New York Yankees Won the 1957 Pennant and Also Finished Seventh

Harold FriendChief Writer IMarch 30, 2012

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21:  A view of the Yankee Stadium at sunset prior to the start of the last game at Yankee Stadium between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees on September 21, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Yankee Stadium held it's inaugural game on April 18, 1923 against the Boston Red Sox and tonight's match will be the final game to be played at the historic stadium. During it's 85 years as 'The Home of Champions,' the stadium has also been known as 'The House that Ruth Built' and 'The Cathedral.' The stadium has been host to 33 World Series, three Papal visits and has been visited by legends such as Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Bera, Mickey Mantle and boxing great Muhummad Ali. In 2009 the Yankees will move across the street to a newly constructed stadium estimated to cost $1.3 billion.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

The New York Yankees were American League champions in 1957, but some individuals that were not fond of the Yankees claimed that they finished seventh as well as first.

These were the eight Yankees regulars:

1B    Bill Skowron
2B    Bobby Richardson
3B    Andy Carey
SS    Gil McDougald
LF    Enos Slaughter
CF    Mickey Mantle
RF    Hank Bauer
C    Yogi Berra

These were the eight Kansas City Athletics regulars in 1957:

1B    Vic Power
2B    Billy Hunter
3B    Hector Lopez
SS    Joe DeMaestri
LF    Gus Zernial
CF    Woodie Held
RF    Lou Skizas
C    Hal Smith

Zernial was the only player among the Kansas City regulars that never played for the Yankees. Each of the other eight players either had played for the Yankees before playing for the Athletics or would play for the Yankees in the future.

It was believed that Power was going to be the first black Yankee, but despite denials from management, he was too flashy and considered a "hot dog." The Yankees sent him to the Athletics in Dec. 1953

Hunter had been with the Yankees in 1955-56, Held was included in the 1957 trade to the Athletics that punished Billy Martin, Skizas appeared in six games for the Yankees in 1956 before being shuttled off the Kansas City and Hal Smith was sent to the Baltimore Orioles in the Bob Turley trade. The Birds sent Smith to the Athletics in 1956.

Lopez became a Yankee in 1959 when the Yankees were struggling, while DeMaestri was part of the Roger Maris trade in Dec. 1959.

Eight of the Kansas City regulars played for the Yankees, but there is more.

Bob Cerv, Billy Martin, Harry Simpson, Milt Graff (minors), Irv Noren, Bob Martyn, Jim Pisoni and Clete Boyer were on the Kansas City roster. All played for Yankees with the exception of Graff.

The 1957 Athletics pitching staff didn't take a back seat to the non-pitchers.

Ralph Terry (twice), Tom Morgan, Tom Gorman, Jack Urban, Virgil Trucks, Wally Burnette, Mickey McDermott, Rip Coleman and Ryne Duren had been or would become Yankees. Only Urban and Burnette were traded from the minors before they played for the Yankees.

Athletics owner Arnold Johnson and Yankees owners Dan Topping and Del Webb were business associates. Topping and Webb helped the other American League team owners decide in favor of Johnson purchasing the Athletics from the Mack family.

I was in my sixth season as a Yankees fan in 1957. My friends and I didn't question why the Yankees and Athletics made so many trades with almost all of them favoring the Yankees. We just wanted the Yankees to win.

Of greater importance was the fact that almost none of the baseball writers played down the scandal.

In 2012, the Yankees don't have one "farm" team. They have their choice of free agents from any of the other 29 teams.