Mr. Hoffmeister, who has the butcher shop on Vliet Street in Milwaukee, about a 10-minute drive from County Stadium, looked up from his chopping block as the tall, slender young man with the red hair and freckled face walked in.
" Red Schoendienst!" cried Mr. Hoffmeister, putting down his meat cleaver and coming around the counter to shake hands.
"Good morning, Mr. Hoffmeister," said Red Schoendienst.
Mr. Hoffmeister's face clouded for an instant. He looked around the store carefully, as though there might be eavesdroppers hiding in the vegetable bins, and then he asked in a hoarse whisper, "Red, is everything going to be all right? Has that ball club of ours really snapped out of it?"
Red Schoendienst nodded gravely.
"We're O.K., Mr. Hoffmeister," said Red. "The pitching staff is all straightened out, Adcock and Logan are back and the boys are hitting again. We're going to be all right, you've got nothing to worry about."
Mr. Hoffmeister sighed in relief. "That's a load off my mind," he said. "I've been telling my customers not to get nervous about this thing. I told them the Braves weren't going to blow this one."
Mr. Hoffmeister walked around the counter and swept some scraps off the chopping block and turned back to face Red again.
"What's it going to be this morning, Red?" he asked. "Steak, primerib, rump roast, leg of lamb—a nice fryer?"
Red shook his head.