Somehow we found our way out of the de-fogged mountains the next morning. Kerouac whistled the whole way while we growled. He sprung for eggs and coffee at a San Bruno diner, which was damn nice and necessary of him. Liz’s hair looked like it had been put through a washboard, and she certainly wasn’t making plans to go hot-rodding with free-spirited novelists anymore.
“Look at us,” she said, poking at her omelette, glancing around at the better-dressed crowd, “A bunch of bums sitting here.”
“That’s IT!” said Kerouac, snapping a finger at her, “The Dharma Bums. Much better title. Thanks, doll.”
So at least he got something out of this little trip. We had diddly-nothing until we dropped him off at Ginsberg’s place in Berkeley, where Jack was shacking up. “Y’know,” he said, toying with the door handle, “I ran across a guy who works for the city this month named Henry you might wanna look up. Can’t remember what the hell he does, though.”
“Well that’s a big help.”
“No, seriously. He was in City Lights Bookstore one night. Cat was in a heated talk with the owner about a land swindle involving the new Giants’ ball park. Spoke a real good swindle-ese if you know what I mean.”
“I mean he was plugged into the wall, man. In the know. Anyway, good luck with it.” He gave Liz a final wink. “You too.”
Liz uttered a charmed little squeak and looked away. Kerouac climbed out, headed across the street for Ginsberg’s bungalow. The bulge of his empty brandy bottle still in his back pocket.
“You gonna be in town long?” I yelled.
“Doubt it! Miles to go before I weep!”
And then he was gone.
* * *
Mother’s Day game with the Dodgers at Seals Stadium. Yahoo. Liz stayed at the apartment and slept. I ignored Pence, the other ushers, even little pre-game pep talks from Stoneham and Malarkey and just worked my section. Until just like I figured, my mother showed up.
The only games she ever went to were on Mother’s Day. She was pooped from the many buses, street and cable cars she had to take, and I felt like an absolute heel for not swinging by her place in the East Bay to pick her up. Probably would have if I wasn’t stuck on a mountain all night and forgotten it was even Mother’s Day. Anyway, she bought one of the last grandstand tickets for what must have been the last empty seat in my section to seat her in.
“Get me a glass of wine would you, honey?” was her first inane request, somewhere around the third inning with Stan Williams and Stu Miller still throwing goose eggs.
“They have soda pop, Mom. Coffee, too. But no wine. And they also have vendors, remember.”
“I don’t want a vendor, I want a drink from you.”
“I’m trying to work, Mom.”
“People are seated already! I don’t care how dressed up you look in those smart usher clothes, Milton, you’re just idling around.”
And so it went for most of the game. On the field, things were worse. With Dodger third sacker Dick Gray still out, Ron Fairly blasted one deep to left center with two aboard in the 4th. Wagner and Mays ran for the ball, smashed into each other and lay there on the outfield grass while Fairly circled the bases. Willie recovered enough to hit a solo shot in the 8th, but pitcher Williams had also gone deep for them by that point, and snuffed us out on just five hits. Hard for me to understand why our hitting has been so weak with all the fence-busters we have. If I can ever stop thinking about these murders maybe I’ll put on my baseball thinking cap soon.
When the game ended I had to shake Mom awake so I could drive her home and buy her some flowers on the way. Cruising over the Bay Bridge while she babbled on endlessly, the only thing in my mind was the name Henry…
L.A. 000 300 100 – 4 6 1
S.F. 000 100 010 – 2 5 0
W-Williams L-Miller HRS: Williams, Cepeda, Mays GWRBI-Fairly
The mortal enemies now swing down to L.A. for two more before both teams take off for their first eastern road trips.
CIN 000 000 001 – 1 9 0
MIL 300 000 10x – 4 7 2
W-Rush L-Purkey HR: Crandall GWRBI-Crandall
The Braves salvage the finale with adequate pitching and three in the first, keyed by a Del Crandall blast out of cold County Stadium.
CHI 300 010 000 – 4 9 1
STL 000 031 10x – 5 11 1
W-Mizell L-Drabowsky HRS: Moryn, Cunningham GWRBI-Kasko
Vinegar Bend Mizell recovers from a 3-run Moryn bomb in the 1st to pretty much shut the Cubs down the rest of the way. A Dark error helps the Cards score three in the 5th, and Kasko singles in the eventual winner.
CHI 000 102 000 – 3 10 2
STL 100 000 003 – 4 11 0
W-Martin L-Elston HR: Long GWRBI-Musial
Stan the Man has a nice batting average but not many clutch RBIs yet. These were. Down 3-1 in the 9th and Elston closing,K att walks, Bobby Gene Smith gets a pinch single, Freese knocks one in with a force, but Tony Taylor throws a game-ending DP away for a 2-base error. Blasingame singles and Musial singles in two for the old ballgame. St. Louis can’t dominate anyone but the Cubs, it seems, now 6-3 against them.
PHI 001 000 101 – 3 9 0
PIT 200 000 000 – 2 5 1
W-Meyer L-Face SV-Farrell HRS: Lopata, Hamner, Skinner GWRBI-Hamner
The Phillie magic act continues, as Granny Hamner nicks Roy’s Face for a solo shot over the Forbes wall in the 9th. Skinner gives the Bucs a quick lead in the 1st but Cardwell, Meyer and Farrell shut them down from there.
PHI 000 000 201 – 3 8 1
PIT 110 141 00x – 8 16 2
W-Porterfield L-Morehead HRS: Porterfield, Thomas GWRBI-Clemente
It’s a 4-game Pennsylvania split as Seth Morehead gets smacked around and Bob Porterfield doesn’t.
WAS 010 000 000 – 1 3 1
NYY 620 100 00x – 9 9 0
W-Ditmar L-Griggs HRS: F. Throneberry, Mantle, Berra-2, McDougald GWRBI-Mantle
Another game, another butchering. Sorry folks, when your starter (meaning you, Hal Griggs) gives up six runs out of the gate, there isn’t much more to say.
WAS 100 100 000 – 2 6 0
NYY 015 000 30x – 9 12 0
W-Maas L-Valentinetti HRS: Sievers-2, Berra, Skowron GWRBI-Slaughter
Still, I will try. New York’s seventh straight win (and 10-1 this month) puts them up by two on the Birds as they outscore the lowly Senators 35-8 in the four games.
BOS 000 000 010 – 1 5 1
BAL 000 000 002 – 2 7 0
W-Brown L-Delock HR: Williams GWRBI-Boyd
The Red Sox swoon reaches a new low as Bob Boyd singles off Wall with two gone in the 9th for the tying and winning runs.
BOS 430 000 000 – 7 11 1
BAL 100 010 010 – 3 8 0
W-Wall L-Pappas HRS: Williams-2, GWRBI-Williams
Teddy Ballgame homered in the first game for the only Boston run, so decides to hit two in the nightcap and earn them a split. Fornieles fails to get the win by being lifted for Wall in the 5th. For what it’s worth, Williams is now batting .500 with a .614 OBP, 1.000 slug, and 1.614 OPS.
K.C. 000 116 302 – 13 16 0
DET 012 000 010 – 4 9 1
W-Urban L-Moford HRS: Chiti, Lopez, Harris GWRBI-Chiti
A real Urban shocker. Shaky for the first few innings, Herb Moford outstinks Jack Urban by giving up single runs in the 4th and 5th and six in the 6th as the A’s run away and hide. Detroit will have to get better now against the big-swingin’ Tribe.
CLE 130 040 010 – 9 16 2
CHX 000 101 003 – 5 8 4
W-McLish L-Wilson SV-Tomanek HR: Wertz GWRBI-Doby
Speaking of the Tribe, Jim Wilson gets lambasted again and the usually sure-fingered White Sox boot four balls in the process.
CLE 000 000 020 -2 7 0
CHX 000 030 00x – 3 7 1
W-Latman L-Ferrarese SV-Staley HR: Lollar GWRBI-Lollar
Cleveland nearly pulls off another sweep, but don’t deserve to by leaving 14 runners aboard and scoring just twice, despite putting the lead man on in seven of the nine innings. Sherm’s 3-run shot is all Chicago needs.
Big thanks to Phillies skipper Paul Dylan for passing on the very smooth Willie Mays shot above.
National League through Sunday, May 11
American League through Sunday, May 11