Before the Milwaukee Brewers named George Bamberger manager, general manager Harry Dalton told first base coach Frank Howard he's not ready for the big job.

Howard, Washington's last baseball hero, said Dalton told him he is valued as a coach - "he said the reports on me around the league were good," but - "He explained, 'I really think that someday you'll manage.' But I'm sure he felt I needed more experience and a track record. I'm a little disappointed. I'd like to have gotten a shot at it."

Maybe someday in RFK?

Howard is a longtime off-season resident of Green Bay, Wis., but still a good lead-in for some old-home-week stuff: James (Stretch) Gregory, U. of Wisconsin's star soph basketball forward from Collidge High here, has come up academically ineligible for second-semester play alongside freshman brother Claude (Li'l Stretch) Gregory. He could have played this week against Michigan and Minnesota but coach Bill Cofield said Gregory stayed in Madison to hit the books - "There are things more important than basketball to Gregory, who said earlier he was afraid he'd flunked a five-hour course in Swahili . . . At U. of Rhode Island, a school academic review board has granted the appeal of URI's top scorer and rebounder, soph forward Sly Williams, from dismissal and will keep him on the team despite poor marks. The board found "extenuating circumstances" for Williams' two consecutive semesters of academic in probation - "problems at home" in New Haven, Conn., "that have been straightened out" so he can catch up . . . Quietly slipped through the NCAA convention this month, if you missed it: a rule allowing freshman to be redshirted, keeping four years' eligibility . . .

Baseball is closing in - the people's owner, Bill Veeck, promises earliest spring-training opening ever: Feb. 14 . . . So you want to be an umpire? The Northern Virginia Umpires Association will begin a series of clinics in the basics, conducted by veteran man-in-blue James Beardsley. NVUA's president is Ken Allan, who got a nice ride as "the voice of Stateside sports to hundreds of thousands of Americans abroad" in a recent issue of Stars and Stripes. He is sports broadcaster for American Forces Radio and Television Service, sutdios in Rosslyn. Initial umpiring clinics will be at Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St., 5 p.m. next Sunday. Questions, call Allan at 455-2266 or Beardsley at 430-3894 . . . Darold Knowles fans: In the former Senator lefty's misdemeanor conviction in November for bank fund hanky-panky, he got probation and can join the Expos next month . . . Soon to be a former Texas Ranger, like Knowles: righthander Gaylord Perry. The 39-year-old Carolinian confirms reports he will be traded to San Diego when interleague trading resumes Feb. 15 . . .

Belated rah-rahs for area standardbearers on the gridiron: Tom McGloon, a nonscholarshipper after quarterbacking unfortunate Gonzaga High teams, cut a nifty figure as a ballhawking linebacker for Wesley (Junior) College, Dover, Del. He rounded out his two years by winning defensive MVP honors as his side, North, beat South - largely manned by stalwarts of Ferrum's J.C. powerhouse - in the Coastal Conference all-star game at Norfolk, 29-9. Four-year-college scouts were all eyes . . Howard U.'s senior offensive guard, Keith Napier, repeated on the first team of Mutual Black Network and Jet Magazine's All-America squads . . . Woody Bergeria, James Madison U.'s middle guard out of Northern Virginia, made AP college-division All-America honorable mention . . . Mike Riley, wide receiver for The Citadel out of Rockville, Md., was All-Southern Conference . . . Nick Lowery (St. Albans) repeated as All-Ivy League placekicker for Dartmouth . . . Small world, Cheverly neighbors Jim Curry, Harvard and Charlie Watkins, Brown, tied for second-team wide receiver on All-Ivy . . . Wake Forest's senior tight end (prime pro-draft timber) Steve Young (Gaithersburg) was voted team MVP after setting ACC receiving record of 51 catches last fall . . . Senior QB Mike Ryan (McNamara) was named Gettysburg College's outstanding offensive player for '77 - passed (637 yards, 54 per cent), ran (127 yards), punted (35.1 average) - and is a standout on the Bullet golf varsity . . .

In the pros, Reggie Rucker (Anacostia) set a Cleveland Brown team record with pass reception in 32 straight games; when stopped, he started a new streak, seven games and counting . . . JuCo again, second-team All-America is Wheaton's Mike Delaney, Montgomery College defensive back . . . And giving credit where way overdue, receiver Keith Credit of Lanham was outstanding player for Kent State when it bucked Colorado . . .