George Bamberger used to insist he would not manage the Milwaukee Brewers more than two years, 1978 and 1979. So it's a rotten twist of fate that has knocked him out of the box at the outset of his third year he (or somebody) talked himself into.
It was a "mild" heart attack, all right, that sent him from spring training camp Thursday to Thomas Boswell Hospital there in Sun City, Ariz., and led to attachment of the pacemaker helping keep his heartbeat at an acceptable rate.
Bamberger, 54, will be off the job at least two months, according to Harry Dalton, the Brewer general manager and fellow alumnus of the Baltimore Oriole organization. Dalton was told there was a "small" amount of cardiac damage and that Bamberger suffered no complications and should make a speedy recovery. He ate hearty, in good spirits, when Dalton visited him at breakfast yesterday.
Holding the fort as interim manager for Bamberger will be Bob (Buck) Rodgers, third base coach.
What about Frank Howard, the Brew's first base coach? First lieutenant, evidently. Hondo's Hooligans lost to Rodger's Raiders in Sunday intrasquad game as comeback-bent Larry Hisle clubbed a a home run and two singles for the winners. . .