A red-faced National League official jumped to his feet and fairly screamed: "The idea of paying for space in newspapers and magazines and for time on television could only come from a warped mind! Give sportswriters presents at Christmastime, yes! Go as high as $50 gift certificates, like the Yankees do—but anything more than that is criminal and suicidal! I say pooh! Pooh, pooh, pooh!"
Rickey lashed out with his cane and the man fell back in his chair.
A voice groaned, "How, Branch! In the name of heaven, how do we get rid of Fels Napier?"
"We have one chance," growled Rickey, "and one man capable of saving us from the machinations of this madman. He is the man who saved us from the sinister probings of a committee of the United States Senate. He is our only hope—and there he sits!"
Rickey thrust out his cane and indicated Casey Stengel, who sat picking his teeth.
The baseball men jumped to their feet, eyes bright, clenched fists raised, waiting breathlessly.
Rickey held his cane high like a charging Cossack. "Will you do it, Charles Stengel! Will you speak for us! Will you save baseball from the direst threat the game we love has ever faced! What say you, Charles Stengel?"
Stengel tossed away his toothpick, hitched up his trousers and walked to the door. With his hand on the knob he turned and winked broadly.
A mighty cheer went up from the delegates to the Napier convention as Old Casey Stengel opened the door and walked into the Grand Ballroom, where Commissioner Fels Napier waited to meet with Organized Baseball's official spokesman—alone.
When the word spread to the Men's Bar of the Waldorf that Casey Stengel and Fels Napier were meeting behind closed doors, there was a rush of newspaper, magazine, radio and television people to the corridors outside the Grand Ballroom. They were in for a long wait. It was almost two hours later when the doors of the Grand Ballroom swung open and Casey Stengel strolled out alone.