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MLB: Manager Ralph Houk Says Yankees Team to Beat

Jan. 31, 1962 - Ralph Houk (pictured center), in his State of the Yankees message today, revealed the baseball world’s worst-kept secret: His was the team to beat in the American League this season, he said. “The Tigers appear to every bit as tough as they were last season, but nearly all clubs have added overall strength,” he added. “The Orioles, White Sox, Indians, and Red Sox should be better, but I won’t pinpoint the top contenders. I want them all to like us.” As for Roger Maris, Houk said it was too much to expect him to surpass or even match his 61 homers of last year. “I would not be unhappy if Maris hit 45 homers this time,” Houk said. “I have no fear about the pitchers having learned how to pitch to him. They all tried to get him out all last year. Besides, unless age creeps up, a player doesn’t suddenly go into a season-long slump.”

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