Dodger left-hander Jerry Reuss, now 9-2, made a rapid return to earth after his near- perfect game against San Francisco, losing his very next start Tuesday night. His no-hitter is still the talk of the majors, though, coming as it does more than a year after Houston's Ken Forsch last turned the trick, in April 1979 .
The only thing that prevented Reuss from nailing down a perfect performance was shortstop Bill Russell's first-inning throwing error, which allowed Jack Clark to reach first base. After that the bases remained empty as Reuss retired 25 consecutive batters.
An eyewitness to this magnificent effort was Sandy Koufax, a Dodger coach and the last National Leaguer to pitch a perfect game (Sept. 9, 1965, against the Cubs). Catfish Hunter, who retired at the end of last season, owns the most recent perfect game in the majors, having handcuffed the Minnesota Twins on May 8, 1968. More cards coming up
Up until now, the Topps Chewing Gum Company of Brooklyn has virtually had the , however, as the result of a court ruling that judged Topps to be unfairly monopolizing the market.
Receiving a nominal $3 damage award in its suit against Topps was the Fleer Corporation of Philadelphia. the company, which once attempted to sell cards with a cookie, will get the first crack at a new licensing agreement with the Major League Baseball Player's Association. for the past 14 years, Topps has had virtually every big-league player under exclusive contract.