Before we go into Cowboy quarterback Danny White's broken finger, Bill Walton's once-more sore foot and what-not, let us put things in perspective by saying you ought to see Bert Shepard go on his largely artificial right leg.
Teeing was believing as the World War II-wounded left-hander briskly strode a hilly golf course at Gettysburg, Pa., last week at the national amputees' golf championship and, two-time champion that he is, highlighted the senior division with a low round of 75. And more believers are sure to be made when Shepard, whose presence as a coach -- and pitcher! -- a few months out of a German prisoner-of-war camp, and hospital, helped inspire the Washington Senators to climb from a last-place finish in 1944 to a nosed-out second in '45, receives the Gene Brito Award from the Touchdown Club on Thursday.
Col. Robert D. Vaughn, deputy administrator for the Veterans Administration, will represent past Brito awardee Max Cleland, the (triple-amputee) VA director, at the noon luncheon (call TD Club to reserve, $9.50). And not as a stranger. Shepard has been conferring with Vaughn and staff about the possibility of serving to inspire others who have lost limbs, and perhaps to, at last, sell Uncle Sam and/or the private prosthetics industry on the remarkable, flexible device that the former P-38 pilot has used for years with no ill effects -- and nary a trace of a limp. . .
You can bet Bill Walton and the San Diego Clippers wish the big man of the NBA could get around without a limp. But, alas, once more, Walton's left foot is aching. It's a small bone, and expert scrutiny hasn't ascertained whether it is fractured, for the fourth time, but he laments, "I can't play basketball. . . It hurts a lot."
"Hopefully," says Clipper management, "we'll be in a position to make an intelligent decision by Oct. 9." That is the date the roster must be down to the 11-man limit; meantime, Walton will stay off the foot "trying not to think about" the possibility his playing career is over. . .
Danny White, Dallas QB coming on strong the past two games as Tom Landry's new No. 1, learns he fractured the middle digit of his left hand falling on a fumble in Sunday's conquest of Green Bay -- but won't let that sideline him. Landry allows right-hander White may have to wear a splint for six weeks and "I'm not sure how he'll handle the ball but I think he will be okay. The snap when we are in punt formations might be difficult to take but there shouldn't be much trouble." White, you know, doubles as Cowboy punter. . .
A 3,500-mile leap forward in distance running for money: Just announced by Transcontinental Marathon Ltd., is a proposed stop-and-go series of races from Los Angeles to New York over a four-month span, April-July 1982, with elapsed time totaled up and the winner to claim $250,000 out of a $1 million purse. One believer: U.S. Olympic Committee member Edwin Haislet of University of Minnesota, aboard as an adviser. . .