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I almost choked. I said, "Sam, you ain't including me in this, are you? I mean, not based on that pickup game? I was pitching and hitting against 40-year-old nonathletes and 12-year-old girls."
But Sam was getting up. He said, "Hell, you can do it."
I said, "Sit down, Sam! Do what?"
Sam said, "Why, you're the manager and the pitcher."
I leaned forward and said, "In the Commercial Division? Fast pitch? Have you lost what little is left of your mind? You're talking Xerox, Conoco, IBM, Phillips Petroleum. They've got thousands of employees to pick from, many of whom have been athletes. We're talking about the Press Club members, half of whom are women. With me as the pitcher? I can't throw the ball underhand much more than 20 miles an hour. I'm an infielder! A good team will have a wind-miller who can bring it up there at 70 miles an hour and make it rise or sink or curve. Get serious!"
Sam just put both his hands on his knees and said, "We've got to do it. I've already ordered caps for the team."
Then he got up and left.
Most of these teams were dressed by the same companies who provided uniforms for major league clubs. I had tried out a couple of years before for one of these teams and didn't make it. Now I was to play and manage against them? And Sam's talking to me about caps?
I slumped back in my chair and hoped the elevators wouldn't work so I would never be able to get out of that place and face what I knew was coming.