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The next day was much better. It was sunny and warmer, and Billy Pierce pitched a three-hit shutout to win 2-0. As the game ended, the scoreboard showed that the Yankees were losing to Detroit 6-0. The clubhouse was as noisy as a cocktail party. Shouting voices rang back and forth over a loud conversational buzz, and the rattle of the clubhouse men cleaning the spikes was lost far down in the hierarchy of sound. The players dressed slowly, enjoying each other's presence and the atmosphere of victory. Lopez was, as always, cordial, and much more cheerful than he had been the night before. He kidded Whitey Diskin, the Baltimore clubhouse man, who had come to see him.
"Hey, Whitey," he said. "That was a hell of a tip you gave me on that horse in Baltimore."
Whitey looked at him.
"You mean Federal Hill," he said. "Well, he finished last."
"You're damn right he finished last."
"He broke down, Al," Whitey explained. "Now, I am not responsible for a horse breaking down. He's a good horse."
Whitey changed the subject. Casey Stengel's name was mentioned.
"I'll tell you a story about Casey," Lopez said. "You know I used to play for him. Did you know that he traded me twice? He traded me from Brooklyn in 1935 and from Boston in 1940. I remember, that first time, I came up to New York during the off season to straighten out some insurance. I was having dinner with some friends, and they stopped in my room first for a drink. The phone rang, and it was Casey. He asked if he could come up, and I said sure. He came up—well, you know Case; you know how he can tell stories. He talked for three solid hours. Now it's about 8 o'clock and I'm hungry. I finally broke in and I said, 'Casey, come on, we have to eat. Come on with us.' He said, 'All right, but only if I pay for dinner.' I said, 'I don't care who pays, just so we eat.' Well, we went out and ate, and Casey talked. Afterwards, we stopped someplace for a drink, and Casey was still talking. It must have been close to 2 by the time I got back in my room, and Case had been talking since 5. Now, I'm no sooner in my room than the phone rings, and it's Casey. He's in the lobby and he says, 'Al, could you come down a minute. I want to talk to you.' "
Lopez smiled at the memory.