Excellent turnout at the Capital Hilton yesterday to hear Luke (Home Run) Appling, Hank (Home Run) Aaron, Bill (Home Run) Mazeroski et al plug the second Cracker Jack Old Timers Classic in RFK July 18 . . . but do we have a new candidate, a 28-year-old old-timer, for the AL roster?

Mark (The Bird) Fidrych voluntarily retired yesterday after a two-year struggle in the minors. The sensational 1976 rookie (Detroit) left Boston's AAA Pawtucket club at Tidewater, beating the Red Sox to the draw. Fidrych, 2-5 this International League season, thanked Red Sox officials for letting him try to beat chronic arm trouble. They respond, "Mark worked diligently and did everything humanly possible to succeed . . ."

Rick Reuschel, at 34 essaying a pitching comeback under Chicago Cubs' auspices at Class A Quad-Cities (his oldest teammate is 21), asks, "What else would I do if I didn't have baseball?" . . . As the Dukes turn in who knows what direction in the Carolina League, the (Oriole-affiliated) Hagerstown Suns have been sold by ailing Floridian Lou Eliopulos to Gerald N. Minnich, a Hagerstown funeral director. And the operator of the AAA Charleston (W.Va.) Charlies, who move to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, next IL season, asks Carolina League '84 admission . . .

Tony Kubek-NBC: si! Long-term renewal.