Giles stood up, and they shook hands across the Happy Chandler desk.
"The Douthit episode," said Rickey, "again emphasizes your honesty, your integrity, Warren. It occurs to me that you might have indulged me in my version of it just now. But today, as always, you could not be anything but completely honest about it. I shall seek out my interrogator and confess my error."
Rickey clapped his broad-brimmed hat on his head, took a tighter grip on his cane and started for the door. When he got there he turned back and said: "A social call, Warren. We'll meet at the game tonight, perhaps."
"We will, I'm sure, Branch," said Giles.
With Branch Rickey gone, Warren Giles leaned back in his chair and mused aloud:
"I haven't thought of that Taylor Douthit incident or St. Joe, Mo. for a long time. But I remember it was a far cry from all this." He waved an arm around the room and indicated the other elegantly furnished offices of the suite he had inherited from Happy Chandler.
"When I arrived in St. Joe I found that the club was paying $30 a month for offices. My salary didn't permit me to spend much on my own living quarters. So I got an idea. I located a $34-a-month hotel room, a big room, but rather drably furnished. I bought new drapes and a new bedspread and moved in a desk. Now I had an office I could live in and the cost to me was the difference between the old office rent—just $4 a month."
He drummed his fingers on the desk.
"It's been a long road. There have been pitfalls, as I warned my son Bill when he decided on a career in baseball. There have been many, many good things—some of them seemed to happen almost by chance. Coming to Cincinnati, for instance. I met Powel Crosley at an All-Star Game in 1935. He was familiar, of course, with our winning record at Rochester. We seemed to hit it off immediately, and the following year, when he was looking for a successor to Larry MacPhail, he thought of me."
(In his history of the Cincinnati Reds, Lee Allen, currently historian of the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, tells of how Crosley and Tom Conroy, then treasurer of the club, each wrote the name of a candidate on separate pieces of paper. Then they compared notes. Both had written down the name of Warren Giles. It was a happy meeting of minds. In three years Giles—building on the nucleus of MacPhail's club, reaping the crop that MacPhail had planted in the farm clubs, trading skillfully, signing the astute Bill McKechnie as manager—brought Cincinnati its first pennant in 20 years in 1939. He came back in 1940 to win again and take the World Series as well.)