1:03: At Elks Club it is 3:03 C.D.T. TV picture is clear, sound sharp, color stunning. Half a dozen fezzed Shriners at one table now. Two more stand at bar talking to bartender. No one looks at set except man planted on bar stool. He is middle-aged. Wrinkled gray suit, hat clamped low to ear tips, gold-rimmed spectacles, one-inch stub of spent cigar in hand. Pinned to lapel of suit is gay red tissue paper poppy (Memorial Day one week away). Call him Mr. Poppy.
1:05: Mr. Poppy gazes at TV set, pulls dog-eared copy of TV Guide from back pocket, studies day's fare—Abbott & Costello Film Theater; The Chartroose Caboose; Up Tight; Gentle Ben—decides Game of the Week best of all, returns TV Guide to back pocket, leans elbow on bar, puts cigar stub in ashtray. Mr. Poppy is Super Spectator.
1:15: Unaware program selected No. 1 at St. Joseph Elks Club, NBC crew hears strains of Star-Spangled Banner. Kusserow says, "I don't see the guy singing in centerfield." Coyle scans monitors. "There he is! Camera 4 get 'im!" Camera 4 monitor shows grass. Coyle says: "Up, 4. Up!" Anthem singer appears at twilight's last gleaming.
1:20: Cards' Lou Brock opens game with double. Kusserow talks into intercom: "You got Drysdale? You got Berle? Get 'em up to the interview booth." Coyle keeps up laconic directions over intercom to camera crew. "Four, tighten up shot.... Three, give me dugout...." Voice like control-tower dispatcher; calm, dispassionate.
1:25: Cards out in first. Two new Shriners approach Elks Club bar. "Back again," one says to bartender. "Give us the same." Both turn backs to TV. Busboy wearing green sneakers enters room carrying table leaf. Drops it with awful crash. No one turns to look. Mr. Poppy gazes serenely, steadily at screen.
1:30: Coyle lights Omega Little Cigar, puffs, says, "Now we're getting some semblance of order." Hard to believe. Kusserow is muttering on intercom with Kubek about Berle interview ("Keep it short, dammit"), and Drysdale interview ("I want him to say everything he wants to say"). Dodgers go out, associate director shouts, "Roll commercial." Perspiring video technicians seated near monitors wonder aloud if air conditioning is working. Coyle sees Kubek and Drysdale on monitor, cries: "Get 'em back against the wall. We can see the top of the backdrop."
1:35: Kubek talks to Drysdale in interview booth. "Very nice," says Kusserow. "Very, very nice."
1:40: Old, old man, perhaps in 80s, shuffles into Elks Club, sits at table nearest TV set. Watches game. Busboy watches too. Mr. Poppy too. In broadcast booth Curt Gowdy turns from mike and asks proper pronunciation of Governor Reagan's name—Raygan? Or Reeegan? Very tanned man all in buttercup yellow (pants, shirt, ascot, shoes) suddenly appears at door to say, "Raygan," then vanishes not to be seen again.
1:46: Gowdy notes presence of Governor, says Reagan once was sportscaster, jokes that some sportscasters get to be governors, but he, Gowdy, couldn't be elected dogcatcher. Kubek nods vigorously at Gowdy. Gowdy informs world Kubek believes Gowdy could be elected dogcatcher. Old man in Elks Club yawns. Coyle curses technician for putting his hand near letters spelling out players' names on screen. "Dammit," says Coyle. Also other things.
1:50: Eighteen Shriners now in Elks Club. Noisy, fun-loving. One sits at bar facing TV. Mr. Poppy speaks first words of day: "Am I in your way?" Nope. Old man rises now from chair, yawns loudly, shuffles up to Mr. Poppy, says, "I'm leavin'. You tell me all about it." Kusserow says on intercom to Kubek: "Remember, keep Berle short."