July 6, 1958

The highway was open all the way to L.A., meaning no creepy Studebaker in sight. Billy wasn’t convinced it was our taunting friend at the wheel, despite the car’s Ohio plates, but I had my eye on the T-Bird’s rear view mirror the whole stretch.

Anyway, Liz’s brush with tragedy had changed her attitude about ‘Frisco. After we dropped her brother at his best friend’s place in Van Nuys, she decided to give the Mission District apartment—meaning me—one more try. Another all-day drive got us into town in time to hear the last few innings of our second straight win against the comical Cards. They beat our pants off in the hit department, but Jim King of all people hit a giant 3-run homer, Gomez and Jones held the fort, and we were two games over .500 at the All-Star break.

More good news hit us when we got to the apartment: a FOR RENT sign on the unit downstairs.

“Poof!” I said, “Problem solved. You live downstairs with all the privacy you need for your novel, but you’re still close by just in case.”
“In case of what?”
“Aw, you know…danger…or dinner…”

She gave me a wink and a smile, more than I ever thought I’d get out of her.

I called the landlord to square things away for Liz, and we made plans to go out for Italian food in North Beach. The old upstairs apartment was musty. Thankfully no one had broken in or left any strange notes. I took a long shower, listened to Russ Hodges interview Jim King on the after-game show.

There was a knock on my door around 5:30. I hopped up, checked my appearance and swung it open.

Agent Brewster stood there with a couple flunkies. He was in his shirtsleeves, tie loosened.

“Welcome home, Drake.”
“Oh, for the love of…” I turned away “Can’t a guy have a day to get his life back in order?”
“Sure. Take the whole All-Star break. Take a month.”

I turned back. Eyed him warily. “Why’s that?”

He strolled through the door with his cronies. Knocked out a cigarette and fished for his lighter.

“Got ourselves a Peanut Killer, that’s why. One Xavier Lawrence Chitwood turned himself in two hours ago.”


STL 010 200 000 – 3 10 0
S.F. 010 030 00x – 4 5 0
W-Gomez L-Mabe SV-Jones HR: King GWRBI-King

CHI 000 000 100 – 1 10 1
L.A. 100 004 00x – 5 6 1
W-Podres L-Drott SV-Klippstein HR: Furillo GWRBI-Roseboro
The Dodgers pick up a game thanks to a huge 3-run blast over the screen by Furillo in the 6th. The Cubs have been scuffling, waste great scoring chances in each of the last six innings.

PIT 021 000 002 – 5 9 1
MIL 000 001 000 – 1 7 2
W-Kline L-Rush HR: Skinner GWRBI-Skinner
All of the good fortune the Braves have been enjoying lately completely abandons them. They hit into three DPs while the Bucs give Bob Rush his first rough outing in ages.

PHI 010 100 010 3 – 6 12 0
CIN 000 000 102 2 – 5 13 1
W-Farrell L-Kellner HRS: Anderson, Jones, Burgess GWRBI-Jones

PHI 350 010 000 – 9 12 1
CIN 012 003 200 – 7 12 0
W-Hearn L-Newcombe SV-Meyer HRS: Philley, Crowe GWRBI-Philley
No one’s had it rougher than the Reds lately, as they get swept for the second time in three days, drop their tenth in a row and fall 14 games under .500. They battle back in the opener, tie it in the 9th on a pinch Smoky Burgess blast, then lose on a Willie Jones 3-run job in the 10th. The nightcap finds Don Newcombe being unable to get out of the second inning, and another comeback try falls short. Without question, the Phillies 40-37 record at the halfway mark is the biggest shock of the season.

BOS 000 000 010 – 1 8 0
NYY 100 001 00x – 2 7 0
W-Ditmar L-Sullivan HR: Jensen, Carey-2 GWRBI-Carey
No shock here. Boston’s offense drops dead in the Bronx (Malzone and Williams: 2-for-18 in the two games) and they get beat this time by two Andy Carey solo blasts. Jensen does his part with a triple, double and homer in four trips but the Sox have first and second and one out in the 2nd and can’t score, runner on second with one out in the 3rd and can’t score, leadoff triple in the 4th and can’t score, leadoff single in the 5th and can’t score, first and third with one out in the 6th and can’t score, and a leadoff single in the 7th and can’t score. Other than that they played great.

BAL 001 000 200 – 3 9 0
WAS 000 000 000 – 0 4 3
W-Portocarrero L-Kemmerer GWRBI-Williams
Wonder of wonders, the O’s finally win another game, thanks to Arnie’s fourth shutout and hideous Senator fielding. They’ll take it.

K.C. 100 100 000 – 2 7 0
CLE 501 100 10x – 8 11 0
W-McLish L-Garver HRS: Cerv, Nixon, Harrell, Colavito, Wertz GWRBI-Doby
The Tribe closes out the first half at .500, a worthy achievement for them. Too bad they’ll start the second half with three in Yankee Stadium.

DET 010 200 010 2 – 6 9 0
CHX 010 200 010 1 – 5 12 1
W-Foytack L-Pierce SV-Wehmeier HRS: Bertoia, Kaline, Battey GWRBI-Kaline
A real fun contest to close out the first half of the season. Every time the Tigers score, the White Sox match them until Kaline puts Detroit ahead to stay with a 2-run shot off Pierce in the 10th. Chicago nearly scores two again but Herm Wehmeier rides to the rescue, stranding men on second and thitd by getting Phillips, Battey and Aparicio.

ALL-STAR GAME CONTEST closes today! Click here for every rockin’ detail! You can “watch” the game Thursday at 10 p.m. Eastern, 7 Pacific in a live tweetcast right here!

TEAM STATS AT THE ALL-STAR BREAK: Here are your team hitting, team pitching, and assorted miscellany through Sunday’s games.

National League through Sunday, July 6

Milwaukee 43 35 .551
Los Angeles 42 36 .538 1
Philadelphia 40 37 .519 2.5
Chicago 42 39 .519 2.5
San Francisco 41 39 .513 3
St. Louis 37 40 .481 5.5
Pittsburgh 37 42 .468 6.5
Cincinnati 33 47 .413 11

American League through Sunday, July 6

New York 53 26 .671
Boston 45 34 .570 8
Chicago 46 35 .568 8
Baltimore 46 36 .561 8.5
Cleveland 41 41 .500 13.5
Detroit 39 41 .488 14.5
Kansas City 31 48 .392 22
Washington 21 61 .256 33.5