As expected, Baltimore Oriole shortstop Cal Ripken (SI, June 18) extended his consecutive-game streak to 1,308 last week to pass Everett Scott and move into second place, behind Lou Gehrig, on the alltime list. For all the attention given Ripken, however, it's been overlooked that Scott was perhaps history's unlikeliest iron man: a 5'8" shortstop who by his account never weighed more than 138 pounds in 13 big league seasons with the Red Sox, Yankees (whom he captained from 1922 to '25), Senators, White Sox and Reds. Scott batted only .249 for his career but was an excellent fielder known for his accurate arm. Indeed, he was also one of the nation's top bowlers.
Scott began his streak in 1916 while with the Red Sox and four years later surpassed the record of 577 straight games, set by Brooklyn shortstop George Pinckney between 1885 and '90. Scott's streak ended May 6,1925, when Yankee manager Miller Huggins replaced him with Pee Wee Wanninger. Coincidentally, on June 1, 1925, Gehrig pinch-hit for Wanninger to launch his 2,130-game streak.
Considering all the speculation lately about whether Ripken might perform better if he took a few games off, Scott's words from 1937 seem timely: "I don't know what made me stay in there, and I doubt if Gehrig knows why he does it, either. I played when I should have been on the bench. So I punished myself and probably handicapped my team."
A COSTLY SEASON
Righthanded pitcher Floyd French went 7-2 this spring for Federal Way (Wash.) High and even tossed a six-inning no-hitter. But what his mother, Linda, will remember most about the season is that it cost more than $27,000 in legal fees. She ran up the bill while getting Floyd, a fifth-year senior, an extra year of eligibility.
Under regulations of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA), high school athletes receive only four years of eligibility unless they are unable to graduate in four years "due to circumstances beyond their control." The Frenches maintained that Floyd, who repeated his junior year because of academic and personal difficulties brought about in part by a death in his family, met that stipulation, but the WIAA disagreed. Only after months of legal wrangling did the WIAA rule in March that Floyd could play ball this year.
"After a while I stopped opening the lawyers' bills," says Linda French, a single parent who earns $25,000 a year as a buyer for Boeing. "I wasn't going to let the expense stop me." The law firm that represented the Frenches has agreed to accept payments of $50 a month, so Linda French should finish paying for her son's senior season in about 45 years.
HERE'S HOW IT'S DONE, GUYS
When Kentucky basketball Coach Rick Pitino Announced last Month that he wanted to hire a woman to replace departing assistant coach Ralph Willard, many people assumed it was a publicity stunt. But Pitino insisted he was serious, saying that a female assistant could be especially effective in talking to the mothers of prospective recruits. To offset criticism that he was really only looking for a token, Pitino promised that the new coach would also be involved in instructing players in technique and in drawing up X's and O's.
Last week Pitino, true to his word, hired a woman assistant: Bernadette Locke, 31, a former All-America guard at Georgia and an assistant coach with the highly successful Bulldog women's team for the last five seasons. Locke, who as a so-called volunteer assistant won't be paid by the university but will earn an undisclosed salary as a director of Pitino's summer camps, is the first woman to coach in a men's Division I basketball program.