July 15, 1958

I got followed again today, but not by who you think.

Started after I went to the city library after lunch and got nowhere with the snooty librarian. Don’t ask me why librarians always seem to be snooty. They just are. Like they pump them out of snooty machines in library basements.

All I wanted was a list of books that Xavier Chitwood had recently checked out.  “Absolutely out of the question,” was her answer, as if I had asked the woman for her phone number and brassiere size. Aggravated, I hopped on a cable car to head down to the wharf and look for X-Man’s hovel.

Which is when I noticed the strange lady. She climbed on back seconds after I grabbed a pole up front. She had a nice cream-colored dress, expensive white gloves and dark glasses on. Awkwardly changed her grip over and over, like she’d never been on a cable car in her life.

As people got on and off at the top of Hyde, I worked my way inside the car. So did the woman. Even with her dark glasses it was easy to tell she was eyeballing me—and trying to squeeze closer. When we stopped at Green I slipped into a vacant aisle seat. Waited for her to inch closer, then stood abruptly in front of her.

“Care for a seat?”
“Oh! Why thank you…” She slowly lowered herself into it, slipping me a brittle smile. Her voice sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it. I tapped her on the shoulder.
“We’ve met somewhere haven’t we?”

She spun around. Lowered her shades and pretended to recognize me.

“Mr. Drake?”
“Mrs. North?

It was the wife of city grand juror Henry North, the guy who was trying to investigate a land swindle involving the Mayor and Candlestick Point. Mrs. North had served us Waldorf salads and eclairs in Henry’s parlor about two months ago.

“You never wrote that article, did you?” she said out of the clear blue.
“Article?” I had totally forgotten I had told North I was a reporter for the Sacramento Bee.
“Yes. Henry even drove out to the newspaper to look for you, and they said no one named Milton Drake even worked there. He could have used that support, you know.”

“I’m sorry. I’ve actually been caught up in these murders revolving around the Giants, and I thought maybe the land deal had something to do with it.”
“So you lied to him.”
“Well, I guess you could call it that. A white one.”

The cable car gave a sudden lurch and Mrs. North nearly pitched into the aisle. I grabbed her in time and she suddenly began to cry.

“Mrs. North? You okay?”
She shook her head. “It’s all gotten so ugly. My friends now…”
“Your friends?”
“They won’t even talk to me…Won’t even invite me to their parties. All because of this grand jury report the Mayor is trying to bury. I told Henry to back down but he just won’t listen—”

She wept into the sleeve of my jacket. A few passengers stared. Most just got on and off the car at every street.

“Would it help if I saw Henry?”
“Definitely not…He’s just so determined to pursue this.”
“How about the Mayor?”

She violently shook her head. Yanked the cord to get off at the next street. “I’m sorry, Mr. Drake. I didn’t mean to alarm you…All I can tell you is, if you’re hunting for murderers, you may have been on the right track the first time we met.”

And with that, she climbed off at Beach. The cable car was rotated around, and started climbing back up the hill.

I never even got off.

THE SKINNYS

PHI 000 230 001 – 6 7 0
S.F. 000 011 110 – 4 8 0
W-Roberts L-Miller HRS:Davenport, Wagner, Mays GWRBI-Anderson
I was too distracted by Mrs. North’s tale to pay much attention to or care about this one tonight. Miller, Giel, and Monzant gave the Phillies nine walks, while Robin Roberts walked nobody. The difference in the game.

MIL 040 121 210 – 11 15 0
STL 000 303 200 – 8 9 0
W-Burdette L-Mabe HRS: Covington, Aaron-2, Burdette GWRBI-Covington
Hammerin’ Hank keeps up his case for MVP. Right after the Cards make it a game at 5-3, Aaron hits a 2-run homer. RIght after the Cards score three more to make it a game again at 8-6, Aaron doubles to start a 2-run rally. And right after the Cards score two more the same inning to cut it to 10-8, Aaron homers for he Braves’ final run. He’s amazin’.

PIT 023 001 000 02 – 8 11 1
L.A. 000 001 320 00 – 6 8 2
W-Gross L-Roebuck SV-Face HRS: Mazeroski, Neal, Furillo-2, Gray GWRBI-Groat
After the Dodgers power back from a 6-0 deficit to tie the game with a barrage of homers, Dick Groat’s double in the 11th off Roebuck decides it. Believe it or else, it’s Pittsburgh’s first extra-inning win of the season.

DET 000 210 000 – 3 12 4
NYY 005 100 12x – 9 13 0
W-Ford L-Moford HRS: Slaughter, Berra-2 GWRBI-Slaughter
The latest Bronx casualty is the Tigers, who combine awful defense and gopher-itis to hand the Bombers their 58th win. Yogi isn’t hitting much for average, but boy does he ever pop timely homers.

K.C. 003 000 000 – 3 8 2
BOS 010 201 00x – 4 5 0
W-Monboquette L-Garver HRS: Ward, Gernert, Renna, Malzone GWRBI-Malzone
The A’s take a berief 3-1 lead in the 3rd before Boston yawns, stretches and bashes three more homers. K.C. is now a downright ugly 2-11 vs. the Red Sox.

CHI 000 000 000 – 0 3 0
BAL 100 300 20x – 6 9 0
W-Harshman L-Wynn HRS: Woodling-2, Robinson, Harshman GWRBI-Woodling
But if you want ugly, look no further than the south side. The Chisox do next to nothing against Harshman, and Wynn serves the Birds eight innings of tasty meatballs.

CLE 010 100 001 – 3 11 1
WAS 340 001 00x – 8 14 2
W-Pascual L-Bell HRS: Zauchin, Sievers GWRBI-Sievers
Classic Tribe. Take two out of three in New York, then get their rumps waxed in Washington with their best starter going. At least hard-luck Pascual benefits from the waxing.

National League through Tuesday, July 15

Milwaukee 48 37 .565
Philadelphia 44 40 .524 3.5
San Francisco 45 41 .523 3.5
Chicago 45 42 .517 4
Los Angeles 43 43 .500 5.5
Pittsburgh 41 44 .482 7
St. Louis 39 44 .470 8
Cincinnati 36 50 .419 12.5

American League through Tuesday, July 15

New York 58 28 .674
Boston 49 36 .576 8.5
Baltimore 49 39 .557 10
Chicago 47 41 .534 12
Detroit 43 43 .500 14
Cleveland 44 44 .500 14
Kansas City 34 51 .400 23.5
Washington 23 65 .261 36
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