Morris was 39 years old—with 10 wins by August—when Cleveland released him in '94. He squeezed in his starts that year between visits to a wheat and barley farm he had purchased in Montana after the '91 World Series. He lost $1 million that year. He made money with a bumper crop the next year, the only year of sufficient rain. He lost money for several more years until he sold the farm.
"No matter how well you fertilized, how well you prepped the fields, you had to rely on Mother Nature," Arvid says.
It is not in Morris's blood to rely on anyone or anything. He did not make many friends in the game. He received one job offer in baseball after retiring: $50,000 to be a coach in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in the Toronto minor league system. He passed on it. Last season Detroit invited him to spring training as a special instructor to work with its pitchers. He saw firsthand how much the game has changed. "I expected them to care like I care," he says, "and they didn't."
Though he still lives in the Minneapolis area, Morris is mostly associated with Detroit—this season he will work 40 Tigers games as a broadcaster. He never pitched again for the Twins after that Game 7 He exercised his option for free agency and signed with Toronto, becoming baseball's highest-paid pitcher. Then he again pitched his team into the World Series, in 1992, and pitched against the Braves again, though poorly in Game 5. He gave up a grand slam—to Lonnie Smith. Smoltz was the winning pitcher. Morris knew that a night like Oct. 27, 1991, would not happen again.
"Other than my kids being born, I can't remember anything that meant more to me," Morris says. "It was the epitome of everything I'd ever tried to achieve in my life. And yet within 24 hours this sadness came over me, knowing I might not be back in Minnesota and I might not ever pitch a game like that for the rest of my life——-I wish everybody could experience what I experienced that day. The joy. Total joy. The world would be a better place if everybody could feel that at least once."
On that Sunday morning when Morris woke up and knew he would win Game 7, an old baseball wizard with gleaming white hair and a twinkle in his eye awoke with a similar premonition. Anderson, Morris's old skipper, met his friends for his daily game of golf that day in Sunset, Calif. The boys were talking about how the Braves would win the Series. The man with the white hair laughed.
"Tell you what to do," Anderson told them. "Go home and get your bankbook. Clear it out and send it to Vegas. Morris is pitching. He will beat Smoltz. I promise you that."
"How do you know?" they said.
"Boys, I know that guy," Anderson said. "He's an animal. If he doesn't have a real challenge, he's liable to give up six runs. But don't get him in a position where you challenge him."
Anderson laughs when he tells the story. "[Jack] was the last of them," he says. It was 12 years ago. Another era. "When you talk to Cactus Jack, tell him he's still the meanest man I ever met."