Dave Kingman and the New York Mets, the Big Swinger's sojurn in San Diego may be just a trial separation.
Kingman finally granted (M. Donald Granted) his wish to be traded after months and months of feuding with the front office, has asked the Mets to consider signing him at the end of the season if he remains a free agent.
"Dave likes New York," related Met general manager Joe McDonald, "he likes the Met organisation and he's crazy about Joe Torre (new manager). When I called to tell him officially of the deal, he then related his feeling to me about next year. Dave said he didn't know if he would sign with the Padres or anyone and requested me to pass the word on to Mr. Grant that he would like us to consider him if he is a free agent in October."Guys with .207 batting averages can turn humble in a hurry.
The brillant Mets never learned it in theirdealings with the Reds, but Pat Zachry, the Cincinnati righthander acquired in the Tom Seaver swap, showed up with what he allowed was nerve damage in his elbow. Says the problem stems from offseason surgery to repair a hernia - i couldn't do anything for two months after the operation. When I started throwing in January, the arm went on tight. At spring training, I started favoring my elbow and fell into a lot bad habits."
Zachry, 37 this year after a 14-7 rookie campaign, said he wasn't bad off enough to miss a turn - was set to start against Houston last night - but, "My breaking ball is flat, my fast ball has lost its velocity and the changeup has nothing." Contrast that report from Zachry, 25 with that of Seaver earlier in the season, insisting he is a "young" 32. "They say when you get into the 30s, that's old in baseball. But that's garbage. I've had X-rays taken of my elbow and shoulder and the doctors say it's like a 12 year old's. I feel the way I do now, I'll still be pitching at 40.
David McDevitt is dead. the Gallaudet spring graduate struck by lightning as he played short field for Hyattsville A.C. in the Greater Cincinnati Invitational Softball Tournament for the Deaf a couple of weeks ago expired Thursday without ever having come to. McDevitt would have been 24 Sunday - day before the benefit softball doubleheader at Fletcher's Field, Kenilworth Avenue, Riverdale, between his team and the WWDC Radio Oneders (6.30 p.m.). It will go on as scheduled; David's wife Sue - also deaf - and son Chris, 2 1/2, willneed help more than ever. Meanwhile McDevitt will be buried on the family plot in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He grew up there and in the Cincinatti area, where he renewed acquaintances the weekend lightning felled him on a field along the Ohio River; where a policeman at the scene kept him alive for the moment with emergency resuscitation; where he was named most valuable player in the tournament, having hit a decisive home run in the fourth inning of the game in which he was laid low in the fifth. Prince George's Country will help with the honors Monday, County Executive Winfield Kelly to throw out the first ball and suit up to play a couple of innings for WWDC.
Died at 67 in his native Plaquemine, La. Big Bill Lee, a hero of the Chicago Cubs' halcyon days of 1935 and 1938, when he went 20-6 and 22-9 to help them to National League pennants. He pitched well in the World Series both times, though without winning. For his 14 year career with Cubs, Phillies and Boston Braves, he was 169-157... Lee was a righthander, and so is the winner of the Lefty Gomez Plate as college baseball player of the year - Randy Martz, 14-0 for the South Carolina team that is hot after the College World series title in Omaha. Martz in this month's major league draft was the No. 1 pick of-the Chicago Cubs. They sign him, and their resurgence could pick up steam.
Brad Davis of Maryland signed a multiyear contract yesterday with the Los Angeles Lakers, who first rounded him up in the NBA draft last week; you shouldn't ask for how much, they won't tell, but his "hardship" days are over . . . Denny Crum, onetime John Wooden assistant who has been coaching Louisville U with notable) success since 1871 wouldn't mind following Davis to Los Angeles: says he would be glad to talk with UCLA about the basketball coaching vacancy opened by Gene Bartow's departure. Only thing, said Crum, "I haven't been approached by anybody." And there's a hint he won't be - an L.A. source telling a Louisville writer that UCLA athletic director J. D. Morgan doesn't want Crum because he is "too strong an individual for J.D." . . .