Baines is from St. Michaels, Md., a hamlet down on the Eastern Shore, tucked between chicken farms and oyster beds. Chicago, he suggests, is a big, strange place. "Thad helps me, and looks after me. He calls me his little brother."
Upstairs, in the club saloon is where Veeck makes his office, where he chucked the bartender his empty mug. He was a phenom, too. Cleveland, 1948: age 34, a major league attendance record. He says, "When I tried to buy this club back, there were owners who said I was too old, that the game had passed me by. They'd been in baseball for two years, and they were tellin' me my game had passed me by. Oh, but now. We've got the best farm in baseball, and we're close to having the best team, and...I'm going to stick it to them."
The bartender brought another draft over. "Excuse me," Bill Veeck said, "I shouldn't get emotional."
The fact is, nobody has ever won anything with phenoms. It is how your exphenoms respond to themselves that tells every tale on the diamond.