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In those days a yellowbacked $100 bill was a lot of money. You could buy a 30 X 125-foot lot within the city limits for $10 down and $10 a month, or watch Marie Dressier in a George Ade comedy at the Majestic Theatre from a seat costing 15�.
Just before the Cubs met the Phillies that afternoon, Klem handed Zimmerman an envelope containing half the gold certificate. "That $100 is as good as mine already," Zim declared, "for I'm through fussing with umpires." To prove his pure intentions, he kept his cool all afternoon despite going hitless as the Cubs lost a tough 2-1 game.
In St. Louis the next day, Zimmerman showed the strain that perfect behavior had put on his nerves. He was removed from the game during the third inning. This time his ejection came when Cubs manager Johnny Evers tried to settle a dispute in the dugout between Zim and a teammate.
"He said something to me," reported Evers, "and I asked him to say it over to make sure I heard it right. Then I told him it would cost him a hundred and he followed by saying it right over once more, so I raised the fine to $200 and told him to get out of the game." (Zim later apologized and the fine was rescinded.)
When the Cubs took the field and Zimmerman didn't appear, umpire Bill Brennan informed the press that he hadn't thrown Zimmerman out. On the technicality that he hadn't been banished by an umpire, Zim retained his chances of getting the $100.
The next game was canceled on account of rain after three innings, but it counted as another unblemished day for Zim, the letter having stipulated 14 days—not 14 games—without banishment by an ump.
Heinie played recklessly the following afternoon, stretching one line drive into a double, sliding into second ahead of the throw, then stealing third. No one knows what might have happened if he'd been called out on either close play. Chicago Tribune baseball writer Sam Weller reported that the odds had become 3 to 2 that Zim would collect the hundred.
In the second inning of the last St. Louis game, umpire Hank O'Day called Zimmerman out on a checked-swing strike, a decision that irritates even the most easygoing player. O'Day noted that Zimmerman hadn't stopped the bat from completing the swing. Zim protested loudly and fiercely. O'Day stared at him for at least a count of 10.
Weller reported: "Had Heinie dared to add anything more, Hank probably would have ordered him out of the game.... Then Heinie happened to remember the yellowback and strode quietly to the bench. If he gets through tomorrow, half the battle will be won."
Later in the game, Zimmerman proved himself deserving of his reputation as a flake. Lashing a long drive to deep left that would have been a homer in Chicago, he saw Lee Magee gallop over, catch the ball and throw it back to the infield. Zimmerman, who was crossing the diamond toward the bench, intercepted the ball and threw it back to deep leftfield, where Magee made another catch. Zimmerman turned toward O'Day and laughed so the ump would know it was all in fun.