Several hundred Puerto Ricans, including his family, flew to PITTSBURGH for Roberto Clemente Night at Three Rivers Stadium. The rest of his countrymen were able to watch the proceedings via satellite telecast. Clemente stood before a crowd of 43,000 to receive numerous gifts, and promised his cheering admirers: "I'll never wear any uniform other than a Pirate uniform." Then he stepped to the plate, collected two hits and made two circus catches in right field. But the best was still to come. Two days later, against the Astros, he hit three consecutive homers—one a grand slam. All year Leo Durocher has placed the CHICAGO fortunes on the shoulders of his ailing catcher, Randy Hundley. "If Hundley hadn't been injured," Leo lamented, "the Cubs would be right there." Hundley, recuperated from his injury, returned to the lineup and the Cubs responded according to Leo's script. Cub pitchers had four consecutive complete games, allowed only three earned runs in 36 innings and handed the Reds their first shutout of the year. "I guess this gives us California," announced Manager Frank Lucchesi after PHILADELPHIA completed a road trip against the Giants, Padres and Dodgers with nine wins and only two losses. NEW YORK showed some of their old magic. Tommie Agee stole home in the 10th inning to beat the Dodgers, and the next day pinch-hitter Dave Marshall was sent up to bunt, fouled off two pitches and then hit the game-winning homer. ST. LOUIS held a 35-minute players-only meeting before Saturday's game at Cincinnati and then lost its eighth straight. MONTREAL returned to Jarry Park for a 16-game home stand and delirious fans were waiting. A capacity crowd of 28,000 appeared for a doubleheader despite record-high temperatures. Canadian attendance is right up there with the thermometer—it's risen by more than 70,000.
PITT 55-45 NY 52-45 CHI 50-48 PHIL 45-51 MONT 42-57 ST. L 41-57
August 2, 1970
It was a rare moment of excitement for the followers of the Padres, the team with the worst record in the league, SAN DIEGO Pitcher Clay Kirby, who lost 20 games in his rookie season, was losing again. This time, however, it appeared to be a glorious defeat. Clay had pitched eight innings of hit-less ball—though he was down 1-0 to the Mets thanks to two first-inning walks, two stolen bases and a scoring grounder. When it came his turn to bat with two out and none on in the eighth, Manager Preston Gomez removed the 22-year-old righthander for a pinch hitter, Clarence Gaston, who proceeded to strike out. The crowd of 10,373 at San Diego Stadium nearly rioted, and one of its members charged the Padre dugout in search of Gomez. "I knew the fans would be upset, but I play to win," explained the unruffled manager. Earlier in the week Bill Singer of LOS ANGELES had no-hit the Phils. It was a remarkable achievement for Singer—who is now nicknamed "No-No"—because after a brilliant start this season he had been sidelined by hepatitis, an illness that normally requires six months to shake. Like Joe Pepitone (page 42), Jim Wynn is unhappy in HOUSTON. He also believes that the Astros have too many rules, and he expressed his desire to be traded. The team, not yet suffering from the spreading discontent, won four straight, ATLANTA Manager Luman Harris admitted he "threw a fit" in the clubhouse after an 11-1 loss to the Cubs. "I'd tried everything else," he said, "so I decided to throw a fit and see what happened." The next day the Braves responded behind Phil Niekro with a 9-0 win. Johnny Bench took the home-run lead from CINCINNATI teammate Tony Perez in their chase after Roger Maris' asterisk. Bench hit three in a row against the Cardinals in one game and now has 33 to Perez' 30. SAN FRANCISCO was a wounded club. Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Dick Dietz all sat out a series with the Phillies.
CIN 70-30 LA 56-41 ATL 48-51 SF 46-50 HOU 45-54 SD 40-61
"My spring training is over," said Denny McLain after he defeated the Twins for his first victory in six starts. Four days later McLain won again, this time against the White Sox. "We can still win the pennant with me winning again," he said. But DETROIT found solace only in McLain's victories. The Tigers lost all their other games of the week and fell 6½ games behind BALTIMORE. Catcher Elrod Hendricks hit the first grand-slam homer of his major league career and batted in six runs in a 14-5 win over the White Sox. Then the Orioles moved into Kansas City for a rest. As usual, the Orioles swept the Royals—they have won 20 straight against the expansion team. Sam McDowell of CLEVELAND won his 15th game last week but still found cause for complaint. "If we were in the West we'd be fighting for the lead," he said. "That's right. Fighting for the lead." BOSTON embarked on its longest road trip of the season and proceeded to lose twice to Milwaukee. Only Carl Yastrzemski was hitting well, boosting his average to .324. Jim Lonborg, the other Red Sox superhero three seasons ago, was sent down to Louisville. "Jim has a deep-rooted muscular condition in his right arm," Trainer Buddy LeRoux explained. "He's had a lot of cortisone and you can only do so much. After that you need a big assist from Mother Nature." One of nature's largest products, Frank Howard, had another booming week for WASHINGTON. He hit four homers to raise his total to 28. One was a 495-footer against the Angels. With a week's batting average of .183, NEW YORK continued to drop from contention.
BALT 62-37 DET 55-43 NY 51-46 BOS 50-47 CLEV 47-52 WASH 45-53
Although MILWAUKEE trailed the Twins by 27 games at the end of the week, there was some hope for the young franchise. Tommy Harper was hitting .316, Pitcher Lew Krausse had a six-game winning streak going and a mascot named Bernie Brewer was still in his house trailer atop the scoreboard in County Stadium. Bernie was in his second week in his strange home and the crowds seemed to take to him even though Bernie declared that he really preferred football to baseball and, well, he didn't like beer much at all. Undaunted by the team's opinionated mascot, the hyperactive Brewer front office staged an oldtimer's game, despite the fact that the club is less than two years old. The KANSAS CITY management planned to pass out free rabbits' feet to the crowd in the opening game of the Royals' series with Baltimore—a team it hasn't beaten in more than a year. But Coach Harry Dunlop got an advance supply and passed rabbits' feet out to the team before the final game with the Tigers. Pitcher Jim Rooker hung his around his neck and proceeded to snap the Royals' six-game losing streak. The brightest spot in another dismal week for last-place CHICAGO was two complete-game victories from Tommy John. Using his fat "bottle bat," John collected his 10th hit of the year, along with his ninth victory. "People can't believe the bat," he said. "They come up and stare at it." The MINNESOTA (page 14) starters allowed just four runs between them, but Andy Messersmith, the ace pitcher of the CALIFORNIA staff a year ago, left the starting rotation for his second examination of the season. His replacement is young Greg Garrett, a flake known to his teammates as Papa Cass. Reggie Jackson was sent down to the seventh spot in the OAKLAND lineup. "If the man says I bat seventh, I bat seventh," Reggie conceded.
MINN 60-33 CAL 58-41 OAK 54-44 KC 36-63 MIL 36-63 CHI 35-67