June 23, 1958

Brewster had his hound dogs all over the airport and train station in Milwaukee, but as he reported by phone after I checked into my room at the Pfister Hotel, no one suspicious had turned up.

It wasn’t exactly a relief. When someone is tailing and tormenting you, you’re looking over your shoulder no matter what. For all we knew, Peanut Man could’ve flown to Chicago and driven up the Lake Michigan shore in no time—though the more I thought about it, it seemed unlikely he was dragging a bound and gagged Liz along with him.

Before I left for County Stadium I tried calling her brother Billy’s car shop again and got another grease-head who told me he was “off somewhere on vacation.” Great.

Except Billy Frack wasn’t the only one who went AWOL. Our bats must’ve been left in Philadelphia, because against Lew Burdette tonight we could do just about nothing. The fans were packed in and loud, this being only eight months after they won a world title here. Their team was having a hard time getting over .500 but you’d never know it by how they painted the walls with us. Only the temperature was colder than our offense, which made sitting behind the outfield fence with icy gusts hitting our backs a brutal chore. Grissom and Crone were thrilled when they got to jog in with their mops, despite turning a 7-2 Braves lead into a rout by giving up five straight hits between them in the 8th.

Afterwards, most of the gang disappeared into the hotel bar again. I traded booze for blankets, went up the creaky stairs to my room to try and warm up. It was far too easy. The heater was turned up full blast, hissing and clanking, and I burned my hand trying to turn the knob. Unable to fall asleep I went for a walk through the hotel. Sat in the main lobby a few minutes to leaf through a magazine or two.

Someone was watching me. An older guy on the balcony, dressed in a musty, outdated suit. I looked back into my magazine, snuck another glance and he was gone. I suppose it could’ve been the Peanut Man, but he didn’t seem nearly as big and tall as I figured he was. A laughing young couple swept in the front door, bringing a cold draft in with them. I shivered, ducked into the hotel bar after all.

The only player in there was Danny O’Connell, badly trying to sing “Stardust” to a girl at the bar who was drunker than he was. I started to order a drink, then stopped myself. We had another cold night game tomorrow, and I needed to go out in the morning and find some long underwear at a department store.

So it was back to my room. No scrawled note on the door or the pillow, no peanut aroma, no creepy phone calls. Just hot, stuffy air, creaks all around me and nightmares about some old guy staring at me. It’s like the damn place was haunted.

THE SKINNYS

S.F. 001 000 010 – 2 9 2
MIL 101 122 05x – 12 12 0
W-Burdette L-Gomez HRS: Davenport, Spencer, Mathews, Aaron

L.A. 000 120 003 – 6 9 1
CIN 003 000 002 – 5 9 1
W-Drysdale L-Purkey SV-Craig HR: Gray GWRBI-Larker
A two-run double by bailey and single by Hoak put Cincy up 3-0. but Purkey gives it all back soon enough, Dick Gray’s two-run shot in the 5th knotting the score. Top of the 9th, Fairly and Roseboro single with one out and Larker plates them both. Labine and Craig narrowly save Drysdale’s bacon to put the Dodgers just one game back of the Cubs.

BAL 104 000 000 – 5 10 0
DET 001 001 020 – 4 11 1
W-O’Dell L-Foytack SV-Wilhelm HR: Niemann GWRBI-Nieman
Pure Wilhelm: Two singles, a double and balk by O’Dell cut Baltimore’s lead to one in the 8th. Hoyt Wilhelm gets Zernial on a DP ball and Harris on a grounder to kill the threat just like that.

NYY 003 001 000 – 4 6 0
CHX 001 000 000 – 1 6 1
W-Ditmar L-Pierce SV-Duren HRS: Carey, Mantle GWRBI-Carey
Huge three-run blast by Carey in the 3rd off Pierce decides the game, and the Yanks stay points ahead of the Birds at the top.

WAS 200 101 020 – 6 8 0
K.C. 104 011 02x – 9 12 1
W-Herbert L-Kemmerer HRS: Courtney, Sievers-2 GWRBI-Lopez
Make it 26 homers for Roy Sievers, but the simmering A’s hammer out a dozen hits, nine coming from the top third of the lineup.

UPDATED PENNANT RACE GRAPHS! Here’s the N.L. and A.L.

National League through Monday, June 23

Chicago 37 31 .544
Los Angeles 35 31 .530 1
Philadelphia 33 31 .516 2
St. Louis 32 32 .500 3
Milwaukee 32 32 .500 3
San Francisco 33 34 .493 3.5
Cincinnati 31 35 .470 5
Pittsburgh 30 37 .448 6.5

American League through Monday, June 23

New York 41 25 .621
Baltimore 42 26 .618
Boston 39 27 .591 2
Chicago 37 30 .553 4.5
Cleveland 33 36 .478 9.5
Detroit 31 36 .463 10.5
Kansas City 27 38 .415 13.5
Washington 18 50 .265 24
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