Aker was in Baltimore, visiting a friend of the family. We waited. By the time he got back and up to Charlie's room it was 2 a.m.
He told Charlie the players didn't think Krausse was getting a fair deal. Finley said, "Did Alvin know about this?"
"What's that, Jack?" I said.
And Aker pulled out that little piece of paper. I hadn't read it, but I couldn't deny I was aware of it.
"You knew they were working on this?" Finley said.
"Yes I did."
So he fired me again. He felt I'd lied to him. I didn't argue. I wouldn't under any circumstances. But it hit me hard. I had a great affection for that team. In many ways they made those the happiest two years—well, year and three-quarters—of my managing career. They were like sons to me. I love to teach, and they were teachable. And they were on their way to the top.
It rained the next day, and in the clubhouse I tried to tell them I was leaving. Ordinarily I can handle something like that. With Horace Stoneham of the Giants, I just shook his hand and left. But this time it got to me, and I broke down.
The players were almost as emotional as I was. That night they started speaking up, threatening to strike. Harrelson said he wasn't going to play, period. Charlie responded by giving him his unconditional release, making him possibly the first player in baseball history to be fired. I'm not sure the Hawk enjoyed the distinction, but momentarily it was a bonanza. He got a $75,000 bonus for signing with the Red Sox a few days later.