He said, "How much money do you want?"
Now, it is my instinct not to accept money when I can get a ballplayer, any ballplayer. You may get 19 straight stiffs, but the 20th guy could help you win a pennant. So I say to Charlie: "I don't want money. Give me a player."
He says, "Who do you want?"
Now, I could have said Al Kaline or somebody like that, but Charlie and I were practically brothers in baseball and we didn't try to kid each other or do any fancy bargaining. So I just said, "Oh, maybe a pitcher for our team in Spokane or something like that."
He says, "How about Phil Regan?"
Well, I knew less about Phil Regan than the janitor did. I had seen him pitch once in my life, when the Angels were playing in Los Angeles, and he didn't look to me like a pitcher who was ever going to wind up 14-1 with a major league club. He threw the ball with the grace and finesse of a pro wrestler. But Dick Tracewski was no Joe Gordon, either. So I said, "O.K., it's a deal." And that's the whole story of how we got the best relief pitcher in baseball.
This is the way that things happen more often than not. Take the way we got hold of Ron Perranoski, the guy who was 16-3 in relief for us in 1963. Bear with me, because this gets a little complicated, but if you can understand it you'll get a lot of insight into how major league deals are made.
I was sitting in a hotel in Phoenix just before the 1960 season opened. The Dodgers were playing exhibition games on the way home, and my favorite member of the club, for a lot of reasons, was Don Zimmer. Zim was approaching that period where he still looked valuable, but he was beginning to lose the touch and it's the perfect time, in other words, to trade him. But I'm not trying to deal him away, because I like him too much. Now the phone rings, and it's Bing Devine, then general manager of the Cardinals. "Buzzie," he says, "I need a utility infielder."
I said, "Who do you want?"
He said, " Zimmer."