Some people—Archimedes for one—get their brightest ideas in the bathtub. More often than not Corbett receives his inspiration while poring over sports pages and record books with 14-year-old Brad Jr. Indeed, Corbett readily admits it was the youngster who had the final say on a proposed Harrah-for- Graig Nettles trade with the Yankees in the spring of 1977. One night the phone rang at the Corbett home in Fort Worth and Yankee General Manager Gabe Paul, thinking he had Brad Sr. on the line, said, "Brad, are we going through with that Nettles-for-Harrah deal we were talking about?"
"No," said Brad Jr., who then hung up. And that was the end of that.
When the Rangers lose three or four in a row, Corbett has been known to turn manic. He is not above leaping onto a chair in the Stadium Club and quivering from head to toe with delight when a particularly appealing example of logic strikes him. His finest moments in this regard occurred at the winter meetings in Hawaii last December when he almost single-handedly engineered a four-team transaction involving 11 players that netted him Matlack and Oliver in return for six players of his own.
"Do you think this is the biggest deal ever made?" he shouted. Burt Hawkins, the Rangers' traveling secretary, informed him that it wasn't, that there had been a 17-player swap in 1954. But Corbett was already yelling at someone on the telephone.
"I did it! I did it!" he was saying. "I got Oliver and Matlack.... What do you mean I gave up too much...? This is the biggest deal.... Here, Paul, you explain to him what this means for the Rangers."
"Who is it?" said Paul Hagan, a Dallas Times Herald writer, taking the phone.
"It's Brad Jr.," said Corbett.