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Again Don hesitated for a moment. He had his answer ready immediately, but he did not want it to sound too boastful. Finally, choosing his words carefully, he first repeated the question: "Did I think I could make it?" Donald Thomas Buddin nodded his crew-clipped head.
"That," he said, "was what I came for."
THE FOXLY THING TO DO
Hero worship of ballplayers is likely to get a bit out of hand after the long winter, but not if Miss Betty Van Housen of Chicago can help it.
"Unfortunately," said Miss Van Housen in a statement prepared for the 1956 season, "many people feel that fan clubs are worthless and made up of a group of scatterbrained, man-crazy females, usually in the teen-age years. This is not true."
Pointing out that the age range of the Mighty Mites is from 7 to 35, Miss Van Housen (herself in her early 20s) submits that her club clearly "isn't a group of silly young ladies with only one object in mind." The Mites have faced up to the fact that there is a Mrs. Nellie Fox and have, in fact, elected her an honorary vice-president.
"We are very proud of our club," said Miss Van Housen. "Each Christmas we visit the Great Lakes Naval Hospital and distribute gifts and refreshments to the patients. During the season we try to attend games in a group. We take part in the annual autographing party held by the White Sox fan clubs, and each year we hold a farewell party for Nellie. Last season the Mites collected over 5,000 votes for Nellie in All-Star balloting.
"We're proud of Nellie's playing and his conduct both off the field and on, and Nellie is just as proud of his club. We have never cast a bad reflection on him, and anyone who does will be immediately removed from club rosters."
To keep members informed, the club publishes a mimeographed newspaper called Fox's Findings and an annual, Keystone Kapers, which is almost as thick as the Dubuque, Iowa telephone directory. These journals are filled with information about the club and its hero. Where do Mr. and Mrs. Nellie Fox live during the season? In a South Chicago hotel. Who is Nellie's roommate on the road? Billy Pierce, the pitcher. Who is allowed to sign correspondence with the phrase, "Foxly yours"? Any member of the Mighty Mites.