Fred Valentine of Washington gets a lot of kicks Out of playing a card game called pluck, which he says "is a lot like bridge and whist. We play it most usually in the clubhouse." In a sense, pluck has made Valentine a big league outfielder. He needed all die fortitude he could find during the nine long years he played in the minors. There were days when catcalling rednecks yelled "Hey, see those watermelons on second base, fast boy. Go get 'em." But fans in Wilson, N.C. honored Valentine one night, and when they did the general manager of the rival Greensboro asked for permission to present the Most Valuable Player award to Fred. "He knew what I had gone through." Valentine says now, "and in his speech he said that some of die punishment I had taken had been inhuman." Valentine did not like the hardships of the minors, but in his opinion they simply made him enjoy life in the big leagues just that much more. And never has he enjoyed himself more than last week, when he batted .500 and accounted for 11 runs. Among his 15 hits were four doubles, a triple and two home runs. The outburst moved Valentine up to sixth place among the league's top hitters with a .320 average. His hitting was also largely responsible for three Washington victories. Hitting like this has given Valentine a home in the majors and a chance to play pluck in the clubhouse.