shockcorridor

August 20, 1958

Those damn crickets were back. Chirpy little demons. Bent on hopping into my head and driving me more crazy than I already was. Wished I had a barn cat handy to pounce and chew them up.

The bugs just didn’t go well with the spongy white walls and harsh lighting in my private room. Wherever the hell it was. Five different docs had come and gone, each one more bearded and four-eyed than the last. Armed with stethoscopes and note pads. One even wore a big sweater and smoked a pipe.

My arms and legs were strapped to the bed to “protect” me, and it wasn’t too comfortable. The morphine had worn off but not my paranoia, and I was still punching my brain trying to figure out how I might’ve killed poor Johnny Heap.

Liz and my mother were right: I had a history of blackouts. That still didn’t explain why I kept hearing Peanut Man’s voice, seeing and feeling his looming presence. And I wasn’t the only one who did that. Maybe I climbed the Seals backstop screen to just put an end to this season of craziness. Here I was after years of waiting for big league crowds to work, and the city a big part of the first National League pennant race they’ve even sampled, and I’ve had to spend eighty percent of my time worrying who was going to kill or arrest me next.

Then I met Darwin today. A colored hospital orderly who moved down here from Seattle, he gave me a few sticks of Juicyfruit, promised me cigarettes when I was “better,” fetched me the ball scores and helped me keep my head on straight.

“You got more folks out there wantin’ to see you than a piano’s got keys, Drappy.” (He insisted on calling me Drappy.) “But don’t you worry. I’ll tell ’em you’re all drugged up and loonaphrenic until you’re ready to see ’em.”
“Why are you being so nice to me, Darwin?”
“No sense bein’ any other way for nobody, right?”

The doctor with the bushiest bears and thickest glasses—Muffinstein was his name—stopped by to let me know he’d be “deep-analyzing” me in his office sometime soon. Of course, I told him I wasn’t crazy at all, just a little pressured at work lately. My sentence seemed to take an express line through both of his ears. He sniffed, faked a smile, and promised they’d unstrap me soon if I “cooperated and improved,” whatever that meant.

Dr. Muffinstein also asked what I’d been dreaming about. I told him the truth: that it was too hot and humid in the room, and the crickets and thunderstorms were too loud to allow me to dream about anything.

He made a special note of that.

THE SKINNYS

CIN 102 210 000 – 6 12 1
S.F. 010 000 020 – 3 7 2
W-Nuxhall L-Worthington SV-Kellner HR: Temple GWRBI-Robinson
Top five spots in Cincy’s order collect ten of the dozen Reds hits, and the formerly bad Joe Nuxhall notches his fourth straight win with help from Kellner.

MIL 200 000 010 – 3 7 1
L.A. 200 001 10x – 4 12 0
W-Williams L-Burdette SV-Craig HRS: Roach, Mathews, Aaron GWRBI-Williams
Yowsa! Roach and Mathews hit the first two pitches Stan Williams throws for dingers, but settles down nicely after that, and Burdette is a base hit magnet once again. How the Dodgers have managed to be 9-9 with the Braves is beyond me, but the Cubs thank them for it.

PIT 000 100 020 – 3 11 0
CHI 000 010 021 – 4 12 1
W-Henry L-Face HR: S. Taylor GWRBI-Banks
Cubbies win this time on a clutch two-out single by Ernie off Face in the lat of the 9th, and the Cubbies are only a game out of first again. They will next meet the Braves for a Labor Day doubleheader in County Stadium. Get your tickets early!

PHI 003 020 172 – 15 18 0
STL 000 000 030 – 3 10 0
W-Cardwell L-Brosnan HRS: Hemus, Post, Bowman, Lopata GWRBI-Hemus
Also hard to believe that Jim Brosnan no-hit the Giants this year, because he’s been a complete nightmare since. Four homers, five doubles and a triple are today’s offensive haul for the never-say-die Phillies. Don Cardwell, most unexpected great pitcher in either league, is now 13-3 with a 1.04 WHIP.

CLE 800 110 000 – 10 15 0
NYY 002 110 000 – 4 8 3
W-Bell L-Ford HRS: Colavito, Carey, Mantle
McDougald and Richardson are both hurt, meaning Kubek plays second, Lumpe plays short, and the result is a disastrous eight-run 1st inning when both of them throw away key grounders to keep the inning going. The Tribe has no problem beating the Yanks, it’s the A’s and Senators of the world that confound them.

CHX 100 100 212 – 7 16 1
BOS 203 000 000 – 5 7 2
W-Staley L-Wall HRS: Jensen, Runnels, Malzone, Williams GWRBI-Phillips
Wow. Four Bosox homers in the first three innings off Wretched Early Wynn, including three in a row by Runnels-Malzone-Williams, and it still isn’t enough to hold back the Chisox. Monbo, Fornieles and Wall can’t keep them off the bases, and Bubba Phillips notches game-winning hit no. 12 with his third single in the 9th.

K.C. 100 000 000 – 1 4 0
BAL 012 000 00x – 3 7 0
W-O’Dell L-Garver HRS: Lopez, Triandos GWRBI-Woodling
Looks like I jinxed the A’s by praising them. Hector Lopez homers to start the game but O’Dell mows them down from there and Hal Smith gets hurt for 15 games in the process. Having a sleeper of a year is the Birds’ Gus Triandos, who now leads all catchers with his 32nd homer.

DET 100 003 015 – 10 14 0
WAS 000 010 010 – 2 6 0
W-Moford L-Romonosky HRS: Maxwell, Yost GWRBI-Maxwell
And the Tigers finally hit the ball again after a long drought. Although it is in Griffith Stadium off the out-challenged Count Romonosky.

National League through Wednesday, August 20

Milwaukee 67 53 .558
Chicago 67 55 .549 1
San Francisco 63 57 .525 4
Cincinnati 60 62 .492 8
St. Louis 58 60 .492 8
Philadelphia 57 60 .487 8.5
Pittsburgh 54 66 .450 13
Los Angeles 54 67 .446 13.5

American League through Wednesday, August 20

New York 75 45 .625
Chicago 67 53 .558 8
Baltimore 64 54 .542 10
Boston 64 55 .538 10.5
Cleveland 62 60 .508 14
Detroit 59 59 .500 15
Kansas City 49 70 .412 25.5
Washington 38 82 .317 37
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