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+ saquality of thelr new first baseman, But this information may THE SPORT SCENE By . BILL RIVES Sports Editor of The News SANFORD, Fla--WHEN THE Dallas Eagles trot onto the fleld April 14 to meet Fort Worth Jn the "Yexas League opener, it $s likely that the eyes of 90 per cent of the spectators will move automatically to the figure of a. young Negro named William Lee McCovey sort of besebaling Wilt the Stilt, Junior grade He stands 6 feet 4 and he has the same sort of lank, knobby frame that Wilt Chamberlain, the great T-loot Kansas basketbelt player, has. Willie bas long arms and legs, natural grace and ‘athletic abllity, and can whip @ bat into a ball with tremendous power, getting every one of his 190 pounds into the swing, ' aaccomsuegmemmen Mocovey—he pronounces it with a long FO sound, as though It were spelled Mc- ECoavey—is the most lalkedot player in Rhe big minor league tralning camp here hich 49 run by the New York Glants, The rookle first baseman's homer: Zuitting inspires most of the conversa, Ztlon. But he’s a good fielder, too, and is earning the tricks of the baseball trade fast, This happy combinatlon has brought im a prediction from the Giants’ minor. Muleague managers and scouts: Willie’s a ajor league prospect. ' McCovey's only a kid, 19 years old, REE DMRvho finished the 10th grade in Mobile, ene ‘Ala, and then tured to baseball for a BILL RIVES, living. _ ‘This Is his third year in the game and he’s making a big " fump, trom Class B baseball in the Carolina League to the ’ Texas League's Class AA. * ‘There 43 no doubt in the mind of Mgr, Salty Parker regarding “Willie's ability to make ‘the grade, Parker had McCovey at Dan- Ville, Va. last year and thus has a thorough background on the * boy's ability and potential. “Everybody in camp thinks he's a mafor league prospect,” sald * Salty, “It he isn’t, X don't know who Is.” S$ Sight unseen, it's difficult for Dallas fans to visualize the ‘help: Bill White, the Eagles’ star first baseman of 1955, who went , to the Giants and Js now in military service, started his career sat Danville. Parker sald “The fans at Danville tald ma that while White Was & more spectacular ball player, that McCovey, at the end of the season, was better than White had been,” One Look, and ‘Stretch’? Came to Mind McCovey won a niclmame within minutes after he first are rived in the Glants’ camp here two springs ago, The other rookies took one look at his elastic frame, and tagged him “Stretch.” It's been Stretch ever since. : Stretch §s a quiet, unassuming, polite Negro, His easy-going manner has sometimes been confused with symptoms of inertia, ‘And Stretch 1s not the hollerin' kind of player, perhaps because he hasn't gained full confidence yet in his ability, THe was saying the other day that he thought folks sometimes fnlsunderstood him. Talking of things he had learned and of other things he was trying to master, Stretch said: f “Lot of 'em tell me I'm.» .” He began fumbling for the tword, “They tell me I'm lackadalsy . . » lacka. . ." He aban- “doned the sixbit word, “You know . » » They say I'm not pushin’ _ hard enough. “But that's just my ways, I guess. “But I'm tryin’ to talk it up more, now, + "§dLf, you don’t talk your way on base.’ "Stretch prefers to do his talking with his bat. He has been fully warned, however, that hls smoking mace {a likely to cool down a bit in the big Texas Lague parks and against the normal excellence of Texas League pitching. That is, it’s likely to cool off s0 far as his home run production js concerned, McCovey bats (and throws) lefthanded, That's fine for a future Polo Grounds inhabltant but it's tough for a player in the Texas League, and particularly in the Dallas park, “I know about that being a right-hand hitter's league,” sald Stretch, “And Ray Murray (catcher) told me I might hit some ont of that Dallas park but not to be disappointed. And Mickey Sullivan (outtielder) told me Bill White (who also batted left. handed) only hit about seven out of the Dallas park.” Although McCovey has been whamming the ball out of the Florida lots all spring, Mgr. Parker insists the Negro first base- man isn’t a home-run hitter, “He's a line-dzive hitter, that’s what he [s," sald Salty, “I've pen teling him to concentrate on meeting the ball, not trying to t. And Stretch McCovey is trying to follow Salty's advice, “Ie told me that if I just met the ball, I'd get my share of home runs and bat better, too,"’ There are times, of course, when a player has to go for the home run, Stretch has been doing a good job of that, too, Like last Saturday, Me came up with two out and a man on, jn the 10th inning, Dallas and Minneapolis were ticd at 7-7, McCovey Imocked the ball aver the right-center field fence to win the game,