July 20, 1958

Whoever the Peanut Killer really was, he knew how to ruin my life. I spent all last night being grilled by the FBI and most of this morning attacked by reporters. Even my old pal Lt. Malarkey stopped by to breathe more scallions and snide remarks in my face. Luckily, a handful of Fisherman’s Wharf witnesses gave me an alibi for the time X-Man was getting his head stuffed in a toilet. Unluckily, I had to ‘fess up about breaking into Chitwood’s taped-off apartment.

The killer’s note was certainly explainable. The bastard left a victim’s wallet in my place back in April and probably nabbed a piece of my handwriting then. And S.F. Giants stationery? There was a supply room filled with the stuff over at Seals—if he knew how to get in and where to look. And so far, this guy knew how to do everything.

Horace Stoneham, meanwhile, was floored. Like most everyone, he thought the murder stories were over. That the fans could go back to thinking about the pennant race and buying Giants concessions.

“Watch the game from my suite today, Drake,” he told me over the phone before I was allowed to leave FBI headquarters with an extra-long leash around my neck, “I’ll have two guards outside the door and if you’re interested, a new bottle of Glenlivet in my office.”

I took him up on the scotch between the third and sixth innings, and it did make the game and the day more bearable. Antonelli was masterful again, throwing a 2-hitter at the Bucs, and with the Braves losing at Wrigley, we were suddenly just two games out again.

Liz didn’t know what to say to me yesterday after Brewster cornered us in the park, and nothing changed today. She was too disgusted with my hijinks and too wrapped up in her novel to even retrieve the day-old mail from her box. I pulled out the postal clump and rapped on her door. She swung it open, her hair down and makeup nowhere to be seen.

“Gee. You’re not in prison.”
“Thanks. Nice to see you again, too.”
“I’m in the middle of a tough scene, Snap. I’ll stop by in a little while, okay?” She started to close the door, then opened it again to grab her mail. “And thanks.”

I trudged upstairs, tossed a few lamb chops into a pan and began frying. If Liz never showed up I would have been happy to eat both of them.

And then I heard her shriek.

I killed the burner, ran down the porch steps. Burst into her place.

She had her back against the far wall. Hand over her mouth. Shaking.

“What happened??”

She said nothing, just pointed to an open letter on her desk. Beside it was a plain envelope with no stamp or postmark, addressed to THE FUTURE MRS. MILTON. I picked up the letter and read:

Pestering Milton has gotten stale, so now it is your turn.

Thank you a head of time for a greeing to be my published voice. Your news paper the Los Angeles Herald will print the letters I send you while you travel with the Dodgers team on their next trip. For every letter that is not printed, there will be a fresh killing. This I can promise.

“What the hell does he want?”
“I don’t know, Liz. Other than to create terror.”
“But why me??”
“Because you’re with me, I would think.”
“Oh God…he’s been following us!”
“And probably because of your newspaper connection.”
“What connection?? They booted me off the staff, remember?”
“It doesn’t matter now. Trust me. Call your editor back, read him this letter, and they’ll put you in the Dodgers press box in thirty seconds.”

THE SKINNYS

PIT 000 000 010 – 1 2 1
S.F. 000 002 10x – 3 9 1
W-Antonelli L-Raydon HR: Stuart GWRBI-Mays

MIL 010 000 001 – 2 6 1
CHI 010 100 001 – 3 6 1
W-Elston L-Robinson HR: Covington GWRBI-Elston
Cubbies pull out a beauty. After Pafko walks in the tying run in the top of the 9th, Elston singles in Sammy Taylor to win it in the bottom.

PHI 000 420 010 – 7 15 1
L.A. 003 200 000 – 5 7 1
W-Semproch L-Podres GWRBI-Fernandez
Bizarre meltdown by Podres, who retires the first nine Phillies, whiffing seven of them, then gives up six runs on nine hits the next two innings. And Philly continues to get production from the whole roster. Wally Post: 3-for-5 Chico Fernandez: 4-for-5

STL 000 010 030 – 4 11 1
CIN 100 000 000 – 1 6 0
W-Jackson L-Schmidt HR: Pinson GWRBI-Cunningham
Second great start in a row for Larry Jackson, and the Cards string five hits together in the top of the 8th to take the rubber game before they head to Milwaukee.

K.C. 000 003 002 – 5 13 0
NYY 002 063 22x – 15 22 2
W-Larsen L-Terry HRS: Skowron, Slaughter, Mantle GWRBI-Mantle

K.C. 002 110 000 300 – 7 10 1
NYY 000 100 102 301 – 8 16 1
W-Duren L-Daley HRS: Simpson, Maris-2, Mantle GWRBI-Kubek
Maybe the American League hasn’t given up, but I sure have. After lambasting the A’s in the opener, the Yanks score two in the 9th on an Elston Howard pinch triple to tie the game 4-4, score three in the last of the 10th to re-tie the game 7-7, then win on a Kubek sac fly in the 12th. Roger Maris goes nuts for KC, robbing Berra of a homer and mashing two homers, and it still isn’t enough. The Mick goes 7-for-11 for the twinbill with two homers, a double and four RBIs.

DET 201 301 020 – 9 16 1
BOS 000 100 000 – 1 4 0
W-Lary L-Monboquette HR: Renna GWRBI-Kaline
The Tigers save a bit of face in the finale, creaming Monbo with a relentless attack. Naturally, they manage to lose Charley Maxwell for eight games in the process.

CLE 011 000 001 – 3 7 0
BAL 000 101 000 – 2 4 0
W-Bell L-Portocarrero HRS: Power, Triandos GWRBI-Doby
The Birds also lose a game and a half to New York, thanks to a sterling Gary Bell effort and clutch Doby single in the 9th.

CHX 000 002 001 – 3 6 2
WAS 200 100 01x – 4 12 1
W-Pascual L-Wilson SV-Hyde HR: Zauchin GWRBI-Zauchin
Let bells ring in the U.S. Capitol! The Senators pull off their first winning week of the entire season with a stunning sweep of Chicago. Pascual does his best to give up the lead but Mr. Hyde rescues him with another great save.

TEAM STATS REPORT: Here are your team hitting, team pitching, and assorted miscellany through Sunday’s games.

National League through Sunday, July 20

Milwaukee 50 39 .562
San Francisco 49 42 .538 2
Philadelphia 46 43 .517 4
Chicago 47 45 .511 4.5
Los Angeles 45 46 .495 6
St. Louis 42 45 .483 7
Pittsburgh 43 47 .478 7.5
Cincinnati 38 53 .418 13

American League through Sunday, July 20

New York 62 30 .674
Boston 52 38 .578 9
Baltimore 52 41 .559 10.5
Chicago 48 45 .516 14.5
Cleveland 46 47 .495 15.5
Detroit 45 46 .495 15.5
Kansas City 36 55 .396 25.5
Washington 27 66 .290 35.5
Advertisements