"See there, 1946?" he said. "I couldn't hit that day because the Sunday before, Elmer Valo hit a shot at me that I caught on one hop, but it peeled my thumbnail back and it was so painful I couldn't handle the bat. I went 0 for 2 against [Claude] Passeau and [Kirby] Higbe. That was the game Ted hit the homer off [Rip] Sewell's eephus pitch."
He spotted a staged picture of American League manager Del Baker kissing Williams in the locker room after his homer had won the 1941 All-Star Game. "Get a load of Baker and Ted," laughed Doerr. "I was right there when they took that. Didn't get a hit that game. I went 0 for 2, a grounder and a pop-up." I was amazed at Doerr's recall and looked for a section of the display dealing with his homer in '43, but there wasn't any.
There was a car waiting at the rear of the Hall, and after Bobby helped Monica into the front seat and put the wheelchair in the trunk, we all went back to the Otesaga. He was leaving the next morning to return to Oregon with the four women and he wanted to go to the other end of town to buy some provisions for the trip, so we said goodbye in the lobby.
Afterward, like the Hall of Famers, my wife and I wanted to linger, so we walked out on the bluff where the photograph of the inductees had been shot the day before. We remembered how Doerr had sat on a park bench, signing a dozen autographs for a woman in a sundress who had brought along some photographs. Far out on the lake water-skiers had been carving their turns. Finally, when his colleagues were ready for their group portrait, Doerr had hopped up and joined them on the stand between some shade trees. Then they talked the afternoon away. I think it must have been from this vantage point that Cooper wrote these lines about his peculiar village:
The lake he loved, the forest paths his feet
In other days were wont to fare along,
Are lush with summer opulence, are sweet
With sunshine and with song.