By noon of the following day the Yankees had him. They picked up Rick and Dr. Reichardt at the New York Hilton—where the Yankees had found rooms for them while thousands of other visitors searched desperately for a bed—and whisked them off to lunch and then hid them in the caverns inside Yankee Stadium. After four hours Rick came into the Yankee locker room with General Manager Ralph Houk at his elbow. Houk nervously guided Rick around, making introductions. "Where have you been?" said Yankee Pitcher Jim Bouton. "We could use that bat of yours, Rick." Whenever reporters approached, Houk would run interference more energetically than anybody ever did for Rick while he was carrying the ball at Wisconsin. "I can't pose for pictures, fellows. This kid is an amateur," said Houk, who was finally persuaded to pose with Rick and with Yankee Manager Yogi Berra. Gazing up at Rick, the stumpy Berra looked like a tourist posing beside a monument. "The kid don't make me feel so tall," Berra said. Then the curtain of Yankee security fell across Rick again and he was dragged away for more discussions. Berra watched Rick ducking into the dugout. "There he goes," said Berra. "That kid may get more bonus money than anybody ever, and who knows if he's gonna make it?"
After New York, Rick and his father stopped off in Stevens Point, picked up Mrs. Reichardt and flew to Los Angeles where they stayed at Autry's Continental Hotel. They had dinner at Autry's house and brunch with Reynolds, and they went to an NBC party where the television crew crowded around Rick and left Tony Curtis muttering, "Who is that guy?" When the Reichardts got back to Stevens Point, the Braves had decided the price was too high and pulled out of the bidding. But Kansas City Athletic Owner Charles Finley was waiting. Finley talked to Rick for two days and brought Mrs. Finley to town to give his approach the homey touch. After dinner on Finley's second night in Stevens Point, Rick made up his mind. "Mr. Finley," he said, "I'm going to sign with the Angels." Other than Rick himself, Finley was the first to know. What Finley did not know is that Rick had seriously considered only three teams—the Angels, the Yankees and the Cardinals, in that order.
Immediately, after calling Bob Reynolds in Los Angeles, Rick drove to Madison and told Dynie Mansfield of his decision. Then Rick flew to Los Angeles for his professional debut, and there was talk that the Angels might shove him into their lineup immediately. "He's the most exciting and explosive player I've seen in 18 years of scouting," said the Angels' Nick Kamzic. "The boy exudes power," said Reynolds.
"Now," said Rick Reichardt, in a realistic appraisal of the situation, "the shoe is on the other foot. Now it's me who has to be nice to them."