PoloGroundsGhostsSeptember 13, 1958

The manager of the Park West Arms set up a cot for me in his office while we waited for Brewster to show up. It was a long night.

First I had to exit Richie Tressip’s 12th floor apartment via the same scary window ledge. Tressip was “away on business,” according to the doorman, and I decided to act like I’d just shown up at the building on a “serious hunch.” No sense putting Brewster’s knickers in another twist.

He arrived with his flunkies at eight this morning, armed with a search warrant. The super let us into the apartment more legally, and I played stupid as long as I could. Brewster didn’t even have to play.

“So you’re telling us D.L. Tressip’s kid became a mass killer because you beaned him when you were 12 years old?”
“No, Brewster. I think it’s more complicated than that. And if you’d only let—”
“Why didn’t you share this background information with us?”
“Share WHAT with you? What do you think I’ve been trying to do since Opening Day, for cripes sake? Figure this all out!”
“Calm down, Drake. Proper procedure is important in any investigation.”
“Yeah, well the reason we’re here at all is because I flushed your procedure down the crapper.”

That shut him up, briefly.

“Still, If Tressip is as smart as we think, he won’t try and come back here. His publishing days are over.”
“Too bad. I’d sure love to send him a letter to the editor.”
Brewster eyed me. “Maybe you can. How about sending one to the Cincinnati Enquirer?”
“Why them?”
“Isn’t that where the Giants play a doubleheader tomorrow? We can wire them the letter tonight. Tell the killer we know who he is now. Plead with him to stay away from Crosley Field. Better yet, taunt him. Challenge him. And we’ll have that place blanketed like a toddler in a blizzard.”
“Okay, but he’s gotten away from every trap we’ve thrown at him.”
“Not Operation Shakespeare.”

* * *

The FBI was already looking into Richie’s past. Not so much why he was still living in a haunted Polo Grounds in his mind, but other things. Like the beaning giving him severe head trauma. By the time we had driven halfway back to Philly, they’d unearthed records of appointments with surgeons, specialists, and eventually psychiatrists straight through the 1940s.

None of us were sure Tressip would take the new bait, but it wasn’t the worst idea. Sitting in the back seat, I scribbled out a letter to the Enquirer per Brewster’s instructions, handed it off to him.

Meanwhile, I missed the entire Giants finale at Connie Mack, with Robin Roberts suffocating our bats to the tune of 6-1. The players looked very relieved when I boarded the team plane to Cincy, especially Valmy Thomas.

“Thanks for not forcing me to hunt you down again,” he said over Eastern Air gin and tonics, “We need all the help we can get against those pain-in-our-ass Reds.”

After we landed, we learned the Braves had pulled out another miracle win against the Cards, and we were suddenly two back in the loss column. This may have made Richie Tressip happy for one night, but I wasn’t relaxed for a second. I tried calling Liz at Comiskey again but the game there was over, the Yanks having survived a battle royale (see skinny below), and she hadn’t even been in the press box. Most likely, she was safely on her way to St. Louis to be with her folks.

Or so I prayed.

THE SKINNYS

S.F. 000 000 100 – 1 6 2
PHI 300 001 20x – 6 10 1
W-Roberts L-Gomez HR: Jones GWRBI-Bowman
Needless to say, I avoided Ruben Gomez on the plane.

STL 001 000 000 – 1 5 3
MIL 010 000 02x – 3 2 1
W-Burdette L-Mabe HR: Burdette GWRBI-Burdette
After yesterday’s furious, 20-inning sea battle, this one is a tea party with a brief flurry of shattered cups. A ball through Musial’s legs at first and a two-out botch by Blasingame bring home the first Braves run, and Burdette’s shocking game-winning homer in the 8th comes after an Eddie Kasko error. When Milwaukee can win a game like this—getting no-hit for the first six and two thirds innings and collecting just two safeties off Bob Mabe (5.64 ERA, 178 hits in 148 IP going in), the tide may be turning again.

CHI 000 000 202 – 4 8 2
CIN 232 220 30x – 14 17 0
W-Haddix L-Phillips HRS: Moryn-2, Neeman, Robinson-2, Lynch, Haddix GWRBI-Lynch
So the Cubs get two days off, then get steamrolled by a Redleg squad that is still technically in the running. Eleven of their 17 hits go for extra bases. Robinson and Lynch go a combined 7-for-10, with two doubles, three homers and eight RBIs. The Cubs do win the season series 14-8, but now will trudge up to Pittsburgh for a Sunday doubleheader in homer-challenged Forbes Field.

L.A. 000 000 010 – 1 7 1
PIT 000 300 02x – 5 12 1
W-Raydon L-Erskine HRS-Mazeroski-2, Hall GWRBI-Mazeroski
Where the Bucs are licking their spoiling chops…

American League Game of the Year!

NYY 201 000 140 – 8 9 0
CHX 000 001 500 – 6 8 1
W-Duren L-Moore SV-Trucks HR: Mantle GWRBI-Carey
Primed for a two-game sweep, the packed Comiskey crowd groans when the Yanks score two quick ones in the 1st, Mantle’s 44th dinger makes it 3-0 in the 3rd, and the Sox can do nothing for the first five innings against Bob Turley. Callison knocks in a run on a force play after singles by Torgeson and Landis open the Chicago 6th, but the Yanks come right back with an RBI Carey single to make it 4-1. Then Turley loses it like he occasionally does. Walks Billy Goodman to start the Chicago 7th. Phillips and Aparicio double and it’s 4-3. After Fox rolls out, Don Mueller pinch-hits and ties the game with a single! Rivera runs for Mueller as Ryne Duren takes the mound. Toregeson walks and Landis singles to put the Sox ahead. Callison hits a sac fly and just like that it’s 6-4! Ray Moore relieves, retires Mantle to start the 8th and Chicago is five outs away from cutting the lead to two games…But Moore picks the wrong day to have his worst inning of the year. Berra singles. Moore walks Skowron, McDougald and Kubek. Then commits a balk. Ace Gerry Staley has already been used, so Al Lopez sticks with Moore. Howard grounds out, but Siebern walks to load the bases and Andy Carey doubles into the gap to score two more. When the smoke clears, the Yanks have scored four times and re-taken the lead for good. New York reclaims their four-game cushion and drops their magic number to nine. The White Sox at least get a game with the Senators tomorrow, but unfortunately, the Yanks get two in Kansas City.

BAL 020 010 300 – 6 8 1
DET 001 301 002 – 7 10 0
W-Morgan L-Wilhelm HRS: Miranda, Nieman GWRBI-Zernial
Biting the dust for 1958 today are the Birds of Baltimore, who do it in spectacular fashion. After taking a 6-5 lead on a Bob Nieman three-run shot in the 7th, Hoyt Wilhelm coughs it up in the 9th on a walk, Kaline single, and Gus Zernial two-run double. The O’s did far better than anyone imagined with their great starting pitching, but a lack of offense and power outside of Gus Triandos doomed them when it counted.

BOS 100 201 001 – 5 8 1
CLE 102 020 001 – 6 13 0
W-Mossi L-Sullivan HRS: Jensen-2, Piersall, Minoso, Colavito, Doby GWRBI-Colavito
Also about ready for their winter coats are the Red Sox, who lose this back-and-forth bombardment on a 9th inning RBI single by the Rock. To even tie, Boston now has to win all twelve of their remaining games while the Yanks lose all of theirs. Piece of cake.

WAS 000 200 002 2 – 6 13 0
K.C. 002 000 200 0 – 4 8 0
W-Constable L-Gorman SV-Griggs HRS: Courtney, Lemon, Chiti, Carrasquel GWRBI-Lemon
Dreams of seventh place are still alive in the nation’s capitol! The A’s barf up a 4-2 lead in the 9th, before the hideous Jim Lemon belts a two-run shot to win it in the 10th. Only six behind K.C. in the loss column with eleven to play!

STAT RACES!

NL
AVG: Mays-SF .355, Covington-MIL .341, Aaron-MIL .338
OPS: Covington-MIL 1.058, Robinson-CIN 1.025, Aaron-MIL 1.007, Cunningham-STL 1.004, Mays-SF 1.002, Lynch-CIN .930
HRS: Robinson-CIN 40, Aaron-MIL 38, Banks-CHC 38
RBI: Robinson-CIN 138, Aaron-MIL 115, Banks-CHC 109, Lynch-CIN 107, Mays-SF 107

AL
AVG: Williams-BOS .420, Zernial-DET .363, Sievers-WAS .341
OPS: Williams-BOS 1.307, Mantle-NY 1.141, Colavito-CLE 1.082, Sievers-WAS 1.053, Zernial-DET 1.022
HRS: Sievers-WAS 52, Mantle-NY 44, Jensen-BOS 42, Colavito-CLE 41
RBI: Sievers-WAS 135, Colavito-CLE 116, Mantle-NY 115, Jensen-BOS 114, Cerv-KC 104

National League through Saturday, September 13

Milwaukee 80 62 .563
San Francisco 79 64 .552 1.5
Chicago 77 65 .542 3
Cincinnati 73 72 .503 8.5
St. Louis 69 72 .489 10.5
Pittsburgh 67 77 .465 14
Philadelphia 66 76 .465 14
Los Angeles 60 83 .420 20.5

American League through Saturday, September 13

New York 88 54 .620
Chicago 84 58 .592 4
Boston 76 66 .535 12
Cleveland 75 68 .524 13.5
Baltimore 73 68 .518 14.5
Detroit 71 70 .504 17.5
Kansas City 53 89 .373 35
Washington 48 95 .336 40.5
Advertisements