TONIGHT: All-time records are daily fact of life for Evans, Brett, Gibson

June 13, 1991|By Josie Karp | Josie Karp,Evening Sun Staff

Between them, they have more than 46 years of major-leagu service. After so many years it seems each day brings the Orioles' Dwight Evans, and the Royals' George Brett and Kirk Gibson the possibility of reaching a new milestone. Tonight (7:35, HTS), with the Orioles attempting to avert a series sweep, is no different.

At 39 and in his 19th full major-league season, Evans is the elder statesman of the group. He is the active major-league leader in walks, needing only seven more to tie Reggie Jackson for 21st on the all-time list. Evans' next home run will be his 383rd, giving him sole possession of 29th place on the all-time list.

Evans, however, leaves the monitoring of his achievements to others. "I'm not a statistician," he said. "I don't even think about it. The only thing I read, basically, is what I've done against that pitcher tonight, because you can't really play and say, 'Well, if I do this, I'm going to pass this guy, and if I do that . . . ' You can't do that. That's the selfish way to play."

Brett, whose .329 batting average led the American League last year, needs only five hits to overtake Al Oliver for 35th on the all-time list. He needs only 74 more total bases to move into 24th place on the all-time list, right behind Roberto Clemente and Mickey Mantle.

Gibson, who gained a solid reputation in Detroit, then catapulted himself into living-legend status as a Dodger World Series hero, needs only one home run to become the 13th member of the 200 home run, 200 stolen base club. It would be fitting for Gibson to achieve that at Memorial Stadium, where he hit his first big-league home run, off Steve Stone, on Sept. 25, 1979.

Two relative youngsters take the mound with Roy Smith (3-0, 3.10 ERA) opposing Kansas City's Kevin Appier (3-7, 3.84).

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