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"By sheer coincidence," he said, "I happened to be discussing our long association this morning. I was being interrogated and I was asked to specify the qualities that account for your rise from the lowest classification in baseball to the presidency of our league."
Giles clasped his hands in front of him and smiled.
"Loyalty," rasped Rickey around his cigar, "Integrity. Honesty. Above all, honesty. Honesty to the point of persnicketiness."
"Very nice," murmured Giles.
"I went back to what I believe was our first direct association. You, Warren, were president of the Moline, Ill. club in the Three-I League."
"That's right," said Giles. "I got that job by accident, really. There had been a meeting of fans to discuss ways we could improve the club. I got up and talked so much that I was challenged to try running the club myself. So I got into baseball that way."
"Now," said Rickey, "my brother Frank had scouted a boy in your league, recommended him to me and I called you. We reached a verbal agreement by which you agreed to sell the boy to the Cardinals for $1,200 or so."
"An outfielder named Howard Jones," said Giles.
"Correct," said Rickey. "Now then, the Chicago White Sox later became interested in the boy. They made you a better offer. Your directors accepted the offer without clearing the matter with you. When you found out about this you said that your verbal agreement with me had to be honored or you would quit the club."
"That's exactly right," said Giles.