"I don't like fighting, period. I don't want Ali to be hurt. I don't want George to be hurt. I won't cheer for one or the other."
Belinda expresses her views with considerable self-assurance. She is, after all, something of a karate student herself.
As pigeons go, Hot Rod is not your everyday cooer content to sit on the hat of General Sherman. His thing is motorcycles. Show him one gunning along the roads of Prince George County, Va. and instantly he is flying formation. He joined cyclist George Eberhardt one day this June and has been a fairly constant companion ever since.
"He's a crazy bird," Eberhardt says of the purple and white demon. "Sometimes he flies under the handlebars and heads straight for oncoming cars at 45 miles an hour! He pulls up just before getting killed. Other times he flies right alongside, eyeball to eyeball, never taking his beady red eyes off you."
There are some things Hot Rod will not do. He will not follow Eberhardt when he takes his car instead of the cycle, and there are certain cyclists he will not follow. Probably not dicey enough.
ERASING AN ASTERISK
The greatest base stealer of all time is not Lou Brock or Ty Cobb but William R. Hamilton, better known as Billy. You could look it up, as James Thurber once wrote.
But could you? The Book of Baseball Records credits Hamilton, who played from 1888 to 1901 for Kansas City, Philadelphia and Boston, with 937 stolen bases. The book does not tell how the bases were stolen. Before 1898, a player earned a steal not only in the traditional way but also by taking an extra base on a hit—i.e., reaching third from first on a single—or on an out, a fly ball for instance.
We will never know how many of those other steals Hamilton was credited with, but maybe Brock will make the whole business academic. During the last 10 years he has averaged 67 steals a season, including the record-smashing 118 of this year. Should he maintain the pace, and at 35 he shows no signs of slowing down, he will slip by Hamilton sometime in August of 1977, five months after passing Cobb's modern record of 892.