was the only reason for fans to go to the Polo Grounds, so many stayed home. No pitchers seem capable of getting by Mays who once again hit over 30 home runs while leading the league in steals with 38. Hank Sauer was now 40, but could still clear the fences, hitting 28 home runs. The inconsistent pitching ace, Johnny Antonelli, slumped again winning 12 while losing 15.
#7 Pittsburgh Pirates (62-92) . It seemed like the futility would never end, but actually there were some signs of hope. Infielders SS Dick Groat and (HOF) 2B Bill Mazeroski along with outfielders (HOF) Roberto Clemente and Bob Skinner were forming a nucleus for the future. If only their pitchers could do their part. Vern Law was the only starting pitcher with more wins than losses (10-8).
#8 Chicago Cubs (62-92) . Like the Giants, it continued to be a one man show with SS Ernie Banks exploding with 42 home runs, but there was little to back him up. First baseman Dale Long came over from Pittsburgh and was the only other Cub to hit over 20 home runs. A poor pitching staff was led by Dick Draft’s 15 wins and was the only starting pitcher to post more wins than losses. There was a youngster on the staff, 21-year-old Moe Drabowsky, who would later make a name for himself.
News of the weird: On April 27, 1957, Moe Drabowsky of the Chicago Cubs was hit by a pitch on the foot. Teammate Dick Drott obtained a wheelchair and pushed Drabowsky to first base. Drott was ejected. On July 31, 1957, Pirates ' manager Bobby Bragan was ejected for argueing balls & strikes. He left the dugout then returned moments later to offer the umpire some orange drink.
On August 19, 1957, the New York Giants board of directors voted 8-1 to move the team to San Francisco . On September 29, 1957, the Giants played their final game at the Polo Grounds and lost to the Pirates 9-1.