A friend of
Danny's explained the settlement. "Danny sued for damages, but he would
have been awarded very little in court. He was only a wartime ballplayer, and
he made more money in Mexico and Cuba than he would have playing in the minor
leagues those years. So baseball paid him off with $60,000, and it was a good
deal all around."
is more succinct. "I was merely an ant on baseball's behind," he says
What did it
profit the renegades? In most cases they did more good for the colleagues they
had left behind than for themselves. The owners, having had the wits scared out
of them, began to make concessions to the players. They agreed to the formation
of a player-management committee. Each team was permitted to elect its own
player representatives to the committee. Each player was guaranteed both a
minimum salary and, in the event of a poor season, a salary cut of no more than
25%. A pension fund for the players was established.
of the Mexican Odyssey for those involved were varied. Vern Stephens, who
barely got his feet wet, not only escaped punishment but extracted from the
Browns a pay raise and a promise to trade him. The trade brought him to the
greener fields of Boston's Fenway Park, where he starred with the Red Sox for
his skills in Mexico. Throwing in Mexico's rare air, he developed a curve that
Roy Campanella was later to describe as "just different from anybody
else's." Using the curve ball and the savvy that he had acquired under
Puebla Manager Dolf Luque, Maglie jumped back to almost instant stardom with
Both Lanier and
Owen had passed their peaks when they returned to the big leagues. Owen, like
most of the others, admits the escapade was a great mistake and the punishment,
though harsh, not completely out of line. His one complaint is that baseball
has not responded to his request for all the pension money due him.
promised me I would get credit toward my pension for every year I played in the
majors, before and after my suspension," Owen says. "But now the
commissioner's office is stalling me off. They're willing to give me credit for
my time in baseball after my reinstatement, but they're not making good on the
promise Chandler gave me when I promised not to sue. There's about $175 a month
About half of
Gardella's $60,000 settlement apparently went for lawyers' fees. Danny's
comeback was not a success (he got into only one game), and he dropped out of
baseball late in 1950. Since then he has had trouble finding work, and he
insists that in several cases prominent breweries have refused to hire him as a
salesman because of pressure from baseball, whose games they sponsor. He has
loose ties to a building company in Yonkers, N.Y., and occasionally picks up a
weekend engagement to sing at a local nightspot.
crowd had left Shot's by the time Danny finished talking about Mexico.
"Memories," Danny sighed. "That's about all that's left. I don't
even have any press clippings. They've all been taken by agents who were going
to promote my singing career."
else came back to him. "I was married in Mexico, you know. My girl friend
flew down from New York, and we decided not to wait. Her maiden name was
Bonaventura. A melodious name. It means happy adventure."