Umpire Bruce Froemming made the best call of his life at 4 a.m. last Thursday. It was part of an unusual night for Froemming, who had worked a doubleheader at Shea Stadium. After returning to his hotel room, Froemming received a telephone call informing him that his grandmother had died. At 3:45 a.m. he got another emergency call, this one from crew chief John Kibler, summoning him to Kibler's room.
"John was breathing heavily and was talking in a whining tone," Froemming says. "He told me he had terrible pains in his chest and down his left arm. 'Let's wait an hour,' he said. I told John, 'No, I'm calling an ambulance.' The ambulance people said it was good I called right away." Good indeed. Kibler, 54, had suffered a heart attack, but he's recuperating nicely, thanks in no small part to Froemming's quick and correct call.
Because Dave Hostetler was not hitting, Mickey Rivers took over as the Rangers' DH. Mick was quick with his stick—four hits in one game—and with his lip, declaring: "A man of my caliber, that's no big deal."
Pat Screnar of the Dodgers became the first physical therapist ever ejected from a big league game when Home Plate Umpire Billy Williams thumbed him after the L.A. bench got on Williams about a strike call.... David E. LeFevre, who was born in Cleveland and practices law in New York, is trying to wrap up a deal to buy the Indians by July 4. The selling price is said to be between $20 million and $23 million.... The Padres haven't announced it yet, but Manager Dick Williams' contract was extended from 1984 through 1985.
Over the past several years, Fernando Valenzuela and Salome Barojas have been imported from Mexico with spectacular results by the Dodgers and White Sox, respectively. Now the Mets have acquired another highly regarded Mexican League player, Third Baseman Salvador Espinoza, 17. The Mets think so much of Espinoza that they signed a working agreement with his team, the Le�n Bravos, and sent them First Baseman Rick Poe, a .295 hitter in Double A ball last year. Espinoza, who's training in Florida, will be assigned to one of the rookie leagues when they open in June.
The wind-chill index was 6� in Baltimore one night last week when the Orioles played the Rangers. Down in the bullpen, the Baltimore relievers stayed warm by sitting in a team station wagon and turning on the heater. Up in the press box, public-address man Phil Hochberg announced to the fans, "Will the driver of the vehicle with Saskatchewan license plates please report to your sled? The dogs are ready."
Life has been rough for Cleveland's Toby Harrah since the end of last season. Harrah had corrective surgery for a heart murmur, a fire did $100,000 damage to his house, his father was killed in an automobile accident, Harrah was hit by a pitch in his first at bat in spring training and struck again moments later with a ball thrown by an infielder. Now he's out with a broken left hand after being hit by another pitch.
For the Yankees to win, they need goose eggs from Goose Gossage, but through last Sunday he'd been scrambled for nine hits in 5? innings and had an 11.81 ERA.... The Red Sox have grounded into 19 double plays, putting them ahead of their pace of last year, when they hit into a record 171.... Pittsburgh, errorless in its first nine outings, committed four boo-boos in the next four games.... Roy Howell of the Brewers, who'd gone 0 for 35 since last Sept. 30, ended his slump with three hits during a 14-0 drubbing of the Red Sox.... Seattle's Julio Cruz, who in 1981 tied a league mark with 32 consecutive successful steal attempts, now has a streak of 21 over two seasons.... White Sox Pitcher Dennis Lamp was trying to light a match when he ignited Catcher Marc Hill's beard, causing Hill to shave the rest of it off.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]