Outside, the ball park was filling up. Among the early arrivals were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sadecki. They had driven all the way from St. Petersburg, Fla. and had brought three of their children along: Tommy, 16, Mary Ann, 12, and Mike, 3. Their oldest boy did not make the trip to St. Louis with them because he was already there. He was Ray, 19, the pride of the family. The Cardinals had signed him for a $50,000 bonus, and he had invested part of the money in a coffee shop in St. Petersburg which his father is now managing for him. It was a big day for the Sadeckis, for Ray was to start the second game.
The Cards took the opener 6-2. Below the stands Traveling Secretaries Ward and Scott went to work, making the rounds to check the turnstiles for the paid attendance. Back in his office Leo totaled it up. It came to 27,790 paid. He picked up the phone and relayed the figure to the press box. Then he filled out a check for $7,642, calculated at 27�� a head, and handed it to Lee Scott as the Dodgers' share. He put another check for $1,389.50 into an envelope for mailing to National League headquarters as the league's cut. This left about $40,000, before taxes, as the Cardinals' take on the day. (When the Cards got to Los Angeles, the divvy would be reversed. Leo would get the 27�� end of the pot as representative of the visiting club.)
Lee Scott pocketed the check and said, "It's a pleasure to do business with you, Leo." "Likewise," said Leo. "Come often, Lee."
Their work was largely done until plane time. But, meanwhile, out on the field, a minor catastrophe had occurred. Ray Sadecki, with his mother and dad and kid sister and brothers looking on, had served up a home run ball to Norm Sherry of the Dodgers in the fourth inning and then had presented Gil Hodges with another in the sixth. The Cards lost 5-4.
Even so, everybody was in high spirits during the getaway operation at the clubhouse. The Cards were starting on the road, holding fast to their grip on fourth place. It had been a fine festive afternoon, with suitable patriotic ceremonies between games. The 50-star American flag had been raised for the first time, excerpts from the Declaration of Independence had been read from home plate and Ray Sadecki's mother had been invited down on the field to be introduced to the crowd along with Miss Red Bird and the wives of several players.
The players dressed with all deliberate speed, and Butch Yatkeman, the property man, and Bob Bauman, the trainer, had the gear on the waiting trucks in no time at all. Within an hour or so the team was boarding the charter plane for Chicago. The poker players, led by Stan Musial, headed for the tail. With them went Ray Sadecki, making the third major league trip of his young life. He was dealt a hand, and if he had been slightly downcast after throwing his two home run balls he was completely recovered now. His eyes were shining as he sipped a complimentary can of Budweiser beer and maintained just the right note of self-assurance and deference proper in a rookie sitting in on a card game with a big star like Stan the Man.
Forward, Manager Solly Hemus settled down to his continuing gin rummy game with Harry Caray, the radio broadcaster. Across the aisle Secretary Ward, Business Manager Art Routzong and Sportswriter Jack Herman got down to their game of gin. In the galley Ernie Broglio, the pitcher, gallantly offered to help the stewardesses with the dinner trays.
After dinner the card players kept at it. Some of the younger players drifted back to the galley to offer assistance to the stewardesses in the collection of trays, and when that was done, they lingered on to chat with the pretty girls.
Bob Nieman, the great snorer, fell fast asleep in his seat, and the plane's motors barely matched him in decibels. Javier, the brilliant young second baseman, put his feet high on the back of the seat ahead and soon was dead to the world.
There were 35,000 delegates to the InternationalLionsconvention crowding the hotels in Chicago but, of course, the Cardinal reservations were intact. In the lobby of the Knickerbocker, Manager Hemus conferred with Pitcher Ray Sadecki: "You want to start keeping a little notebook on the hitters, Ray. That home run ball you gave Sherry was about eye-high, just where he likes it."