"I truly did not think any athlete could do what Bobby Tolan has done," says Anderson. "How many players have come back after one Achilles' tendon, let alone two? We went to Tampa for spring training and Tolan was there champing at the bit. The doctor said Bobby could do nothing for the first 10 days except walk—and be darned careful where he walked. I went into the trainer's room to talk to Bobby and, boy, was he mad. 'Why have I wasted the whole winter working out?' he said. 'Did the doctor see something in the X rays that you people are holding back from me?' I told Bobby to try and settle himself down and, no, there was nothing that indicated he was through as a player but doctor's orders were to walk, not run. I said, 'Bobby, let's find a nice place to walk.'
"Later we went to Venezuela for three exhibition games against the Pirates and I put Bobby in the lineup, but when we took a walk in the outfield we saw so many holes I had to scratch him. We played him in Caracas and had no problem. Back in Florida for an exhibition game, we got a real scare. Bobby had to slide into third base. Everybody on the bench just sat there waiting to see if he would get up. When we saw he was O.K., the whole bench applauded.
"He was coming back, all right, but we still had to wonder just how far he could come. Joe Morgan was talking to Bobby all along, telling him that a situation was going to come up where he might attempt to steal and that he should only attempt it, not worry about making it. The important thing was the try. Even when the season started we didn't know how many bases he might be able to steal. If somebody had told me 20 I would have gladly settled for that. Well, he stole 41, and some of those were big ones. Bobby Tolan is a remarkable man."
Which brings us back to Rose and Morgan. Take a Cincinnati box score, says Anderson, and cover everything but the line for the leadoff trio, and you should be able to detect the winning team. "If Rose, Morgan and Tolan have five hits among them," he says, "you should find us coming out ahead."
Welcome back, Pete, Joe, Bobby, Johnny. Same to you, Roberto, Willie, Steve, Al. Maybe those National League crazies are right. Maybe there will be two World Series. This one, and the one with that other league.