While baseball players around the country were saying how delighted they were to be returning to work tonight, the quick settlement of the strike had special importance for one.

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Bob Buchanan, a rookie, said he couldn't have afforded to hold out long and was thinking about moving in with his in-laws in Iowa. The minimum salary for rookies this year is $40,000 a year.

"I'm was getting kind of worried," Buchanan said. "I was almost thinking about heading back to Cedar Rapids. Now, I'm just glad to be getting back into a uniform."

Two of the union's player representatives said they were conducting a telephone ratification vote.

"I'm ecstatic about it. It's a big relief," said Scott McGregor, player representative for the Baltimore Orioles.

The breakthrough came after Commissioner Peter Ueberroth joined the union's chief negotiator, Donald Fehr, and the owners' representative, Lee MacPhail, at the bargaining table.

"I was told that we have an oral agreement and to contact all the players," said Dan Quisenberry, player representative for the Kansas City Royals. "We won't have a game tonight, but it looks like we'll be in uniform tomorrow night."

"I think all along we felt that if there was to be a strike, it wouldn't be for a long period," California first baseman Daryl Sconiers said. "I'm happy that it's been taken care of and business can go on as usual."

Second baseman Ron Oester of the Cincinnati Reds said, "I've got to compliment both sides for getting it done this quick. I was surprised they called me so early and got it settled. It's great. I was just laying around the house. I was very bored."

"I'm tickled to death," California Manager Gene Mauch said. "The only thing on my mind right now is how to rearrange our pitching rotation, starting with who we're going to use tomorrow night in Minnesota."

Some of the Reds said the break won't affect them any more than the midseason All-Star break does.

"Sometimes you get a day off during the season, or you don't play two days in a row," outfielder Nick Esasky said. "It's a little break. Maybe it troubled some people mentally because they didn't know what was going on, but two days isn't going to hurt anybody. We'll just go at 'em again."

Texas Rangers player representative Burt Hooton said his team had scheduled an optional workout for last night in Arlington to get ready to resume the season tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Hooton said he hoped the brief strike "didn't turn the fans off. It was settled so quickly I don't believe it did."

In fact, Hooton said he was "really surprised" the settlement "happened so soon."

"My initial belief was that if the strike lasted more than a week we would have to write off the whole season," he said.

In Toronto, where the Orioles resume the season today, Paul Godfrey, a former politician who helped bring baseball to that city, said, "The fans are raring to go . . . There's no stopping us now."

With the Blue Jays in first place in the American League East by nine games, there has been talk in Toronto of a World Series.

Godfrey, publisher of the Toronto Sun, said, "For the last 36 hours, I've been walking around in great pain, already suffering withdrawal symptoms."