BASEBALL—The Chicago White Sox made HAROLD BAINES, an 18-year-old outfielder-first baseman from Saint Michaels, Md., the first player selected in the major league draft, held in New York.
PRO BASKETBALL—Milwaukee made Indiana's KENT BENSON the No. 1 pick in the eight-round NBA college draft. The Bucks had two other first-round picks, UCLA's Marques Johnson and Tennessee's Ernie Grunfeld. Kansas City made Houston's Otis Birdsong the No. 2 pick and later selected a 6'2" guard from Grace-land College named Bruce Jenner.
BOWLING—DENNIS LANE, 29, clinched his first PBA title and $6,000 by defeating Tommy Hudson 222-203 in the final game of the Portland Open.
GOLF—On the strength of his record-breaking 59 in the second round, AL GEIBERGER won the Danny Thomas-Memphis Golf Classic by three shots over Gary Player and Jerry McGee. Geiberger finished with a 15-under-par 273 and picked up $40,000 for his 11th tour victory (page 50).
Japan's CHAKO HIGUCHI shot a final-round 69 for a five-under-par 279 to win the Ladies Professional Golf Association championship by three strokes over Pat Bradley, Judy Rankin and Sandra Post in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. Higuchi earned $22,500 for her first victory on the American tour.
USC's Scott Simpson took his second straight NCAA title, firing a one-over-par 289 to beat Lee Mikles of Arizona State by one stroke at Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y. The University of Houston won its 13th team title, overtaking Oklahoma State 1,197-1,205.
HARNESS RACING—NAT LOBELL ($7.40) won the $100,000 Battle of Brandywine when B.G.'s Bunny, first across the finish line in the one-mile pace, was disqualified for interference and placed second.
HORSE RACING—SEATTLE SLEW ($2.80) became the first undefeated horse ever to win the Triple Crown, coasting to a four-length victory over Run Dusty Run in the 109th running of the Belmont Stakes, With Jean Cruguet in the saddle. Slew covered the mile and a half in 2:29[3/5] (page 16).
HYDROPLANING—Defending national champion BILL MUNCEY beat Tom Sheehy by four seconds in the championship heat to win his sixth President's Cup title on the Potomac River in Washington. D.C. Muncey, who drove an Atlas Van Lines Unlimited, averaged 101.695 mph over the 37½-mile course.
MOTOR SPORTS—Belgian JACKY ICKX drove his Porsche 936 from the 41st starting position to win his third straight Le Mans 24 Hours. Ickx, whose co-drivers were Jurgen Barth and Hurley Haywood, set a record of 141.36 mph for one 8.3-mile lap.
SOCCER—Relegated to the bench last season. Kyle Rote Jr. seems to be regaining the form that made him the best-known American in the game. Rote had two goals in Dallas' 3-2 win over Toronto and thus became the Tornado's alltime leading scorer. Two nights later, Rote had three goals as Dallas topped Hawaii 5-3 and moved past Los Angeles for the Southern Division lead. The New York Cosmos opened up a nine-point lead in the East, beating Fort Lauderdale 3-0 as the high-priced trio of Pelé, Giorgio Chinaglia and Franz Beckenbauer each contributed a goal, and then edging Minnesota 2-1 in the NASL shootout.
TENNIS—WTT: The largest crowd (13,675) in league history watched Phoenix beat New York 27-24 in Madison Square Garden. Chris Evert, top women's singles player with a .601 winning percentage, beat Billie Jean King 6-3 and then combined with Kristien Shaw to beat King and Virginia Wade 6-4. But the Apples (19-5) bobbed back to take their next three matches and remain tied with Boston (18-4) in the East. Lobsters Martina Navratilova and Greer Stevens stretched their undefeated doubles string to 20, one short of the league record. In the West, the Racquets added a 30-19 victory over Cleveland to their win in New York and carried a 2½-game lead over Golden Gate into the three-week Wimbledon break.
TRACK & FIELD—EDWIN MOSES broke his world record in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 47.45 seconds at the 89th annual AAU championships in Los Angeles, .19 second better than his 1976 Olympic mark. Other outstanding performances included DWIGHT STONES' 7'6¼" high jump, MILAN TIFF's wind-aided 57'1¼" victory in the triple jump, and STEVE SCOTT'S 3:37.3 for the 1,500 meters (page 24).
VOLLEYBALL—The IVA launched its third season with seven teams, one more than last year. Poland's Ed Skorek, who led his country to a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics, spurred the El Paso/Juarez Sol past the Phoenix Heat 12-6, 12-4, 17-15. Phoenix got off to a distinctly unhot start with three straight losses. Player-Coach Dodge Parker of the Orange County Stars, the only team with no foreign players, directed his team to a resounding 12-1, 12-9, 12-9 win over the defending champion San Diego Breakers.
MILEPOSTS—ELECTED: ALEX DELVECCHIO, 75, recently deposed coach and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, to hockey's Hall of Fame. Delvecchio played 23 years with the Red Wings as a center, scoring 456 goals and 825 assists.
MARRIED: BILL RUSSELL, 43, former Boston Celtics star and Seattle SuperSonics coach and general manager, to Didi Anstett, 29, Miss USA in 1968; at Mercer Island, Wash.
NAMED: JIM KENSIL, 46, as president of the New York Jets. Kensil, who had been executive director of the NFL since 1968, succeeds LEON HESS, who will become chairman of the board.
SOLD: The NHL's CLEVELAND BARONS, formerly located in California's Bay Area, for the sixth time in their troubled 10-year history, to a group headed by Sanford Greenberg and George Gund III.
SYNDICATED: OIL BURNER, who matched the world pacing record for the mile at 1:54[4/5] as a 3-year-old in 1976, for $2.7 million. Nero—at $3.6 million—is the only pacer ever syndicated for more.
WON: By University of Maryland basketball Coach Lefty Driesell, the recruiting battle for ALBERT KING (SI. Feb. 7, 1977), the 6'6" forward from Brooklyn's Fort Hamilton High who averaged 38 points and 20 rebounds per game this season and was rated the top high school basketball player in the country.
DIED: DICK (Turk) FARRELL, 43, a National League pitcher for Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Houston from 1956-69; in a head-on automobile collision; in Great Yarmouth, England. Farrell's career record was 106-111.
DIED: RODNEY BOBICK, 25, heavyweight boxer; in a car accident; near Bowlus, Minn. Bobick, younger brother of Duane, had a professional record of 38-7.