Garber of showed up in the No. 2 spot in the Atlanta Braves' battling order in Tuesday night's box score from Los Angeles and no mistake, all you perplexed squinters at the fine point.

Relief pitcher Gene Garber had been half-heartedly nagging at Manager Bobby Cox that he never gets to start a game. So Cox posted the former Phillie as his starting center fielder on the lineup card: even had him in deck while leadoff man Jerry Royster batted. But Garber had to drop his bat and forget it as Cox sent regular center fielder Rowland Office up to pinch hit.

Office went zip for four as the Dodgers won 4-1.

Fun's fun, but hey - Garber has been brilliant out of the Brave bullpen since he was acquired June 15; saved Monday night's game in L.A. with two-hit, four-strikeout pitching for three shutout innings and Sunday's game over the Giants with two zeroes. Supposing the game developed so that Atlanta needed its best reliever in the late innings?

Or can Biff pocoroba pitch like Elrod Hendricks . . .

Word that Darryl Dawkins, Philadelphia's purveyor of funk and dunk, is in Temple University Hospital for repair of a shoulder separation can be taken two ways: either the massive Sixer is not as indestrictibel as presumed, or is even more so - having played on despite the injury incurred in a spill during a game last NBA midseason. Anyway, they say he will be good as new by September preseason camp . . . Back in the NFC East, at least for summer scrimmage season: a gent on the public enemy list of both Redskins (they can tell you why he's called "Mad Bomber" and Cowboys (he left Dallas shortly after tangling with Roger Staubach). Yep, Clint Longley, getting a quarter-backing shot with the St. Louis Cards . . . Dead at 49: Sewsunker (Papwa) Sewgolum, the first black golfer to break into South Africa's golfing circuit in the 1960s and a successful competitor internationally (three-time winner, Dutch Open). Countryman Gary Player, on receiving the word from Durban, said, "In my opinion, Papwa was one of the greatest golfers in the world within 100 yards of the hole . . . He will be badly missed" . . . Otto Graham. Coast Guard Academy athletic director, was at Henley-on Thames rooting for the academy crew last week. The former Cleveland QB and Redskin coach said doctors tell him he has a 70-30 chance of beating the cancer that landed him in Bethesda Hospital a few months ago . . .

Major league leaders, at midpoint: Hits - AL Rice 102; NL, Griffey 102. Rubs - AL, LeFlore 57; NL, Rose 57. Doubles - AL, Fisk and Brett 24; NL, Richards and Herndon 8, Stolen Bases - AL, Wilson 29; NL, Moreno 36. Strikeouts - AL, Guldry 124; NL, Richards 145 . . .

How about those Padres since Ray Kroc sounded off and told 'em to quit grousing and start playing ball? They zoomed past .500 and outfielder Gene Richards says, "Nobody's complaining much now, and if they are, they're keeping it to themselves" . . .After delivering a game-winning hit against the Angels, Kansas City's Clint Hurdle let it hang out: "If I had done everything I was supposed to do up to now, I'd be leading the league in homers, have the highest batting average, given $1,000 to the cancer fund and married Marie Osmond . . . I'm still a 20-year old kid who's trying to get his feet wet" . . .Mike Torrez, 11-4 for the Red Sox: "If I were 15-2, he (Billy Martin) wouldn't pick me up for the All-Star team" . . .Sure, Charlie Finley picked up Cleveland discard Willie Horton yesterday for a stint in Oakland.

Signed with U. of Kansas after a one-week basketball camp: two-time All-Met Patricia Mason of Eastern High . . . Grand champion and champion open jumper at the 1978 Warrenton Pony Show:

Frederick W. Ford, 17, of Alexandria, owner-rider of Erin Go Bragh . . . The Roanoke Times reports that of the 16 seniors who played ACC basketball this year, six graduated on time - including the two toppers, Phil Ford of UNC and Rod Griffin of Wake Forest, and Rockville's compactly paiked gift to N. C. State, Craig Davis.

Fashion news Levi Strauss & Co. and the U. S. Olympic Committee have jointly announced that for the 1980 Olympics, winter and summer, the U. S. squad will wear jean-style travel and leisure clothing - even the parade uniforms will feature blue-jersey blazers to go with the white slacks and shirts, blouses and skirts.