Eat your hearts out, again, federal city workers. Your colleagues at the Social Security Administration building in Chicago not only can take their choice of Cub or White Sox games for a "grandma's funeral" day; now they'll be able to look out the front windows and see:
It's a 20-tone, 101-foot-high steel baseball bat sculpted by the estimable Claes Oldensburg, a Chicago native who sent the welded steel lattice creation to the Windy City by truck from North Haven, Conn., yesterday . . .
The Philadelphia Phillies could have trouble getting off to a truckin' start in defense of their National League East flag. Pitching mainstay Jim Lonborg and prospective regular first baseman Ritchie Hebner will open the season on the 21-day disabled list, the club announced.
Lonborg has that sore shoulder again, the one that sidelined him most of the second half of the 1975 season before he came back to win 18 games in '76.
Hebner bruished his left rib cage in a collision with former Pittsburgh teammate Larry Demery during a March 23 exhibition. It hasn't responded to treatment but if it does he could play as soon as April 17, missing only five games, because his 21 days were backdated to the 23d. Bumping into Demery this spring is no fun; at the outset of Pirate camp he and teammate EdKirkpatrick engaged in a knockdown, dragout, roll-in-the-dust scrap . . .
Talk about fightin' words. Sen. James Abourezk (D-S.D.) joshed at a Monday night banquet in Havana:
"This is the largest group of Americans to come here since the Bay of Pigs."
Heh-heh. This was a prelude, of course, to the basketball combat matching a combined U. of South Dakota and South Dakota State squad against Cuban all-stars. The entourage included not only Dakotans and U.S. officials picked up on a flight stop here but the NFL Miami Dolphins' head man, Joe Robbie. He's a USD grad . . .
Another walking wounded Master in Augusta: Johnny Miller. Not only in his worst slump but has wrist and shoulder pains. Can't accuse him of using it to excuse recent failures, for he says, "this bad wrist . . . it's bothered me all my life. When I'm playing badly, I see no need of aggravating it. I have to rest it or I can't hit the ball at all" - that's why he picked up midway in the second round at Greensboro . . .
Angelo Coia, eight years an NFL flanker mostly with the Chicago Bears and the Redskins ('64-65), is in serious condition in a Philadelphia hospital as the result of a two-car crash . . . Henry Stenbacher, 64, has died in Sacramento, where he was born and played baseball for years with the Pacific Coast League's Solons straight out of high school. He made it to the majors for a brief fling with the Chicago White Sox - he hit .331 in 101 games in 1938, faded back to the minors in '39, and served on the Sacramento police force 1947-69 . . .
New lease on life for an old star: When the L.A. Dodgers took on the F. Giants in a Phoenix exhibition Monday night, first baseman Steve Garvey stayed home with his wife, who was ill. In his stead the Dodgers deployed a 6-foot-5, 250-plus pound fellow who "hadn't swung a bat in five or six days" but delivered a hit and a RBI. And yesterday, the Dodgers signed the chap to a one-year National League contract. Yep, Boog Powell, 1970 American League MVP (for Baltimore) cut adrift last week by the Cleveland Indians. The Dodgers haven't forgotten, evidently, how he tattoed their great pitching staff for a .357 average that led both clubs in the 1966 Oriole World Series sweep. He's pegged as primarily a pinch hitter. Powell will be 36 on Aug. 17 - same day Diego Segui, who made FanFare yesterday for his comeback with Seattle - turns 40. What'd you say the zodiac sing is for that date? Maybe we can sneak under it . . . n the other hand, Billy Conigliaro's bid to come back after years out of baseball ended with the Oakland A's asking him to report to their San Jose farm - and he turns 30 on Aug. 15. He refused, saying he's rather play on the East Coast if he had to go to the minors. Pawtucket, maybe? . . .
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, for the fifth time in seven years, is the NBA players' choice as player of the year.The Big Laker drew 125 votes to 24 for his closest rival, follow Uclan Bill Walton of Portland. Rounding out the first five on the all-NBA team, picked for the Sporting News, are forwards George McGinnis and Julius Erving (second team, Elvin Hayes); guards Pete Maravich and Paul Westphal . . . Rookie of the year: No contest, Audrian Dantley of Buffalo via D.C., Hyattsville and South Bend, 101 votes: Ron Lee of Phoenix, 34 . . . The Bullets' Dave Bing is still a winner - Pro Basketball Writers Association picks him for its annual citizenship award, won 57 Wes Unselds in 1975. Runner-up '77 is Seattle's Bob Love, followed by Phoenix twins Dick and Tom Van Arsdale. No wonder T.V.A. is retiring (or is it Dick?); Cap Dick 1-for-3 from foul line in March 6 game: actually he was 1-for-1, the two misses were Tom's corrected Dick in a letter closing with, "Good luck to the Bullets in the playoffs."