June 21, 1958

“Calm down, Drake!”
“I’ll calm down when the Giants clinch the pennant on Labor Day, and when you start helping me out a little, Special FBI Agent Brewster. What were all your flunkies doing last night while I was being made with a Peanut Pleasure? Betting at the horse track? Shooting off rounds at the firing range?”
“I told you. We had a big mid-Atlantic division meeting. What I’d like to know is why you didn’t initiate a suspect pursuit.”
“Because he vanished, you robot! Like he always does! You expect me to chase a phantom down dark alleys in strange cities now? I’m a third-string catcher, remember? Not Marvel Boy.”
“My apologies then…I’ll increase our presence at the ballpark today.”
“Yeah, well do the same to your brain pan, and bring along a tank and submarine while you’re at it. And no more mystery meetings, please. The timing was so weird on this one it made me suspect YOU.”
“That isn’t even humorous, Mr. Drake.”
“It wasn’t meant to be.”

* * *

I was certainly in no mood to laugh at this afternoon’s game. I spent one third of it following the action and the rest anxiously looking for peanut phantoms in the shadowy Connie Mack grandstand. It was hot as blazes, and when the grounds crew watered down the infield I was of a mind to scamper out there and douse myself like a 6-year-old.

Wet towels around necks and over faces was the bullpen fashion the entire day, because Mike McCormick incredibly threw his first complete game since April. Our bats also woke up big time. With one gone in the 2nd, we strung together a Schmidt double-King single-McCormick single-Spencer single-Bressoud double and 2-run Willie Mays bleacher bomb, good for six quick runs off Sanford and basically the game.

As I said, the guys on the team were keen on what I was doing, and having a fun time with it. Davenport went to a costume shop later and bought me a Sherlock Holmes hat and toy pipe. Grissom and Schmidt took turns dropping their claws on my shoulder at quiet moments to make me jump. And when we were down in the hotel restaurant, Thomas tried to order me a Peanut Pleasure. Wiseacres.

At least the ribbing relaxed me a bit. When I got back upstairs it was also nice to see the maid had made up my mop closet. She even left a vase with a rose in it, next to a folded-up note. Which seemed odd. I picked up the piece of paper and opened it. The words were typewritten:

NICE DISGUISE, SNAPPY. THANK YOU FOR NOT INVOLVING THE LAW. YOU CAN BET YOUR LADY THANKS YOU TOO.

I dropped the note, grabbed the room phone. Dialed a number I had on an FBI card in my wallet. Dropped my voice to a whisper.

“Brewster? It’s Drake. Listen good. For the next few days, you need to keep your men away from the ballpark, okay? And stay as far away from me as you can.”
“What’s going on?…Everything okay?”
“With me, yeah. Liz? God only knows.”

THE SKINNYS

S.F. 060 010 000 – 7 12 0
PHI 000 100 000 – 1 7 0
W-McCormick L-Sanford HR: Mays GWRBI-King

L.A. 000 000 110 – 2 7 2
PIT 002 000 10x – 3 10 0
W-Kline L-Koufax SV-Gross HR: Groat, GWRBI-Groat
Dick Groat gets bumped up to the #3 slot and goes 4-for-4 with a game deciding homer. Another in a series of control-challenged starts by the young Koufax. By all rights the Bucs should have scored at least six off him.

CHI 000 100 000 – 1 6 1
CIN 410 006 00x – 11 11 0
W-Haddix L-Drabowsky HRS: Moryn, Bailey, Robinson GWRBI-Robinson
Moe pitches like a schmoe, as the Reds pummel him in the 1st, then score six times with two gone and nobody aboard in the 6th. And this with Lynch still out.

STL 000 020 000 – 2 7 1
MIL 100 000 013 – 5 8 0
W-Willey L-Mabe HRS: Covington (#25), Torre GWRBI-Torre
The Braves try their best to blow another early lead, but this time Covington ties it with an 8th inning shot and Torre wins it with a 9th inning trot-off. Milwaukee is hoping this is a sign of things to come, because they have a ton of home games left on the schedule.

NYY 003 001 011 – 6 8 1
DET 100 000 001 – 2 8 0
W-Ford L-Hoeft HRS: Berra, Siebern, GWRBI-Berra
Yogi celebrates the Mick’s return tomorrow by clouting his third homer in two days, turning around a 1-0 deficit, giving Whitey his 9th win, and ending the Yanks’ 5-game losing streak.

BAL 000 000 301 – 4 9 1
CHI 000 000 100 – 1 7 0
W-Harshman L-Wynn HR: Harshman GWRBI-Harshman
Hard to go more than two days without a great Baltimore pitching performance. Harshman not only throws great but wins the game with a 3-run shot in the 7th off Early Wynn as the Birds become the first team to hit 40 wins and stay tied for the top with New York.

BOS 300 110 011 – 7 13 0
K.C. 000 210 000 – 3 6 0
W-Monboquette L-Garver SV-Kiely HRS: Gernert, Jensen GWRBI-Jensen
And it’s back to the slugging business for Boston. Jackie Jensen hits for the cycle off Ned Garver and the Red Sox stay one half game out.

WAS 000 000 010 – 1 5 0
CLE 200 001 00x – 3 9 1
W-McLish L-Clevenger SV-Score GWRBI-Doby
The latest Senator win streak ends at one, thanks to more anemic bats and just enough hitting by the Tribe. Minoso returns from an injury, singles in the 1st and scores the first run on a hit by Doby.

National League through Saturday, June 21

Chicago 36 30 .545 —
Philadelphia 33 29 .532 1
Los Angeles 33 30 .524 1.5
St. Louis 32 31 .510 2.5
San Francisco 31 33 .484 4
Milwaukee 30 32 .484 4
Cincinnati 30 33 .476 4.5
Pittsburgh 29 36 .446 6.5

American League through Saturday, June 21

New York 39 25 .609 —
Baltimore 40 26 .606 —
Boston 39 26 .600 0.5
Chicago 37 28 .569 2.5
Detroit 31 34 .477 8.5
Cleveland 31 36 .463 9.5
Kansas City 25 38 .397 13.5
Washington 18 47 .277 21.5
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