"I have to see you and Mr. Wells. I have to see you right now."
"Well, where are you?"
"In the lobby!"
He came up the stairs, and I said, "What's the matter?" and Howard said he'd been talking on the phone for the last hour and 20 minutes to Paul Richards, the general manager of the Houston club.
Howard said, "Richards said to me, 'Well, how much would it take to get you to sign with the Houston club?' I finally decided that if I put the money up real high, the Houston club would back off. So I said the lowest money I would possibly take would be 120 thousand. And Richards said, 'I just signed you.' I said, 'What do you mean?' And Richards said, 'If you want 120 thousand, that's what you're going to get from the Houston ball club, so I just signed you.' "
Howard told Richards no, he hadn't meant that. So then Richards said that Howard's word was no good. So now Howard wanted to sign with us, with the Dodgers. Right then. He was really excited. I said, "What kind of money are we talking about?"
He said, "If you guys right now will give me a $100,000 bonus and an additional $8,000, I'll sign right now."
He was 21 years old. That was an awful lot of money back then. Wells or I said, "Well, why the odd figure?"
He said he wanted $100,000 for himself and an extra $8,000 to make a down payment on a home for his mother and dad. So Bert and I went into the bathroom, and Bert said, "What do you think?" We were supposed to go only to $90,000, but Wells and I usually had the leeway of about $10,000, and what the hell's the difference between 90 and 108, anyway? There's no difference. So we went out and said, "You got it."
I never worked for a club that didn't have any money, or I couldn't have signed any players. It wouldn't have been any fun.