A few hours before the departure for Toronto, however, an airline official called one of the promoters to pass along the news that the squad had no plane ride in prospect. The airline didn't have permission to fly into Canada. Somebody goofed, he explained.
It was too late to charter another plane; too late to make a train connection. Determined to get back to Toronto, the promoters hired two buses. The thought of making a six-hour bus trip did not sit well with the players. They were big leaguers and felt their bus days were behind them.
It was a warm, sunny day when they started out, however, and it looked as if the All-Stars would finally get that payday in Canada. But when they hit the outskirts of Toronto, everything turned black. The sun disappeared into a dense fog, and as they moved closer to the city, the visibility was reduced to almost zero. The bus slowed down to 10 mph, and the team arrived at Maple Leaf Stadium just before game time.
The sight that greeted the players at the stadium was amazing. About 7,000 people waited patiently for the gates of the ball park to be opened. The fog was so thick it was impossible to see second base from home plate. The gates were opened for the crowds, and the players suited up. For the next hour and a half the troupe tried to amuse the fans while waiting for better visibility. But the fog remained.
Clyde McCullough made a suggestion. "Tell the fans we'll try to play if they want to stay and watch. Anything hit to the outfield will be a ground-rule single."
The announcement was made. The fans could have their money back, but if enough remained the All-Stars would try to play. Six young boys stayed in their seats. The others streaked for the refund windows. It was the first time in 17 years that a game had to be canceled in Toronto because of fog.
In the South the All-Stars looked forward to warm weather and big crowds. And they counted heavily on recouping some of the staggering losses so far in Miami. The promoters there assured the troupe they'd have at least 15,000—very likely more.
But before the squad could reach Miami a hurricane got there first. The game, which had been publicized for weeks, drew 3,800.
That did it. The tour was disbanded the following day at New Orleans, with the players being paid off at a rate of 50% of their contracts. After playing 13 games, the All-Stars had drawn only 32,000 admissions. The flop cost Riggs and Jachym $66,000—but they didn't complain. They were happy to get out alive.