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As a guy who was once on the bottom, Krause has always remembered those who leaned down to give him a hand. When he got a job as a copyboy at the Chicago American as a teenager, he was befriended by baseball writer Jimmy Enright. Krause never forgot the late Enright's decency and still refers to him as the Monsignor.
At Taft there was a 6'6" classmate named Dick Peterson who finally told the bullies to cut out the crap with the little guy or they would have to deal with him. When Krause went on to Bradley, he rewarded Peterson by badgering the Braves' basketball coach, Chuck Orsborn, into giving Peterson a scholarship.
While doing his first real sports job, as a glorified gofer for the Bullets in 1961. Krause ran into Bill Veeck, the baseball owner, who 17 years later hired Krause as a scout for the White Sox. Krause was so flattered—"It was like God talking to me," he says of Veeck—that he still has the napkin upon which Veeck wrote his offer.
And before all of those benefactors, there was baseball scout Freddie Hasselman—"a fat old man, this wide, maybe five-six," says Krause without a hint of irony—the guy who had signed future New York Yankee stars Moose Skowron and Tony Kubek. Hasselman saw Krause laboring as a warmup catcher at Taft and actually asked his opinion of various players. "He talked to me about scouting," says Krause, with deep reverence.
After the Bulls won their first title, in 1991, beating the Lakers four games to one, Krause sat in a hot tub in Marina Del Rey with his wife, Thelma, and looked up at the stars. He saw four deceased men there—his dad, Veeck, Enright and Hasselman. "They were sitting in a club having a beer," says Krause. He looks up at the ceiling in his office. "I saw them, and they said, 'What do you know? The little shit did it.' "
Krause looks away and then starts to cry.
"I'm sorry," he says after a moment. "I didn't mean to get sentimental."
"Nobody knows how sensitive Jerry is," says Thelma, whom he married 13 years ago. Their first date had been to—what else?—a Bull game he was scouting. He settled her into a scat in the stands, making sure she was comfortable, and then left to sit by himself to ferret out the truths of the game.
In getting into the Sheri L. Berto Center, the Bulls' ultramodern practice facility in suburban Deerfield, one encounters a frightening array of video cameras, buzzers and disembodied voices asking one's purpose. Players can come and go using coded access cards. The beauty of the system is that when a player is cut, there is no need to have the building's locks changed; a simple change in the access code suffices. The media room just beyond the two locked front doors is a study in paradox: It has large windows looking out onto the practice floor, but when practice starts, blinds are lowered to block the view. The building, says the Tribune's Smith, "is a shrine to raging paranoia."
Some, if not the lion's share, of that paranoia springs from Krause, who, along with Reinsdorf and the Bulls' coaching staff, helped design the Berto Center. On the wall of Krause's second-floor office is a sign he looks at a thousand times a day. It reads: HEAR ALL, SEE ALL, SAY NOTHING. The quote is unattributed, for a reason. "It comes from Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of intelligence for Nazi Germany," says Krause.