June 14, 1958

I was back in my old section today, and paired up with Dot again. After what happened to Tall Tom Tupper last night, Malarkey had so many extra cops in the stands the place looked like a giant coffee shop. With all the extra lawmen around, you’d think Dot would have felt safe enough to do her job. Nope. Two batters in and she was already clinging to me.

“We need some bonus money for this, don’t you think? A guy like that wanted nothing to do with Tom, I’m convinced. He wants a girl he can terrorize. Like your friend Liz. He only hurt Tom because he didn’t bump into ME.”
“Dot? Can we just seat people for the game please?”
“I am, I am!’
“You’re not. And section 16 is plenty big for you to work the top rows.”
“I know that…I’d just rather work all the rows with you!”
“Obviously.”

I had gone to see Tall Tom over at the hospital that morning. Unfortunately, he remembered nothing, having been knocked out in a dark stadium corridor. Didn’t even remember smelling peanuts before he got hit.

I thought about calling Liz’s parents or brother, but until I had more info there was really no point. The best thing I could do was keep my Handy-Talkie close, in case the maniac tried to talk to me again. If so, he’d be doing it from somewhere in or around the stadium, which explained all the extra flatfoots.

As if Dot and the Peanut Killer didn’t have me enough on edge, the Giants were doing another collapse at the hands of the Phillies. This time Solly Hemus (!) and Harry Anderson both homered off Ruben Gomez in the 1sta Hemus double and Bowman single got them another run in the 3rd, and it was 4-0 when Davenport finally clubbed a 2-run shot off Ray Semproch in the 4th. Another Bowman single added insurance in the 8th, Mays hit a solo shot, but that was all she wrote, and we were four games below .500 again.

“Can I work this section with you tomorrow?” asked Dot as fans filed out.
“I don’t know. You should talk to Pence.”
“Because Butch and Dominic stare at me too much and every time I work with Veronica she talks too much, and Lindee just doesn’t get me—”
“Dot? Talk to Pence about it.”

She revved up another question and I bolted for the nearest exit before she could hit the mouth gas. Wove my way through the crowds on Bryant Street, still in the usher uniform I didn’t even feel like changing out of. All I wanted to do was hide in my place with a bottle and jazz record.

“Hey Snappy! Wait up!”

Oh no. It was Eugene Buzzbee again, from the Tribune.

“I thought I told you to keep away from me.”
“You said your apartment. You didn’t say anything about public places. I got it right here in my notebook if you wanna see.”
“No thanks.”

I kept walking. He closed the gap again.

“Heard the Peanut Killer talked to you personally last night. Care to tell me what he said?”
“Yeah. Shut up and none of your business.”
“Was it about your girlfriend?”

I ignored him, kept walking.

“Not real sporting of you! Behaving this way when she could be tied up in some basement and needing your hel—”

He didn’t finish the sentence because my right fist was smashing into his face. He dropped on the pavement like a skinny watermelon. The weeks of fear and frustration had boiled over on my stove, and I punched and kicked him until his face was the meat loaf I had promised two days earlier. Over a dozen fans stood and watched until one tried to yank me away. I shook free, wringing my hand, and continued the escape to my private chamber of torment.

THE SKINNYS

PHI 301 000 010 – 5 8 1
S.F. 000 200 010 – 3 8 0
W-Semproch L-Gomez SV-Meyer HRS: Hemus, Anderson, Davenport, Mays GWRBI-Hemus

PIT 001 024 011 – 9 15 2
L.A. 300 002 030 – 8 9 1
W-Gross L-Craig HRS: Thomas, Furillo, Zimmer GWRBI-Thomas
About time Frank Thomas earned his paycheck. After smashing two dingers yesterday at the righty-friendly Coliseum, he caps a thrilling battle with a solo blast off Roger Craig in the 9th, and drops the Dodgers back into third place, though just one game back.

CIN 300 100 001 – 5 13 0
CHI 202 110 26x – 14 16 1
W-Hillman L-Schmidt HRS: Dropo, Neeman, Moryn-2, Long, Banks
The Cubbies are back on the homer wagon, walloping five and taking first place back by a half game.

MIL 201 000 004 – 7 12 0
STL 000 000 000 – 0 3 0
W-Burdette L-Mabe HRS: Aaron-2, Torre GWRBI-Aaron
The Cards’ stay above .500 lasts exactly 24 hours as Burdette gets some very rare hitting support. Hammerin’ Hank has been on a roll, now up to .362 with 20 homers, 55 RBIs and a 1.115 OPS.

DET 000 100 000 – 1 5 0
NYY 000 030 01x – 4 10 2
W-Shantz L-Foytack GWRBI-Mantle
The Mick has been quiet lately, but whacks a game-winning single in a three-run 5th, and Shantz wins what should have been the short end of a pitching mismatch against Foytack.

CHX 001 000 200 – 3 10 1
BAL 203 000 00x – 5 9 3
W-Brown L-Pierce SV-Loes GWRBI-Gardner
The Orioles really are remarkable. On a day when their usually great fielding fails them, Hal Brown pitches good enough to win and Billy Gardner goes 4-for-4 with three doubles. Against Sox ace Billy Pierce.

K.C. 000 010 020 – 3 7 1
BOS 021 000 51x – 9 12 1
W-Brewer L-Garver HRS: Cerv, Buddin, Daley
Make it 8-0 in the season series. Daley clubs a grand slam off Gorman to blow open a tight game and put the Bosox solely in third place.

CLE 010 003 002 003 – 9 19 1
WAS 011 040 000 002 – 8 13 0
W-Ferrarese L-Constable SV-Lemon HRS: Vernon, Harrell, Colavito, Bridges, Sievers GWBI-Moran
An incredible contest, which someone had to eventually win. The Nats nearly notch their third straight, but the Tribe comes back from 6-1, and the Rock ties it with a 2-run shot in the 9th. In the 12th, it’s utility scrub Billy Moran with a pinch single to ignite a 3- run rally—a lead that an awful Bob Lemon nearly surrenders in the bottom of the inning. Absentee manager Common Man had a chance to briefly inspect his team in Minneapolis last week, so maybe his good karma rubbed off.

National League through Saturday, June 14

Chicago 32 27 .542
Philadelphia 30 26 .536 0.5
Los Angeles 30 27 .526 1
St. Louis 28 28 .500 1.5
Cincinnati 27 28 .491 3
Milwaukee 27 29 .482 3.5
San Francisco 27 31 .466 4.5
Pittsburgh 27 32 .458 5

American League through Saturday, June 14

New York 37 20 .649
Baltimore 38 22 .633 0.5
Boston 35 24 .593 3
Chicago 34 25 .576 4
Detroit 27 31 .466 10.5
Cleveland 26 35 .426 13
Kansas City 22 35 .386 15
Washington 16 43 .271 22
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