TH-E SUMMERi DAILY
'Tuesday, July 24, 1973 "'
Hank hits Kuhn for '700' silence
By KEN RAPPOPORT
KANSAS CITY (i)-Hank Aaron, in a
combative mood on the eve of the 44th
All-Star game, took on the commissioner
of baseball and the Fall of Fame yester-
The Atlanta Braves' slugger, speaking
at a news conference at Royals Stadium,
first expressed his displeasure about what
he considered a snub from Commissioner-
"I DIDN'T RECEIVE a telegram from
the commissioner when I hit my 700th
home run," said Aaron. "National League
President Chub Feeney sent me a tele-
gram after I hit it. I would think that the
commissioner would send one too."
Aaron was reminded by a reporter that
it wasn't common for a man to hit 700
And Aaron, who's attempting to eclipse
Babe Ruth's career record of 714, an-
swered with a smile: "I know, that's why
the commissioner should have sent the
KUHN, INFORMED OF Aaron's com-
ments while in Kansas City for today's
All-Star game, had this reaction: "I'm
certainly sorry that Henry Aaron was
disappointed as I am sure he knows I am
one of his biggest rooters. I want to lead
the baseball celebration when he hits 714
The Atlanta star also revealed that he
might not send the 700th home run ball to
the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
He said he had second thoughts about it
because of what he considered past snubs
by the Hall.
"I sent the Hall my 500th home run ball
and my 600th home run ball and they
never even mentioned it in their bro-
chure," said Aaron. "I don't know if I'll
let them have this one. I have to think
THE BASEBALL, returned to Aaron
after he hit it into the left field seats at
Atlanta Stadium Saturday, currently rests
in "a safe," said Hammerin' Hank.
Aaron said he sent the bat with which
he slugged No. 700 to Louisville, apparently
for promotional use by the Louisville
Aaron, who claimed he's faced little
pressure trying to break Ruth's record,
also took time to talk about the President
of the United States and Mrs. Babe Ruth,
WHEN ASKED IF President Nixon sent
him a telegram after he hit his 700th home
run, he said, "No. But I guess he has
other things to think about these days."
Aaron also said he had been slightly
disturbed about newspaper stories re-
garding Mrs. Ruth.
"From what I've read, it seems she
feels I've been trying to take some of the
glory away from her husband by going
after the home run record," said Aaron.
"I haven't spoken to her-but I can tell
her it's not true.
I'D NEVER TRY to take the glory away
from Babe Ruth. To me he was one of
the greatest players who ever lived."
Meanwhile, Feeney announced the selec-
tion of Aaron as the NL's Players of the
Week for July 16-22.
44th All-Star clash ton ite
By CHARLES BLOOM
Because the junior circuit has power,
youth and resilience on its side, it should
emerge from today's 44th playing of base-
ball's mid-season classic victorious. But
the victory could be accomplished much
easier if the American League All-Star
selections had been handled properly.
To begin, too many of the league's top
players have been left off the squad, in.
cluding two of the circuit's better arms
and its leading hitter. Tops on that list is
New York's Ron Blomberg, a .400 hitter
for most of the year and Detroit's John
Hiller, the only reason the Tigers are
still alive in the AL East.
BOTH SQUADS WERE expanded to 29
players late last week and the official
reason has yet to be offered. But perhaps
the expansion was necessitated by the ab-
sence of certain players. Nolan Ryan,
the first pitcher in two decades to hurl
two no-hitters in one season, was that
extra man in the A. L. and manager Dick
Williams was hard pressed to explain why
the strikeout king was left off the origi-
'The answer may lie in just WHO se-
lected the American League contingent.
Dick -Williams is manager of the Oak-
land A's whose owner is the infamous
Charles 0. Finley. It may just be that
Finley had his Kelly Green and Gold hand
in the selection. Why for example is Rol-
lie Fingers on the staff while pitchers like,
Hiller, Joe Coleman of Kansas City's Paul
Splittorff are not? Why should Cleveland's
Buddy Bell hold down the spot reserved
for the lowly Indians when the Tribe's
best hitter George "Maybe I Will and
Maybe I Won't' Hendrick (20 HR) is
snubbed? Is it because Hendrick is a for-
mer A who did not get along with the
club's establishment? Why is Oakland's
Jim Hunter slated to start when Williams
does not like to use his own players, es-
WILLIAMS HAS HAD no comment but
it is interesting to speculate on the influ-
ence Finley or, for that matter, any other
owner has had on the classic. But here
are some suggested changes in the roster:
* Ron Blomberg in place of first sacker
Jim Spencer, Texas.
* Ken Suarez, Catcher of Texas, in
place of Bill Freehan.
* Chicago's Bill Melton at the-hot cor-
ner instead of Sal Bando of Oakland.
* George Hendrick in the outfield in
place of Buddy Bell.
* John Hiller in place of. Rollie Fing-
But these changes are besides the point.
Predicted score: Americans 5, Nationals
By DAN BORUS
?aiy saports commentary
The contention that the American
League has finally surpassed the National
Leagie in quality of play and will there-
fore capture today's All-Star Game is as
plausible as the contention that Richard
Nixon was unaware of the Watergate
covernp. As Sen. Sam said, "It takes a
powerful imagination to belim'e it."
Oh true, the juiior circuit has .at least
a baker's dozen of truly exciting ball-
players: Otis, Murcer, Mayberry, etc.
But excitement doesn't always wi ball
games, even All-Star classics in snazzy
new stadia. Consistency does. And Consis-
tency is- the National League's middle
iame. Of the last 15, 13 contests have been
chalked up in the National's win column.
Co mmenta ry
And that consistency is due, in part, to
that little extra hustle a National-Leaguer
applies to his game. Whether it's Pete
Rose decking Ray Fosse or a Billy Wil-
liams making a ninth innyig daring dash
tothird on a Manny Sanguillen pop single
to left or a Joe Morgan single in the
tenth, that little extra bit of class always
turns the tide for the senior circuit.
Much has been made about the Ameri-
can League's superiority in the hurling de-
partment, but a quick look at the re-
spective staff ERA's shows that BOTH
squads possess a 2.57 mark. And, it should
be recalled that four of the All-Star
American League moundsmen are ex-
National Leaguers who just didn't make
thu cream of the crop in the tougher
league. They don't have many big winners
in the National League, but then again
they can also hit fastballs in that league.
Though the Nationals, led by two first
basemen who play the outfield, have a
margin of 72 home runs over their base-
ball counterparts, the Nationals should
have little trouble executing that supreme
AP Photo of National League weapons, the hit and
run. The Junior circuit may have speed,
but it doesn't have Bobby' Bo"s, Cesar
Cedeno, and Joe Morgan. Those are the
fellows who have blazed ruts in the Na-
y's start- tional League basepaths, and whose
ew breed ubiquitous presence on the sacks is simply
Cardinals When the situation was reversed and
en for the the American was the superior loop, the
the staff. immortal Babe sneered that the National
was "a nickel curve" league. But that was
and hence before Phase IV. Today the league is like
five million in tax free municipal bonds.
Mound rivals meet the press
CATFISH HUNTER (left) of Oakland and Rick Wise of St. Louis, toda
ing All-Star hurlers, model some classy shirts, popular with baseball's n
of ball players. Wise, 11-5 on the year and the pitcher who kept the
afloat in the rough going, is the most rested of NL hurlers and was chose
starting nod for that reason, despite have the highest ERA (3.05) on
Hunter, 15-3, has always been a favorite of his manager Dick Williams a
got the nod.