At least O. J. Simpson wears business threads running through airports. J. R. Richard and Joe Morgan wore their Astro baseball uniforms as they raced past double-taking travelers in the Orlando airport this week in a successful effort to maintain team solidarity.
You have to like Houston's chances in the NL West pennant race, if any, after the way the odd couple brought third baseman Enos Cabell back to the fold at Cocoa, Fla.
The 6-foot-8 Richard and 5-8 Morgan, bent on keeping a one-for-all and all-for-one 25-man roster intact during the players association stoppage, got permission from Manager Bill Virdon to head Cabell off at the pass after he'd taken off -- "to be with my family. I figured as long as we weren't being paid here, I'd spend some time with them."
Morgan related that after the 45-mile rush from camp to airport, "We didn't know which airline, so we had to run around the airport, from airline to airline, looking for a flight that left at 12:40 for L.A." At 12:35, they intercepted Cabell. After all that, Morgan went on, "I told him if he wouldn't come back, there was gonna be a fight, right there on the spot."
"They stopped the plane and got my luggage, I still can't believe it," said Cabell's wife, Kathy.
Cabell had said earlier he was leaving because he was his own man. "Joe and J said we're a team" . . .
Sore arms abound on the big-league rosters. Put on the disabled lists yesterday: Yankees' chronic case, Don Gullett (60 days); Pirates' Don Robinson, Mets' Pat Zachry, Phillies' Warren Brusstar, all troubled simlarly in '79 (21 days). One of the few Phils who weathered the club's 1979 injury epidemic, righty Nino Espinosa, also shelved three weeks, minimum, with a sore shoulder as the team got down to the limit by releasing Bud Harrelson and desigating three more vets -- Rawly Eastwick, Doug Bird and Mike Anderson -- for disposition elsewhere.
Athletes dying young: Cliff Schnedar, 25, four days after his head struck a slab of concrete at the edge of the vaulting pit as he practiced at San Diego State . . . And Cameron Wheeler, 20, West Virginia Tech fullback, passed out in the dressing room following a padless football drill in Montgomery, W. Va., and fatally hit his head on the concrete floor . . .
Bob trowbridge of the 1957 world Champion Milwaukee Braves died Thursday at 49 in Hudson, N.Y., where he had worked lately as a corrections officer. The righty was 7-5 in the '57 pennant drive -- never mind his 45.00 ERA for one inning of the Series against the Yanks -- as feature of a 13-13 career . . .
Boxing boom continues with Potomac Valley AAU semis tonight at 7, U. of Maryland's Ritchie Coliesum; some top national prospects in zippy action . . . Then on Saturday, April 26, Muhammad Ali's amateur boxing team will oppose the national team from Kenya at the D.C. Starplex/Armory. The former champ arranged the match when he was in Africa enlisting support for the U.S. boycott of the Moscow Olympics, and the State Department's cultural exchange program too it from there . . .
A rich and happy fella: Bud Delp, the Maryland horse trainer who turned golden with Spectacular Bid. The Harry Meyerhoff family has rewarded Delp for his success with their colt by bestowing on him a 15-year (spread out for tax reasons) package of $1.5 million. "I could have had a share of Bid," said Laurel resident Delp, "but I'm just a working man and I'd rather have the money up front." While training Bid's forthcoming sons and daughters at the Meyerhoffs' Hawksworth Farm on the Eastern Shore.