Carl Yastrzemski, born Aug. 22, 1939, came up to the majors full time in 1961, started this year with 2,724 hits. Rolling along toward 3,000 he's passing up the All-Star Game, after being selected to the American League squad.
Lou Brock, born June 18, 1939, made it to the bigs a year behind Yaz, but started this year with 2,834 hits. Less than a year since he broke Ty Cobb's all-time base-stealing record, with No. 893 last Aug. 29, you won't see Brock in All-Star uniform, either. He wasn't picked by the National League.
Brock started 1978 neatly enough, batting .328 as of May 3. Then . . . 18 hits his last 125 times up - and, as of mid-June, benched by his teammate on St. Louis' 1964 World Series club, Manager Ken Boyer, for all but two of the last 17 Cardinal games.
Brock chafes: "What hurts the most is that we're losing and I can't do anything about it." Bitter at Boyer? "They say it's not personal but it has to be. I've been through this kind of slump before . . ."
With 13 stolen bases this season for a career 913, Brock says he will return to play out his two-year contract in 1979. When he signed it, he cited the 3,000-hit milestone as the prime objective. And now, ahead of Yas 2,872 to 2,809 but a tantalizing 128 hits shy?
"It may not be possible now. But it has to be taken in its proper perspective. There's still only a short list of players who are in the 2,900; club" . . .
Died: Vera Flock, 59, one of the nation's top trapshooters, due for induction in the sport's hall of fame next month after winning 700 trophies including 30 on the Grand American circuit; of cancer, in Atlanta. And Joe Davis, 77, Britain's "Mr. Snooker" who retired unbeaten after 19 years (1927-46 as world champion of that billards specialty; the Guinness Book of World Records credits him as coholder of the world-record break of 147; in a London convalescent home . . . Steve Trout, a young lefty who had a cup of coffee with the Chicago White Sox the past couple of weeks and was optioned out yesterday, is a son of the late Paul (Dizzy) Trout, Detroit Tiger right-handed ace of yesteryear . . . Mark Connolly of Culver City, Calif., has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Oklahoma State. Connolly is the son of, as AP phrases it, "the star-crossed lovers of the 1956 Olympic Games": U.S. hammer-throw gold medalist Harold Connolly and Olga Fikotova Connolly, Czechoslovakia's gold-medal discus thrower whom Harold followed behind the Iron Curtain from the Games in Melbourne, married, and after a long struggle, brought to America.
Yes, time marches on. Johnny Bucyk at 43 is hanging up his skates after 23 NHL seasons, the last 21 at left wing for the Boston Bruins, who now will employ him in various off-the-ice capacities: "He's going to be our Jean Believau (a la the Montreal all-timber's status in the Canadian organization)," says GM Harry Sinden. Bucyk finishes with 556 goals - 545 for Boston - plus 41 in Stanley Cup playoffs, but none of the latter this year when the league's No. 2 all-time scorer was not used in the eliminations . . .
. . . And youth must be served. The Atlanta Braves, bringing up Glenn Hubbard from Richmond, where his .335 bat has been leading the International League, now will field a regular infield of Dale Murphy, 22, at first; Hubbard, 20, at second; Bob Horner, 20 at third, and "old man" Jerry Ryoster, 25, moving over to short to make way for the new man . . . Heavyweight cochampion Leon Spinks turns 25 today and, by way of Hilton Head Island, S.C. we learn that today is "Leon Spinks Day" in Washington, D.C. The champ is supposed to be receive a plaque from the City Council at noon. Meantime, at the Carolina resort where he has begun training for the Sept. 15 rematch with Muhammad Ali, Spinks ventured, "I'm up on the high but not over the hill yet. I'm trying to get over the hump . . . to put all the troubles behind me . . . I feel more mature. Life is all what you make it" . . . Jay Mottola, whose last-second free throws for Lafayette knocked Virginia out of the 1972 NIT, has come aboard as assistant basetball coach at American U. A bright fellow who picked up a postgrad degree at Penn's Wharton School of Finance, Mottola has been on the Munlenberg College staff the past two years. At Lafayette, he played undererstwhile AU Coach Tom Davis - and the new eagle coach, Gary Williams, of Finance, Mottola has been on the [LINE ILLEGIBLE]
The L.A. Rams picked up safety Windlan Hall on waivers from the Redskins yesterday (the former Viking and 49er saw short-term late-season service here on special teams in '77), signed 1977 Redskin preseason-camper Brian Dowling for their bulging QB corps and flunked former Maryland offensive lineman Dave Conrad on his physical as Coach George Allen opened camp for rookies, free agents and quarterbacks.
Pat Haden looked sharp in leading the passers through drills on the offense Allen is instituting. Just finished with his Rhodes scholar studies at Oxford, Haden said it was nice to be No. 1 - "I never felt sure in the job when Jose Namath was with us all last year" - and, jostled about the Billy Kilmer trade talk, joshed, "I've heard the rumors. If I'm No 1, I'd like to have his contract."
But the big news from the practice now as he did what came naturally all prize rookie running back Elvis Peacock,' Rams' top draftee out of Oklahoma, tumbling into a youth's bicycle. The 220-pounder wasn't hurt, but so much for the open-gate policy at Ram preseason practices in the non-Allen years. "There used to be stands for the people to watch from," snapped Allen - obviously glad there aren't now as he did what came naturally all those Washington campaigns: declared practices closed to the public until further notice . . .
The Catholic U. women's hoop coach, Marie Wiles, finished 1978 recruiting by landing a second goodie from Philadelphia: 5-11 power forward Margaret Chapman of Bishop Conwell . . . Maryland Coach Chris Weller's third and final letter-of-intent signee also is from Philly way: 6-1 Lydia McAiley of Olney H.S., a 25-point scorer, 13-rebounder and prolific shot blocker on a state semifinal squad . . .
. . . One benefit of the Baltimore Monuments dropping out of the American Pro Slo-Pitch Softball League this year: it opened up a spot for the rebirthM at long last, of the philadelphia Athletics. Last we saw, these A's lost a doubleheader to the Pittsburgh Hard Hats and were mired in the APSPL cellar. Bring back Boom Boom Hutcherson . . .