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Hitting for Average Was Lowenstein’s Forte

It’s a big year for milestones, with people like Pete Rose, Tom Seaver, Reggie Jackson and Nolan Ryan closing in on magic numbers, but Bob Sudyk of the Hartford Courant said it will be tough for anyone to match the feat of former American League outfielder John Lowenstein, who used to say, “I don’t want to be a star, but I’d like to twinkle a little.”

Lowenstein, who later would play for Baltimore, was with Cleveland in 1977 when he managed to twinkle on the last day of the season in a game against Toronto. In his final at-bat, Lowenstein needed to make an out to hit exactly .242 for the third time in four seasons.

Sinking to the occasion, Lowenstein struck out. He was then surrounded by jubilant teammates, who carried him off the field.

“Anybody can hit .300,” Lowenstein said. “But how many guys can hit for exactly the same average three of four years? Williams or DiMaggio couldn’t do it. I consider myself the model of consistency.”

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If they make it into a movie, Bob Uecker gets the lead.

Asks Larry King of The Sporting News: “After Ed Garvey runs for the Senate in Wisconsin next year, can’t he sell his ‘Garvey for Senate’ buttons to Steve Garvey for use in California in a couple of years?”

Bjorn Borg is still tops at Wimbledon--in the gift shops at least.

Postcards of Borg, the five-time champion who retired at the end of 1981, sell more than those of anyone else. John McEnroe is second, Pat Cash third and John Lloyd of Britain fourth.

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Lloyd’s wife, Chris Evert Lloyd, is tops among women, followed by Virginia Wade of Britain and Martina Navratilova.

There are no postcards of Anne White in her body suit on sale--yet.

Add White: Wrote Skip Bayless of the Dallas Times Herald: “She’s from St. Petersburg, Fla., by way of USC, where she majored in Hollywood.”

You have to think that former Boston pitcher Dennis Eckersley was kidding when he said Baltimore slugger Eddie Murray chased him out of the American League, but maybe not.

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Eckersley, now of the Chicago Cubs, told Paul Attner of The Sporting News: “I’ll bet he misses me, but I sure don’t miss him. He must have taken me deep six or seven times.

“He hit the longest home run I’ve ever seen. It went 25 rows beyond the bullpen in Fenway. It was off Luis Tiant, thank goodness. I wouldn’t want that hanging over me. Ah, better make that 20 rows. I wouldn’t want anyone to think I was exaggerating.”

From Dave Parker, explaining his resurgence in Cincinnati after some off-years in Pittsburgh: “The fact is that I can concentrate on baseball solely in Cincinnati. There is much more going on in Pittsburgh.”

He didn’t elaborate.

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77 Years Ago Today: On June 30, 1908, Cy Young of the Cleveland Indians pitched the third no-hit, no-run game of his career, beating the New York Highlanders, 8-0. At 41 years and 3 months, he was the oldest to hurl a no-hitter.

Note: Sandy Koufax, who would set a record with four no-hitters, pitched his first one on June 30, 1962. He beat the New York Mets, 5-0, striking out 13, in the game at Dodger Stadium.

Quotebook

Angel Manager Gene Mauch, told that American League games were averaging 2:44 in length after averaging 2:37 last year: “What’s five, six, seven minutes. I’m happier in a uniform than I am in street clothes, anyway.”

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