It was John McEnroe's year, all right, 1981. For the first time since Don Budge in 1938, The Associated Press has named a tennis player the male athlete of the year. McEnroe drew 76 media votes; Fernando Valenzuela, 56; Sugar Ray Leonard, 36; Wayne Gretzky, 31.

Now all McEnroe needs to match Budge is repeat in '82 -- Budge had been AP's man in 1937, too -- and receive the Washington Area Tennis Patrons' service award in 2024 as Budge did last month...

Baseball Writers Association names 1982 Hall of Fame inductees today. Now, who won't vote for Henry Aaron? And if Aaron isn't the first unanimous choice ever, will spoilers shed anonymity and say why? Frank Robinson, also newly eligible, is another nearly sure bet to draw the requisite 75 percent support.

Future Famer? First pick in winter draft, by Toronto, is Kash Beauchamp, outfielding son of ex-major leaguer Jim Beauchamp. Blue Jays' recent appointment of Papa B. as Syracuse manager might figure in chances of signing Beauchamp, a high school phenom in Grove, Okla., but he leans toward college -- hedging that a big year at Bacone Junior College might spring him to the pros... Orioles' No. 1 also has a good baseball name: Jeff Doerr, third baseman, San Mateo J.C.

Alexandria Dukes' new general manager: Floridian Bill Kinsman, 31. Two years a Triple-A Richmond Braves administrative assistant, in '81 he g.m.'d the Wisconsin Rapids Twins in A ball...

Future Famer Rod Carew says, aw, forget what he said about wanting no more of Minnesota's Twins after Calvin Griffith's alleged banquet remarks about Twin Cities' racial composition prefaced sending Carew to the Angels in winter 1978-79. Carew says his only argument with Griffith was spelled $$$ and "Who knows? I may finish my career in a Minnesota Twins uniform... I have two years left on my current (California) contract, then we'll see. This is a sentimental thing with me." Griffith, informed of Carew's sentiments, eschewed anything the commissioner might construe as "tampering," but said, "My dinner will taste a little better tonight..."

Griffith, in Orlando, Fla., needed a boost. In Minneapolis, Twins attorneys were citing operating losses and battling to get out of a $700,000 obligation toward construction of the HHH Metrodome that might save the franchise for the area...

John Robinson staying at USC; Joe Paterno staying at Penn State. Paterno met with Patriots officials in Newark Sunday, but denies demanding part ownership and general manager's powers to coach New England. As to taking the job, "It's never been a possibility".... So toss in Redskin staffer Dan Henning -- "I would be interested to hear from them; I think any assistant coach in this league would be tickled to death to coach the Patriots" -- and watch SMU's Ron Meyer as possibilities...

Pro Football Writers, too, affirm Ken Anderson NFL's MVP... Pro Football Hall of Fame names Anthony Munoz, offense, and Randy White, defense, NFL's linemen of the year. NFL Players Association likes strong unionists, counters with John Hannah, offense, and Fred Dean, defense.

Ingemar Stemmark, skiing slump ended, won another World Cup slalom yesterday, at Bad Wiessee, West Germany. Phil Mahre was third and entrenched his cup points lead toward repeating as season's champion; Mahre 170, Stenmark 109.

Died, heart attack on the PGA Golf Course, Palm Beach, Fla.: J. R. (Bob) Williams, 76, Naval Academy's first golf coach (212-101-5 in 37 years, 1934-70).

A. Last 0-0 NFL game; Giants-Lions, Nov. 7, 1943. . . Q. Holliston (Mass.) High hockey player Steve D'Ihnocenzo scored three goals in a 12-second span the other night. NHL record-quick hat trick???