No time for eggs this time, barely any for coffee. Liz had me pack a bag and fly with her to L.A. for the last two Giants-Dodgers games of this home and road series.
It was also the start of a mammoth, 21-game road trip for the Seals men that would take them through St. Louis, Chicago, Cincy, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Philly and St. Louis again before getting home on June 2nd. This meant I’d be scrapping around for free dinners here and there, running up my tab at the Double Play. Chumpo did offer me a small job behind the bar with ushering unavailable, but L.A. was the first thing on my mind today.
Liz had bungalow issues to resolve with her landlord, and for good reason, not being too eager to dump her lease yet. She also wanted to put in a couple more days of celebrity gossip research at the Coliseum for the Herald, because she felt she “owed it” to old Gaddy. Never said the girl wasn’t a masochist.
The Giants spent Monday what they did down here last time: whacking the tar out of the ball. Al Worthington stymied the Dodger sticks while the ‘Gints rolled up 16 hits and 11 runs on Erskine, Kipp, McDevitt, Giallombardo, and the peanut guy from the left field bleachers. That’s where my lousy seat was this time, behind the high cockamamie home run screen. But I didn’t much care. The sun was glorious, and I even stripped down to my undershirt at one point to tan part of my ghost arms.
Liz was tired and a little less charming afterwards, as you’d expect. She said she might have a big surprise for me for the Tuesday game, then held it back from me over dinner like a ham bone in front of a terrier. She wanted something, and I didn’t have to be Victor Mature to figure it out.
“I like doing things with you,” she said when we finally got back to her bungalow Monday night, opened some wine and put on a stack of Perry Como albums.
“So what d’ya think?” She was wearing a loose green blouse that threatened to get looser.
“Y’know…about you and me.”
“I’m not a house and kids kind of guy, Liz. Thought I mentioned that.”
“Whoa, Tex. We haven’t even got big time chummy yet.” She twirled a finger into my hair.
“Yeah…But you know what they say: beer leads to vodka, diapers and a mortgage.”
“Who said that?”
“Never mind. I just like to take things super slow, lady.”
She moved closer on the couch. “How slow?”
“Slower than this.”
“Come on, Snap…Just for one night, don’t think about dead bodies…and ushering…and Paulie Suggs…and the Spokane Indians…and whoever the hell this Henry is….just think about all of little me…”
The next Perry Como platter dropped. “You’ll Always Be My Lifetime Sweetheart” started up. I was helpless. Her warm, tobacco-tasting mouth found mine, and a long night of carnal bliss and endurance began.
* * *
She was all smiles and giggles on Tuesday. Partly because she thought she had me locked up, partly because of the big surprise she revealed in the morning. I’d be able to join her in a private Coliseum box with Rock Hudson and Doris Day that afternoon. Wasn’t exactly zinger news for me, but she insisted that Doris was a huge baseball fan so I played along.
Unfortunately, Liz was one of about 17 other L.A. reporters and gossip hounds who’d been invited into the box. It was so stuffed in there I could barely reach the shrimp cocktail table. Doris was more friendly and freckled in person than I’d seen her in her movies. Rock was kind of a stiff and kept eyeing me for some reason, and with the Dodgers way ahead by the 5th on four home runs, I excused myself to sit in the sunny stands and breathe again.
There was more hay-rolling that night, thankfully less Perry Como, and I was actually contemplating taking a three-week vacation here with the Giants on the road.
Until something crashed on Liz’s outside porch at two in the morning. “What was THAT??” she cried, bundling herself in sheets.
I threw on my pants, stepped out on her porch. There was a light breeze in the foothills, but nothing that would have toppled over and smashed the vase of tall flowers she had next to her bedroom window.
The porch creaked behind me. I heard breathing. Slowly turned like I was heading back inside, then leaped at something crouched in the shadows.
Yanked out a thin, handsome guy in a Riviera Country Club polo shirt. He was in his late 20s, and trying to babble.
“Don’t hurt me, okay??”
Liz stepped out in her nightgown, put a hand to her open mouth in shock.
TWO DAYS OF SKINNYS
S.F. 040 301 030 – 11 16 1
L.A. 000 200 000 – 2 5 1
W-Worthington L-Erskine HRS: Cepeda, Fairly, Hodges GWRBI-Rodgers
STL 010 000 420 – 7 11 1
CHI 000 000 000 – 0 3 2
W-Bronsan L-Phillips HRS: Green, Cunningham, Boyer GWRBI-Green
The other home-and-home match moves to Wrigley, and Brosnan throws his bi-weekly gem to make it three in a row for the Cards.
BOS 000 020 001 – 3 11 0
WAS 301 001 00x – 5 12 0
W-Pascual L-Sullivan SV-Hyde HRS: Sievers, Courtney GWRBI-Sievers
I didn’t think things could get even worse for the Red Sox, but they just did. They strand nine, ground into three double plays against a team that rarely turns them.
S.F. 010 000 100 – 2 10 1
L.A. 303 020 00x – 8 7 1
W-Podres L-Antonelli HRS: Sauer, Furillo, Neal, Hodges, Pignitano GWRBI-Furillo
While Liz and I hobbed and nobbed with Hollywoodites, we mostly missed another Dodger home run show against the typically awful Antonelli. Poor Johnny is now 0-3 with a 7.75 ERA, with 10 long ones given up in just 36 innings.
STL 104 000 000 – 5 10 0
CHI 034 000 00x – 7 14 0
W-Drott L-Jackson HR: Neeman GWRBI-Neeman
So much for the St. Louis win streak. They hit into four DPs and do nothing more against Dick Drott after scoring four times in the 3rd. Chicago’s version of Ray Katt, Cal Neeman, hits another game-winning blast.
MIL 014 000 000 – 5 12 2
PHI 013 010 10x – 6 7 1
W-Simmons L-Jay SV-Meyer HRS: Adcock, Mathews, Aaron, Philley GWRBI-Bowman
Don’t think the Phils got it going on yet? Three of the four Braves sluggers go yard, Milwaukee outhits them 12-7, and they win anyway. Awful Brave fielding is the culprit, Jay booting a two-out roller that leads to the tying run in the 5th, and Adcock butchering a double that leads to the winning run in the 7th. On the plus side for Milwaukee, Juan Pizarro comes in to strike out the side with men on second and third, but Meyer retires Mathews and Aaron with two aboard in the 9th for the miracle save.
CIN 014 002 100 – 8 15 0
PIT 000 000 201 – 3 11 0
W-Haddix L-Witt HR: Lynch GWRBI-Bell
One of the best road teams beats one of the worst home teams again, with that man Jerry Lynch doubling twice and homering once to fuel the Redleg attack.
BAL 000 000 600 000 – 6 14 0
NYY 001 100 310 002 – 8 13 0
W-Monroe L-Zuverink HRS: McDougald, Mantle-2, Skowron, Siebern GWRBI-Siebern
Amazing early season first place showdown in the Bronx. Shantz goes up 2-0 through six but lives very dangerously. Gets knocked out in the 7th on three straight singles, Trucks is a disaster, and the Birds score six times. The Mick’s second homer of the game and Skowron’s 2-run smash get three right back, and Bauer’s triple and Mick’s single in the 8th off Wilhelm tie it. Hoyt and Ryne Duren both go four innings in relief, but George Zuverink’s second inning starts with a Richardson double and Norm Siebern bleacher blast. The Yankee lead is up to three, their winning streak up to eight, and the league is nervous.
BOS 100 023 121 – 10 15 1
WAS 001 000 000 – 1 13 2
W-Brewer L-Ramos HRS: Malzone, Gernert GWRBI-Malzone
Ah yes, the universe is back to normal. How about those goofy Nats getting two less hits but scoring nine less runs? That ain’t easy to do.
CLE 004 020 000 – 6 6 4
DET 100 001 014 – 7 10 1
W-Aguirre L-Score HRS: Doby, Minoso, Ward
By far, the worst Tribe loss so far. Up 6-1 behind their best starter Bell, the Cleveland defense vomits. Wertz flubs one to start the 6th and scores with Avila kicks a Kaline grounder into right field. Wertz does the same thing on another Kaline infield hit to bring home a run in the 8th. In the 9th, with the unscored-upon Herb Score on the hill, Billy Martin leads with a double. Zernial pinch-hits a single. A Groth pinch single follows a wild pitch. Singles by Wilson and Kaline follow, and another wild pitch ties the game, sends Wilson to third. Mossi enters and a passed ball gets past Dick Brown for the “winner”!
CHI 001 110 300 – 6 10 0
K.C. 020 001 001 – 4 10 1
W-Moore L-Herbert SV-Staley GWRBI-Goodman
With the Yanks cruisingnow, three late runs off Herbert give the Chisox a much-needed victory. Well, at least we have one pennant race that’s anybody’s to win.
National League through Tuesday, May 13
American League through Tuesday, May 13