West Germany's Gerd Mueller has followed Peru's Nene Cubillas to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., showing the North American Soccer League and the world the Strikers are right there in the moneybags battle with Warner Communications' Meadowlands Cosmos and Gulf & Western's Washington Diplomats in NASL's Eastern Division.
Striker G.M. Beau Rogers joshed the other day that it cost "three llamas and five Peruvian rugs" to sign Cubillas, runner-up to Pele as World Cup MVP in 1970 and a five-goal scorer again for Peru in the 1978 Cup tourney.Then Rogers flew to Munich on Monday to bargain with 1974 World Cup hero Mueller, the seven-time West German league scoring king who "retired" last month after 15 years with Bayern Munich, and Elizabeth Robbie flew in behind him Monday night to seal the deal. That's Mrs. Joe Robbie, general managing partner of the Strikers even as Mr. joe Robbie is of the Miami Dolphins -- and do some of those NFL television riches come into this picture? You can bet Mueller comes high (Cubillas too), as Fort Lauderdale counters the Cosmos' "Der Kaiser," Franz Beckenbauer, with "Der Bomber," Mueller.
Big names of yore in our national pastime -- Hack Wilson, Johnny Mize, Chuck Klein and Babe Herman -- are seen as contenders for the one player spot available today when the 18-member Hall of Fame baseball veterans committee decides today in Tampa whether to enshrine any old-timer in Cooperstown this year... In football, the pros have balloted for peer honors at the sixth annual NFL Players Association Awards Banquet here for the benefit of Special Olympics ( $100 a plate, Sheraton Park, March 17) and, the envelopes, please:
MVP -- Roger Staubach, NFC; Gerry Bradshaw, AFC. Offensive rookie of year -- Earl Campbell, AFC; James Lofton, NFC. Offensive lineman of year -- Dan Dierdorf, NFC; John Hannah, AFC. Defensive rookie -- Al Baker, NFC; Ron Johnson, AFC. Defensive lineman -- Al Baker (again), NFC; Louis Kelcher, AFC. Linebacker -- Bob Brazile, AFC; Harry Carson, NFC.