Memo to major league pitchers: Want to go into the record book with a no-hit game? Try the New York Mets.
The Mets have obliged six pitchers over the years. Here's the list:
--June 30, 1962, Sandy Koufax, Dodgers, 5-0.
--June 21, 1964, Jim Bunning, Philadelphia, 6-0 (perfect game).
--Sept. 20, 1969, Bob Moose, Pittsburgh, 4-0.
--Oct. 2, 1972, Bill Stoneman, Montreal, 7-0.
--Aug. 24, 1975, Ed Halicki, San Francisco, 6-0.
--And, Thursday, Darryl Kile, Houston, 7-1.
Trivia time: Excluding Washington and USC, which is the last Pacific 10 school to be voted No. 1 in a final poll?
No Mr. Nice Guy: Nolan Ryan credits his longevity in baseball in part to his mental toughness.
"I don't like this camaraderie thing," Ryan told Peter Gammons of the Boston Globe. "Opposing players sometimes think I'm not friendly. But I don't want to know anyone I play against. I don't want to have any feelings for them, because they're paid to beat me."
From the penthouse to . . . Steve Balboni, who has spent the last three seasons with the 89ers, the Texas Rangers' triple-A franchise in Oklahoma City, said that the differences in the major and minor leagues are like night and day.
"You get used to the easy life up there and it's hard to readjust," he said. "It was great going up, but after getting used to it, it's harder playing in the minors."
Balboni was recently recalled by the Rangers and is enjoying the "easy life" he missed so much.
High finance: Columnist Art Spander of the San Francisco Examiner writes that money has become the bottom line in the NFL:
"The Seattle Seahawks have a rookie quarterback whose contract is so complex, it's reportedly the second item to be discussed at the Mideast peace talks.
"Let's see, the Gaza Strip, then Rick Mirer's illegal incentive clauses."
Career twist: From Blackie Sherrod of the Dallas Morning News: "Roberto Duran got it all backward. At 42, he keeps boxing when people want him to quit. At 29, against Ray Leonard, he quit when people wanted him to keep boxing."
Who's counting?: Philadelphia Phillie pitcher Larry Andersen describes himself as a career .364 hitter--with hits in four of 11 National League seasons.
Is that all?: Fran Tarkenton, after his record for NFL rushing yardage by a quarterback had been surpassed by Randall Cunningham:
"The only difference between Randall and me is that I was slow but small, whereas he is big but fast."
Trivia answer: UCLA, in 1954, in the United Press International poll.
Quotebook: Cincinnati catcher Joe Oliver after St. Louis had lost the first game of a doubleheader, 14-13, and won the second game, 15-2: "I couldn't sleep. I quit counting sheep and counted Cardinals."