Eddie Mathews is the favorite to make it into baseball's Hall of Fame today, if anybody, as the Baseball Writers Association of America's annual election results come out - or are they saving Mathews to go in as an entry with Hank Aaron in 1982 when Henry becomes eligible?
Mathews received only 239 votes last year of a required 288 (75 oer cent of ballots) when Ernie Banks, whose stats closely paralleled the sluging Brave third baseman's; at that Mathews was runner-up as Banks was the only one to make it. As a one-two Brave punch with Aaron, Mathews belted 521 home runs, tying Banks.
Otherwise, those considered in the running are Enos Slaughter a a slew of Dodgers - Gill Hodges, Duke Snider, Maury Wills, Don Drysdale. And Snider, now a Montreal Expo broadcaster, tops his list with - Duke Snider.
"I played against Robin Roberts and Ernie Banks and I feel I was just as good as they were," says the erstwhile Duke of Flatbush. "During the '50s I was compared with Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays (as a slugger, with 40 homers for five straight years) on an even par, and I could play center field just as well as they could."
He and Mathews are waiting by their phones . . . Maybe.
But what price glory? It's out that the Bank of America, the world's largest, couldn't find San Francisco's most famous baseball player, Willie McCovey, for 10 years . . . that Dick Barnett, famed all those NBA years with the sometimes-world-champion Knicks, has been enjoined by the state of New York from soliciting further investment in Dick Barnett Publications, Inc.; some of those who put up $14,000 a while back wonder whatever become of "Main Man Magazine," a fashion one life-style gazette their money was supposed to launch . . . that the Associated Press (noted by eagle-eye fan Howard Stevens of Arlington in Sunday's N.Y. Times) reported from Pebble Beach that figures from other sports playing in the Bing Crosby ProAm "included Bill Kilmer, the former quarterback." Darn, scooped again . . .