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April 21, 1958

Can’t say it was my first jail cell. About seven years ago, I didn’t like what a Vancouver Mountie fan was saying to me one night. So after the game I served him an open knuckle sandwich with gravy and a couple of sides. At least the Canadian jail was clean.

The one at the Mission District precinct could’ve used an Ajax attack. It stank like six-month-old body odor, and the lowlifes across from me hadn’t even peed their pants yet. The thing I hated the most was that the smell distracted me from my real quandry: figuring out who the rat bastard was that set me up.

The stiff in the grandstand was one thing; this was another. Somebody went to a lot of trouble to break in my place, leave that wallet and tip off the cops. Once I proved I was down in L.A. about ten different ways, though, they had nothing on me. My one phone call had been to my mother, thinking I might need some bail money, and Dorothy Gladys Drake used the opportunity to invite me out to the East Bay for dinner. Lucky me. Hadn’t seen Mom since the last anniversary of Dad’s bus accident, and it was too cold and wet that day to even visit his grave.

“You look like hell, Milton,” she said, the moment I stepped on her Oakland porch.
“I was in jail all night, Mom. Remember?”

Dinner at Mom’s always involved me cooking, since anything more than a piece of buttered wheat toast was too challenging for her now. She had read about the body in the Tribune, and after I told her the rest of my tale she started lobbing theories at me while the spaghetti cooked.

“What about someone from your playing days?”
“Well, I thought about that guy in Vancouver, but that was so long ago. Plus he’s Canadian.”
“No old war fellows? Agatha likes to use those.” Mom had little to do all day but watch The Guiding Light and read mystery books. Agatha Christie had become a recent obsession.
“I wasn’t in the war, Mom. Not even the Korean one.”
“I know! An old flame!”
“Don’t have any.”

That was a lie, of course. I collected girl friends like chewing gum packs. Every one lost her flavor pretty quick, and Liz was one she didn’t need to know about yet. I poured us something warm and red from Napa and we sat down to eat. Her dining table was like one you’d find in a kid’s playhouse, and I had to squirm to get my bad knee under it.

“That leg still bothering you? I told you to go see someone, Milton.”
“I manage.”
She had already gulped down her first glass of wine. I poured her another. “How’d you get that, anyway?” she asked, “I forget.”

So had I. And as I sat there twirling the pasta on my fork, it came back and hit me like a wet fist.

“Paulie Suggs. I bet on Seals game with him all last year. Did pretty damn well at his expense, too…”
“So?
“So I think maybe I’ll pay Mr. Paulie Suggs a visit.”

THE SKINNYS

CIN 300 000 020 – 5 8 2
PHI 000 001 010 – 2 8 0
W-Schmidt L-Sanford SV-Jeffcoat HRS: Bailey, Robinson, GWRBI-Lynch
The red-hot Redlegs take another, and grab first place to themselves. The Phils try and make it interesting late, but Frank Robinson belts one off Farrell in the 8th to put it away.

MIL 020 020 302 – 9 14 0
PIT 011 000 202 – 6 15 0
W-Spahn L-Friend SV-Robinson HR: Covington GWRBI-Covington
Not sure what’s eating the Bucs. They get tons of hits through the rock-hard Forbes infield here, but nine of those come with two out and they just can’t seem to roll a big hit when needed. Spahn is 2-0 but has hardly been dominating.

[Cubs, Cards, Dodgers and Giants were all idle.]

BOS 001 000 503 – 9 16 0
NYY 000 000 000 – 0 3 0
W-Sullivan L-Ford HRS: Daley, Malzone GWRBI-Jensen
Nothing more to add. See Archie’s story up top.

CHX 002 000 000 – 2 8 1
DET 000 000 30x – 3 6 0
W-Foytack L-Donovan HR: Lollar (#6!) GWRBI-Veal
The immortal Coot Veal whacks a two-run double in the 7th off Donovan for the winning runs. Tigers inexplicably playing better with Al Kaline out.

CLE 020 000 000 – 2 3 0
K.C. 000 010 000 – 1 5 0
W-Bell L-Grim HR: Nixon GWRBI-Nixon
More sounds of silence from out west. The Tribe walks six times, Nixon’s homer comes after one of them early on, and that be that.

BAL 100 003 000 – 4 10 1
WAS 330 000 11x – 8 7 0
W-Pascual L-Harshman SV-Hyde HRS: Nieman, Lemon GWRBI-Lemon
As the saying goes, even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day, and it was inevitable the Senators would win a game. After Nieman gives the Birds a quick 1-0 lead with a homer, Harshman hands Washington six runs in the first two innings. He settles down after that, and the Orioles knock out Pascual with three singles and a double in the 6th, but Mr. Dick Hyde appears and dissects Baltimore like Dr. Jekyll, 1-hitting them the rest of the way for his first save.

National League through Monday, April 21

Cincinnati 4 1 .800 ā€”
Milwaukee 4 2 .667 0.5
San Francisco 4 2 .667 0.5
St. Louis 3 2 .600 1
Philadelphia 2 3 .400 2
Chicago 2 3 .400 2
Los Angeles 2 4 .333 2.5
Pittsburgh 1 5 .167 3.5

American League through Monday, April 21

Boston 5 2 .714 ā€”
New York 4 3 .571 1
Detroit 4 3 .571 1
Chicago 4 3 .571 1
Baltimore 3 3 .500 1.5
Kansas City 3 4 .429 2
Cleveland 3 4 .429 2
Washington 1 5 .167 3.5
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