Despite losing Whitey Ford for more than a month of the season due to arm problems, the New York Yankees captured their eighth pennant in nine years under manager Casey Stengel in 1957, finishing the campaign with a record of 98-56, eight games ahead of the second-place Chicago White Sox.
Although blessed with neither an overpowering lineup nor a dominant pitching staff, the Yankees proved to be the American League’s most well-balanced team over the course of the regular season, leading the circuit with a team batting average of .268, 723 runs scored, and a team ERA of 3.00.
Bobby Shantz, Tom Sturdivant, and Bob Turley each picked up some of the slack in Ford’s absence, with each of them placing among the A.L. leaders in earned run average. Shantz led the league with an ERA of 2.45, while Sturdivant finished second with a mark of 2.54. Sturdivant also led New York’s staff with 16 victories. Meanwhile, Bob Grim did an outstanding job coming out of the bullpen, winning 12 games, posting a 2.63 ERA, and leading the league with 19 saves.
On offense, the Yankees received significant contributions from Yogi Berra, Bill Skowron, Gil McDougald, and Tony Kubek. Berra hit 24 home runs and knocked in 82 runs. Skowron batted .304, hit 17 homers, and drove in 88 runs. McDougald batted .289 and scored 87 runs. Kubek batted .297, en route to earning A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.
Mickey Mantle was again the driving force behind New York’s successful run to the pennant. Mantle won his second consecutive A.L. MVP Award by hitting 34 home runs, knocking in 94 runs, leading the league with 121 runs scored and 146 bases on balls, and finishing second in the circuit with 315 total bases, a .365 batting average, a .515 on-base percentage, and a .665 slugging percentage. Mantle edged out Boston’s Ted Williams in the MVP balloting.
The Yankees met the Milwaukee Braves in the World Series for the first of two consecutive times, beginning the Fall Classic on a positive note by defeating Warren Spahn in Game One by a score of 3-1. White Ford threw a complete-game five-hitter. However, Milwaukee took three out of the next four contests, with Ford losing a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to Lew Burdette in Game Five. After the Yankees won Game Six back in New York, Burdette posted his third victory of the Series in Game Seven, blanking the Yankees 5-0 on only two days’ rest. The win gave the Braves their only world championship while playing in the city of Milwaukee.
Although the Chicago White Sox finished a distant second to New York, Minnie Minoso, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox, and Billy Pierce all played huge roles in helping the team reach its highest place in the standings since 1920. Minoso batted .310, knocked in 103 runs, and scored 96 others. Aparicio led the league with 28 stolen bases. Fox batted .317, scored 110 runs, and topped the circuit with 196 hits. Pierce compiled a 3.26 ERA, tied for the league lead with 20 wins, and led all A.L. hurlers with 16 complete games.
Meanwhile, Ted Williams had a fabulous year for the third-place Boston Red Sox, who finished 16 games behind the Yankees in the standings. Although limited to 420 official at-bats, the 38-year-old Williams smashed 38 home runs, drove in 87 runs, scored 96 others, and led the league with a .388 batting average, a .526 on-base percentage, and a .731 slugging percentage.
Roy Sievers also had a big year for the last-place Washington Senators, batting .301, scoring 99 runs, and leading the American League with 42 home runs, 114 runs batted in, and 331 total bases.
Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:
• May 7 - Two batters into the game at Cleveland Stadium, Indians pitcher Herb Score was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of New York’s Gil McDougald. The blow broke several bones in Score's face, depriving him of his vision for quite some time. Although Score eventually regained his 20/20 vision, he missed the remainder of the year and never regained his overpowering fastball.
• For the first time in major league history, no pitcher in either league completed as many as 20 games.
• The American League won the All-Star Game 6-5 at St. Louis.
• Ted Williams reached base a record 16 times in 16 consecutive plate appearances.
• Bob Keegan of the White Sox no-hit Washington on August 20.
• Roy Sievers’ 42 home runs and 331 total bases established new Washington Senators records.
• The Hall of Fame inducted Sam Crawford and Joe McCarthy.
- 1957 World Series, Al Kaline, American League, Bill Skowron, Billy Pierce, Bob Grim, Bob Keegan, Bob Turley, Bobby Shantz, Casey Stengel, Gil McDougald, Herb Score, Joe McCarthy, Lew Burdette, Luis Aparicio, Mickey Mantle, Minnie Minoso, Nellie Fox, New York Yankees, Roy Sievers, Sam Crawford, Ted Williams, Tom Sturdivant, Tony Kubek, Warren Spahn, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra