Enos Slaughter, asked in Roxborn, N.C., what he thought about being passed up for baseball's Hall of Fame for the 13th time since he went on the ballot: "I really don't think about the vote anymore, I'm so disgusted with it."
Roger Maris, to hear him talk in Gainesville, Fla., would have neen glad to find he'd accidentally been dropped out of the Hall voting tabulation in yesterday's Washington Post - he was supossed to be 14th on the list doesn't even have a favorite team anymore, takes time out from his beer distributorship only long enough to say, "Baseball is just like a kid with a train. you got to outgrow it sometime.
Maris has two sons in Little League but is so intent on saying out of the limelight he does not attend their games. Slaughter, who never knew how to let up, keeps his hand in as Duke's baseball coach - even gave his daughter a varsity tryout at second base once.
Slaughter, No. 4 in the writer voting, 222 ballots of a needed 288, said of Ernie Banks, the only selectee this trip: "I played against him and his record speaks for itself. He should be in the Hall and so should I. I had a higher batting average (300 even) than he did, but he hit more home runs and that's all people look at these days."
The slashing old Cardinal noted. "I played 22 years in the major leagues. A lot guys are getting into the Hall with 10 or 12 years, and their career batting average are not as high as mine."
Two more chances, then Slaughter's name is moved to the list under consideration by the Hall of Fame old-timers committee. That can be tough, too, judging by the likes of Baby Doll Jacobson, who went to his grave this week, at age 36, on the outside of Copperstown looking in. Jacobson, in 11 American League campaigns, mostly as center fielder for the St. Louis Browns, hit 311 lifetime including 355, 352 and 341 in his prime, and once owned 13 league fielding records. He tied George Sisler for AL runner-up in RBI in 1920 with 122, behind Babe Ruth's 137 - and there's the rub, guys like Ruth, Cobb, Sisler, Speaker, Heilmann kept squeezing him out of the batting top five. . .