I telephoned Devine and told him that I would retire.
"That's entirely up to you, Curt. Good luck."
I told the reporters that I would retire. Nobody believed me. Traded players are forever threatening to pack it in. Few can afford to.
John Quinn, general manager of the Phillies, called.
"Mr. Quinn, you're wasting your time. I've made my decision."
"Can't we chat for a few minutes?"
I met him at a hotel and was impressed. He was warm and understanding. He told me that the Philadelphia operation was being overhauled. Good new players were coming. A new ball park was in construction. Money was there for me. I agreed to see him again. I no longer was bothered about Philadelphia, as such. I was thinking more clearly. The problem was no particular city but was the reserve clause, which afflicted all players equally no matter where they played.
I had been thinking about the reserve clause for weeks. Sooner or later, someone would challenge baseball's right to treat human beings like used cars. I telephoned Marvin Miller, executive director of the Association, for an appointment and flew to New York to see him.
"I want to sue baseball on constitutional grounds," I told him. His eyebrows rose. "I want to give the courts a chance to outlaw the reserve system. I want to go out like a man instead of disappearing like a bottle cap."
"A lawsuit might take two or three years," said Miller. "It would cost a fortune. And you could lose."