"We've got a pretty good-looking left-hander coming out of the Army."
"I never heard of any Perranoski," I said. "Who is he?"
This must have irked Charlie Grimm, because he snapped back, "Well, we gave him $30,000 to sign. That's who he is!"
I figured if the Cubs gave him $30,000 to sign he can't be all bad. When the Cubs shell out 30 grand, it's for a reason. So I said I'd take him. I thought he'd make a good prospect for our club in Spokane or Fort Worth. The deal was for $27,500 and three players, and I had to take somebody. And that is how the brilliant Buzzie Bavasi brought Ron Perranoski to the Dodgers.
Last year I got a lot of credit for grabbing Dick Stuart after the Mets turned him loose. There isn't any doubt about it, Stuart won a couple of key ball games for us, and when you win a pennant by one game you've got to look fondly on everybody who came through for you. Those hits of Stuart's made a difference, that's for sure. But I didn't anticipate this when I got the telephone call from him that started the whole deal. Stuart had just been released, and he says to me, "I'm ready to go to work. I'd like to play for the Dodgers, and I thought I'd give you first chance at me."
One thing Stuart never lacked was confidence. I like that in a ballplayer. I said, "Are you in shape?"
He acted highly insulted. "I'm always in shape," he said.
I said, "Well, the only way I could possibly use you would be as a pinch hitter, and then you'd be griping all the time about riding the bench."