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"You doin' O.K., pal?" Reese asks.
Campy says, "You know, if you haven't experienced it, you'll never know what it's like not being able to breathe. That's something you don't even think about. But a few weeks ago I couldn't do it right. What a feeling when you can't breathe."
"That man held our team together," Campy says of Reese. "And Jackie...well, he always had that determination, that will to win. He instilled that in all of us." He pauses, anticipating a perhaps inevitable question about his relationship with Robinson. Robinson and Campy were not particularly close, and on a few occasions Robinson intimated that Campy had a bit of Uncle Tom in him. "He was a completely different person from me," Campy says. "I never felt like a pioneer, just like a ballplayer. But we were teammates. We were friends. He was a wonderful athlete. And oh, what a team we had. Jackie, Pee Wee, the Duke, Furillo, Hodges, Newk, Erskine.... We never beat ourselves, you know. Each one of us would lead the league in fielding his position. I don't think you'll ever again find so many good players in one lineup." His eyes shine. "What a great group of guys."
He wheels suddenly away. "Gotta go to a board of directors meeting down the hall."
There is quite a party at the Hall that night. Free food and drink. More than 30 Hall of Famers in one room: Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Robin Roberts, Willie Stargell, Willie McCovey...and Campy, looking sharp in a checkered gray suit. About 11 o'clock, the celebrants adjourn to the bar at the Otesaga, where Musial entertains on the harmonica with rousing if repetitious choruses of Wabash Cannonball and Oh! Dem Golden Slippers. The bar crowd and the noise swell as the party-goers return from the Hall. "Oh! dem golden slippers.... Oh! dem...."
Outside in the cooling night air, where moonlight plays on the water and the shadowy evergreens whisper, the singing and the laughter are only a distant drumming. A limousine draws up to the old hotel's service entrance. Two men, Acosta and Daquino, step briskly out of it and begin unfolding a wheelchair. Campanella sits motionless in the back seat, staring dead ahead.
A shaft of moonlight illuminates that still face. There is a look there that one is not likely to forget. Of what? Resignation, perhaps. Patience, yes. Determination, certainly. Courage, to be sure. But there is something else there, something harder to define. Dignity, that's it. Immense, immeasurable dignity. For in that broken body, a man has prevailed.