Sipping sweet iced tea, sitting in his widow's living room, I was a little nervous, knowing that Brown would not approve of my presence. I also felt a little of my residual anger toward him, something I had not felt in six years. Stumbling, I'm sure, I asked her why her husband dismissed me without getting to know me. "He thought you didn't deserve the job," she answered, "that you hadn't come up through the ranks." Her voice was not cold, just truthful. "Bill could be arrogant and judgmental. But he was totally committed to his principles, to what he thought was right. He was honorable."
Shortly before his death Brown wrote his wife a letter saying that while his sickness was tragic, it would have been a far greater tragedy had they never met, and had Mallory never been born.
Some weeks after he died, his widow flew down to Florida with his ashes in an urn. It was the dog days of the baseball season, and the Phillies were heading for another crummy finish. The team's next spring training would be the first without Brown in 12 years. Cassidy went to a beach in Clearwater, alone, on a muggy, gray, early-autumn day. She opened the urn and set the dust free, sent it sailing into the hot breeze off the Gulf of Mexico. And then Bill Brown was gone. If he was happy anywhere, that was the place.