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Fontana faces trial and a possible jail term after 37 years with the Department of Environmental Conservation. And like the beleaguered subway riders who rallied around Goetz, some New York trout fishermen have proclaimed Fontana a hero and are raising money for his defense.
WOULDN'T HE RATHER HAVE A BUICK?
K.C, THE PERCEPTIVE
A HUB MAN, BY GEORGE
The late columnist and gadfly George Frazier was so fastidious that he used to bring his own hot dogs to ball games. And he was such a Brahmin, in outlook, if not by birth, that he once wrote an account of a Red Sox-Yankee opener for The Boston Globe in Latin. Frazier seldom tired of scolding fellow Bostonians who regarded that city as "the Hub of the Universe."
Frazier, who died in 1974, would have been endlessly amused by David Owen's cover story on satellite TV in the June issue of The Atlantic, the Boston-based monthly. Owen reports that in 1975 HBO began using the Westar satellite to send programs to cable affiliates. Writes Owen: "The first offering was the 'Thrilla in Manila,' the heavyweight-title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Frazier."
A HOMERLESS ODYSSEY
The real suspense in baseball this year is not Pete Rose's assault on Ty Cobb's career-hits record, but Duane Kuiper's inexorable crawl toward 2,000 consecutive at bats without a home run. The San Francisco Giants utility infielder (SI, June 25, 1984) hit his first, last and only round-tripper eight years ago in his 1,382nd time up, and has the lowest ratio of homers to at bats—1 in 3,376—of anybody in major league history with at least 2,500 at bats. Last season he seemed ready to join the somewhat dubious group of non-sluggers with 2,000 straight. But Kuiper batted a meager .200 and was, paradoxically, reduced to pinch-hitting. He finished at 1,992.
The Giants cut the 34-year-old in spring training. However, Kuiper needed 35 days for a 10-year pension, and the team magnanimously put him on the disabled list. On the day of his rerelease, backup shortstop Johnnie LeMaster was traded to Cleveland. "Duane," said Giants manager Jim Davenport, "you'll be suitin' up tonight."
"I don't even have a uniform," Kuiper protested.