It was worse than I thought

It’s an old grievance to be sure, but the exclusion by Casey Stengel of Roy Sievers from the 1958 American League All Star team looks worse and worse the more I examine it. Stengel preferred, among others, his own Yogi Berra and Elston Howard.

Berra had a decent 1958 overall, batting .266 with 22 home runs. However, at the All Star break he was batting only .228 (second lowest of any AL regular) with an on-base percentage of .287 (also second lowest). Sievers, meanwhile, was fourth in the League in homers (19) and RBIs (49).

One can make the case that Berra’s stature in the game justifiably trumped his poor first half of the season. But Sievers also had stature. The year before, he had led the League in homers and RBIs and had finished third in the MVP voting (behind Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams). So if Berra was to be included on the All Star team as a fourth catcher and extra outfielder, it should not have been at Sievers’ expense.

JOHN adds: We want to thank the Sievers Foundation for its generous support of Power Line through the years.

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