Jim Palmer, the Baltimore Orioles' veteran right-hander, says Cal Ripken Sr., the team's third base coach, or Ray Miller, its pitching coach, might have been better choices to succeed Manager Earl Weaver than Joe Altobelli.

But Palmer says that when Weaver endorsed Ripken as a successor, it was the "kiss of death" because of a power struggle between Weaver and Oriole General Manager Hank Peters. "That's why Ripken's not the manager," Palmer went on in an interview in Mesa, Ariz. "Peters wanted all the remnants of Weaver out. The kiss of death (for Ripken) was when Earl said Cal ought to be manager -- especially when Earl said if Cal had any problems he could just call him." . . .

Oriole shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. became the first player to be named twice to the Topps rookie all-star team. Ripken, elected to the team last year, was eligible this season because he had less than the number of '81 at bats required to end a player's rookie status.

The 1982 team, selected by major league players, managers and coaches, included Twins first baseman Kent Hrbek, a unanimous choice. Minnesota outfielder Tom Brunansky and catcher Tim Laudner were also on the team, along with second baseman Steve Sax of the Los Angeles Dodgers and third baseman Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs. Brunansky, Chili Davis of the San Francisco Giants and Willie McGee of the St. Louis Cardinals made up the outfield. Ed VandeBerg of the Seattle Mariners was named the left-handed pitcher and Bill Laskey of the San Francisco Giants was voted the right-handed pitcher.