In 1970, as a member of the San Francisco Giants, Bobby Bonds struck out 189 times to set a major league record that still stands. Now, he's pushing beer on television, and he's been called out again.
The Lite beer commercial featuring Bonds and British cricket player Fred Truman has been pulled off the air. Reason: Bonds tells Truman in the commercial he stole 681 bases in his career. In fact, he stole 461.
An executive of the advertising agency that handles the Miller account said Bonds just made an honest mistake.
"Our staff asked him for the number, and we accepted it without checking," said Jeff Palmer of the New York agency of Backer & Spielvogel. "We will do a re-recording, dubbing in the right number, and it'll go back on the air, we hope in a matter of days. It's still a terrific commercial."
Bonds, asked by the New York Times to explain the discrepancy, at first stuck by the 681, saying it referred not only to his major league total but to the time he spent in the minors and in an instructional league in Arizona. But even that only added up to 618.
"Well," Bonds said, "it was a typographical mixup. Instead of 618 it came out 681. I guess I messed up."
For What It's Worth: On Wednesday, Jack Clark became the third ex-San Francisco Giant first baseman to help St. Louis into the World Series. The others were Bill White in 1964 and Orlando Cepeda in 1967 and 1968.
Add Forgettable Quotes: Wrote Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, critiquing Tom Lasorda after the first five games: "Lasorda has also fallen in love with the intentional walk. He's givin' 'em away like Cracker Jack prizes--seven already, including five in one game (two in the first inning). He hasn't been punished yet, but, never fear, baseball's god is a just god."
Boswell also wrote: "Why is Steve Sax, a proven leadoff man who's hot (6 for 16, 3 doubles) batting seventh and eighth, while Mariano Duncan, a gimpy .244-hitting rookie who looks scared to death, keeps batting leadoff, though he's 1 for 13?"
Trivia Time: Harry Steinfeldt is the answer to what trivia question? (Answer below.)
Overheard in the Candlestick Park press box when Coach Mike Ditka of the Chicago Bears put William (The Refrigerator) Perry in the game at running back against the 49ers Sunday and had him carry the ball twice: "The game of football has had a Mr. Inside and a Mr. Outside. Now, it has a Mr. Broadside."
Add Refrigerator: He gained two yards on each of his two carries. That was one more yard rushing than the entire 49er team had in the second half.
Add Ditka: The day following his arrest for driving under the influence he got a call from his old head coach in Dallas, Tom Landry.
Asked about it, Landry said, "We talk all the time." Then he added with a smile: "I wanted to see if he needed a character witness. I like to needle him once in a while."
Trivia Answer: He was the third baseman in the Tinker-to-Evers-to Chance infield of the Chicago Cubs.
Note: The Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance combination appeared in 16 World Series games in 1906-07-08 and did not record one double play. However, there was a Steinfeldt-to-Evers-to-Chance double play.
Radio announcer Curt Gowdy, on one reason players tend to have longer careers today: "Arabic exercises."