June 6, 1958

Dot wore her knee-length skirt, light orange blouse, red curls exploding out from under her cap with lipstick to match. She’d more or less assigned herself to my section for tonight’s first game of Operation Handy-Talkie, and because she was pleasant to look at I put up with her motor mouth.

“Don’t worry Snappy. If we meet up with this maniac he’ll be no match for a big strong guy like you!”

“Did I tell you about my sister’s divorce? Married just one year and he started cheating on her. When she found out later he was actually fooling around a week after their honeymoon, she tried to divorce him twice.”

That sort of thing.

It took a good three innings for the Giants’ bats to wake up against Nuxhall, and at least that long for the ushers to get their talkies working right. Tall Tom never did figure out how to turn his on, then ten minutes before game time remembered he had meant to take the day off for the 14-year anniversary of the Normandy invasion so just plain left. I could see Veronica trying to work with Gus and Russ out in the bleachers. They appeared to be abandoning her. Butch and Dominic were in the section behind home plate, finding suspicious things about as many male fans as possible. And letting me know about it.

“Come in Snappy! Fat man in 12 just bought three peanut bags!”
“I never said he was fat, Butch. I said muscular!”
“Should I push the red button?”
“NO! Don’t push any buttons!”

Dot shook my sleeve. “Did the killer seem like someone who liked girls?”

Boy, did I ever miss Liz’s brain right about then. “Honestly? I didn’t have time to ask him.”

She dusted off a few seats for some late-arriving old couples. Paused to sneeze. “Actually…what do you think he might do to a girl like me?”

“Dot. Either watch the game or work it, okay?”

She put a hand on her hip, was about to sass me back when a loud WHOCK came from home plate. Hank Sauer had just put a Nuxhall fast ball deep into the left field bleachers with two on base, and we went up 3-1. Two innings and about twelve Dotecdotes later, Sauer hit another one with Mays aboard, Cepeda followed with a blast and we were up for good.

Between innings, a mother and her little boy came down some aisle steps toward me with fresh boxes of popcorn. I tipped my cap and moved sideways to let them by. The mother stopped in her tracks and gave me a funny look.

“You’re the one in the newspaper, aren’t you? The one the police suspected!”
“Ma’m, it’s really been a big misunderstanding—”
“Well of course you’d say that. To save your own skin.” Her kid held out a fistful of popcorn for me and she yanked him away. “Get away from him, Davey. We’re going to another section. Miss?”

She waved Dot over. Dot was more speechless than me, but walked them back up the aisle to a row of empty seats in the adjacent section. I shook my head, turned to head back down.

A dozen or so fans were turned around in their seats, gazing warily at me. Like I was about to run them off the road.

I had not counted on this.

THE SKINNYS

CIN 100 000 000 – 1 10 0
S.F. 000 303 00x – 6 8 0
W-Gomez L-Nuxhall SV-Grissom HRS: Sauer-2, Cepeda GWRBI-Sauer

PIT 000 000 000 – 0 7 2
CHI 000 001 00x – 1 5 0
W-Hobbie L-Friend GWRBI-Moryn
Great pitching duel at Wrigley won on a bases-loaded single by Moryn in the 6th, despite Virdon gunning Dale Long down at the plate.

MIL 000 102 000 – 3 7 0
L.A. 300 000 12x- 6 11 1
W-Craig L-Jay HRS: Neal, Roseboro, Snider, Zimmer GWRBI-Snider
Erskine gives up an early 3-0 Dodger lead on a single, double and three walks in the 6th, but Craig comes in to get out of the bases-loaded jam. Craig mows the Braves down the rest of the way, the Duke and the Zim go deep, and L.A. stays on the Cubbies’ heels.

PHI 000 110 000 – 2 8 0
STL 010 030 00x – 4 9 1
W-Jackson L-Simmons HRS: Anderson, Flood, Musial GWRBI-Musial
Stan the Menace Man smacks a 2-run shot to break a 2-2 tie in the 5th, and the recently hot Phillies suddenly can’t buy a win.

CLE 000 000 000 – 0 5 0
NYY 000 000 60x – 6 6 0
W-Turley L-Bell HR: Slaughter GWRBI-McDougald
Just a little dice-rolling aberration, as Russ Nixon misses a 75% chance for a 3-run homer, and one inning later three singles bring on Herb Score, who walks two guys to load the bases with two outs, then serves up a 60% chance Slaughter grand slam for the ball game.

CHX 100 001 012 – 5 12 0
BOS 022 000 20x – 6 11 0
W-Brewer L-Pierce SV-Wall HR: Piersall GWRBI-Piersall
The White Sox run themselves out of two innings, Pierce gets rocked, and Murray Wall survives a 9th inning uprising for the big save. Chicago drops back into third because…

K.C. 000 000 000 – 0 6 1
BAL 101 000 22x – 6 9 0
W-O’Dell L-Terry HRS: Gardner, Woodling, Triandos GWRBI-Nieman
“Hello, I’m Billy, and I’ll be pitching your daily Orioles shutout today.” O’Dell is now 9-1, and the Birds’ team ERA drops to 2.67.

DET 000 000 110 – 2 13 0
WAS 000 002 10x – 3 7 0
W-Kemmerer L-Foytack SV-Hyde HRS: Martin, Lemon, Aspromonte GWRBI-Lemon
Two game-winning blasts by Jim Lemon in two days, Russ Kemmerer with his first victory after starting 0-8, the Nats get outhit 13-7 and still win, and something’s gone horribly right in D.C.

TEAM RUN DIFFERENTIALS

NL
Braves +49
Cubs +21
Phillies +18
Dodgers +12
Pirates +9
Cards –15
Giants –26
Reds –40

AL
Yankees +83
Orioles +71
Indians +27
Red Sox +24
White Sox +10
Tigers –36
Athletics –67
Senators –118

National League through Friday, June 6

Chicago 28 23 .549
Los Angeles 27 23 .540 0.5
St. Louis 24 24 .500 2.5
Philadelphia 24 24 .500 2.5
Milwaukee 24 25 .490 3
San Francisco 24 26 .480 3.5
Pittsburgh 24 27 .471 4
Cincinnati 22 25 .468 4

American League through Friday, June 6

New York 33 17 .660
Baltimore 31 20 .608 2.5
Chicago 30 20 .600 3
Boston 29 21 .580 4
Cleveland 24 29 .453 10.5
Detroit 22 28 .440 11
Kansas City 19 30 .388 13.5
Washington 14 37 .275 19.5


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