"Bill Veeck," said Napier, "has gone into action already and booked such stars as Red Skelton, Milton Berle, Martha Raye as well as some top animal acts for our pregame shows. This kind of thing will be of great help to the second-division club. Now..."
Again Fels Napier stopped, seemingly puzzled by the total lack of audience reaction.
"Now," he continued, "as for a third major league. Our research convinces us that there is no reason why it cannot be started immediately along the lines suggested by the mayor's committee in New York. My staff is working with IBM on a player draft that will take sufficient players to man the new league from the rosters of the 16 major league teams and the top minor league organizations. We are at work on some equitable form of player pensions and have six insurance companies cooperating in a crash program there. In the further interest of player morale, I am ordering a blanket 10% raise in salary throughout the three major leagues. Naturally, there will be a bonus plan to reward superior performances by any player."
There was a loud crash at the rear of the ballroom. The waiters quickly carried out a limp body. The man, the treasurer of one of the eastern clubs, later recovered and the writer has promised not to reveal his identity.
Napier went on talking, almost carelessly:
"As for ball parks in the third major league, we will use existing facilities, like Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, pending construction of new plants along the lines of the trotting tracks, with adequate parking facilities, escalators, terrace dining rooms, so on and so forth."
A pin would have sounded like a thunderbolt.
"Oh, yes," said Napier, "one final point about the third major league. Many of you gentlemen may be asking yourselves, 'But can the uniforms be ready by opening day?' Well, gentlemen, I am very happy to tell you that Rawlings, Wilson and Hart Schaffner and Marx have agreed to cooperate in a crash program. Yes, gentlemen, the uniforms will be ready in ample time!"
He looked all around, from left to right, blinking his eyes, straining to hear a reaction that never came. Then he made a gesture toward the wings and the lights went up all over the ballroom.
"Well, that's it, fellows!" cried Napier. "And now, before I throw this meeting open to questions from the floor, what say we all take a powder-room break?"