During the winter Reiser lives in St. Louis with his family. He works as a carpenter for the Ilmo Sash & Door Co. doing indoor work at $2.80 an hour. His wife, Pat, is the receptionist for a doctor. The Reisers have two girls, Sally, 14, and Shirley, just turned 8. Sally is retarded. "When I first found out, I was ashamed," he says, "but it's nothing to be ashamed of." He does a lot of speaking on the subject around home. Mrs. Reiser is president of the St. Louis Association for Retarded Children and on the board of directors of the national association. During the summer the girls spend a month in Kokomo. They see the ball games and go on picnics.
Reiser has some good prospects on the club. Tom Davis, an outfielder from Brooklyn, is leading the league in hitting, and the first baseman, Tim Hark-ness, a Canadian boy, is an excellent fielder and probably the best long-ball hitter in the league. But you never know who's going to make it to the top. It may be a boy hitting only .250. Reiser does all he can to get the most out of his players, and he handles them all individually. He can handle one player with a glance. Just a glance. Nothing more. He gets the best out of another player, a very sensitive boy, by inflating his ego and making him think he did it all himself. Actually, he did, but he doesn't think of it that way unless he's told. "If you ever jumped on him real bad," says Reiser, "I think he'd cry, and at the same time break you in two." Playing down in D ball can sometimes be pretty discouraging. A player can get to feel that he's looking at the world through the wrong end of a telescope, especially if he has kicked around a long time. Emerson Unzicker, a pitcher who got married in a crossed-bat ceremony at home plate last year, has been in D ball four years. This year he won 18 games and lost 10. Reiser keeps telling him that he has a chance. "After all," Reiser says, " Johnny Sain spent four years in D ball." But if a player can't make it all the way, Reiser hopes he can make it to the International League or the American Association. "That's where the money starts," he says.
As for himself, he plans to stay on in the Brooklyn organization. He is content to wait his turn. Sometimes, however, he thinks he'd like to coach up in the majors and get 20 years in on his pension. "That pays pretty good when you're about 50," he says. "Then I figure we could go down to Florida and live. The kids would both be grown up then. But ah, what the hell. I'd probably be back. You always want to be back in baseball."