Tony Kubek Earns Job at Shortstop
Like Mickey Mantle, Tony Kubek was a shortstop during his minor league apprenticeship. Unwilling to trust such an important job to a recruit, Casey Stengel stationed Gil McDougald at short in 1957 and used Kubek in utility roles. Kubek hit .297 as a rookie, making the shortstop post his in 1958. Despite hitting a light .266 in his nine-year career, Kubek was an excellent defensive shortstop who helped New York to six World Series. In game seven of the 1960 Series, he was struck in the throat by a bad-hop grounder, which opened the gates for a Pittsburgh victory.
Bob Turley, 13-6, Finally Blooms
Once the most promising prospect in the Browns' farm system, Bob Turley still had not begun to realize his vast potential in 1957 (he finished the year at 13-6). The following season, almost magically, it all came together for him. He went 21-7 and won the Cy Young Award. It would be his only great season.
Hank Aaron is Named 1957 MVP
Hank Aaron was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1957, winning by a nine-vote margin over Stan Musial. Aaron hit .322 that year, racking up a league-leading 44 home runs, 132 RBI, and 118 runs scored. Two other Braves, Warren Spahn and Red Schoendienst, also finished among the top five in the balloting. The Dodgers, who had dominated the MVP voting for the past decade, placed only one player -- Gil Hodges -- among the top 15.
Micky Mantle Hits Peak at .365
Mickey Mantle was at his peak in 1957. He led the American League in runs scored with 121, placed second in batting with a .365 average and in total bases with 315, and came in third in home runs with 34. Just 25 years of age, he seemed destined to shatter records for years to come. Casey Stengel called Mantle the purest talent he ever saw: "He had it in his body to be great." By 1957, however, Mantle's body had already taken so much abuse that the predicted records never materialized.
Stan Musial Captures 1957 BA Title
Stan Musial wins his seventh and final batting award thanks to his .351 average in 1957. Musial played until 1963, hitting above .288 just once in his last five seasons. As a result, his career average dropped from .340 to .331.
Check out more headlines from the 1957 baseball season on the next page.
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