1950s 1960s man wearing chef hat holding barbecue grilling fork making okay sign looking at cameraSeptember 21, 1958

We clued in Liz’s folks last night on our marriage plans. Mom was over the moon, but Dad just looked under the weather.

“You’ll support my daughter by seating people at ball games six months a year?” I assured him I’d be finding a winter job, and also that Liz couldn’t go a week without working somewhere herself.

The saving grace was that they were a bit preoccupied with today’s memorial service for son Billy at their local church in Webster Grove. It was an event Liz helped put together the last few days, and our engagement bit would fit right in. After the solemn service she planned a celebration of Billy, and had booked the adjoining church hall and yard for a summer-style barbeque. Knowing her brother’s love for rockabilly, she even talked Eddie Cochran, his famous musician buddy he’d met out in California, to perform at the party.

This morning we got a congratulatory call from Brewster, who’d finally discovered I was still alive when a local cop alerted him to a last-minute notice on the Globe-Democrat‘s society page. His present to us would be a few FBI men stationed at the church because they needed something to do.

Of course, I also needed to calm down some of the Giants players. They were facing Jim Brosnan, who’d already no-hit them back in April, and this was a game they had to win. Thankfully, Stu Miller—our best pitcher—had a cool head, didn’t believe in superstition and said he’d “stick one in Musial’s ear” for me and Liz.

The church was stuffed to its upper pews. The Doomises had many friends, a lot of family, and a gaggle of Billy’s car-crazy pals from L.A. even made the trip. Father Grundy gave a heartwarming eulogy, praising Billy for his “big soul and wayward spirit,” even though he “never fulfilled his academic studies.”

The party afterward was a relieving hoot. I had never tasted more delicious ribs. Mr. Doomis walked around taking handshakes and embraces, never removing the earplug wired to the transistor radio in his suit pocket. (Giants were up 3-2 in the 5th). Liz was bravely spirited. She’d been very emotional all day, about me and the resolution of the Peanut Killer case, and really, the only mystery left was whether I’d be dusting off Seals Stadium chairs at the World Series.

Mrs. Doomis announced our engagement to the cheering hall, Eddie Cochran took the stage for a few numbers (see home movie film below) and Liz even got me out on the dance floor. One of Billy’s buddies smuggled a case of Griesdiecks in, and I joined them for beers, cigarettes and auto talk around the side of the church. It almost felt like my bachelor party.

Mr. Doomis tracked me down a after a while and asked where Liz was, because a friend of his wanted to snap a few pictures. Somebody had seen her playing catch with her five-year-old cousin Maxie behind the church, but a quick scout of the yard didn’t turn them up.

“Maybe they just took a walk together,” said Mrs. Doomis.
“Past two FBI men? Doubt that.”

And then a side exit door of the hall banged open. Little Maxie ran in, dirt on his face and both of his bare knees. Tears streamed down his cheeks.

“The bad church man took Cousin Lizzy!” he cried. I crouched, grabbed him by his little shoulders.
“What church man?? Father Grundy is right over there!
“No, no!! The one in the parking lot! The one with the burned-up face!”

THE SKINNYS

S.F. 020 010 100 – 4 8 1
STL 101 000 010 – 3 7 1
W-Miller L-Brosnan HR: Musial GWRBI-Wagner
Miller doesn’t exactly stick one in Musial’s ear, as The Man singles and homers off him, but he’s just effective enough to survive two doubles and two walks by best leadoff hitter in the bigs Joe Cunningham, and we keep pace with the Braves for another day. Time is running out though, and after a day off to get back home we have two with the Cubs while the Braves host one with the Phils.

MIL 100 200 000 – 3 6 1
CIN 001 000 100 – 2 7 2
W-Burdette L-Purkey
After Friday night’s disaster, Milwaukee responds nicely with two big wins, this time with the help of consecutive untimely errors by Hoak and Purkey to plate two go-ahead runs in the 4th. The Braves will finish with three at home against these Reds next weekend, and with us and the Cubs potentially knocking each other off out west it’s looking mighty wigwamish for the Series…

L.A. 110 100 000 – 3 8 2
CHI 115 012 00x – 10 19 1
W-Drott L-Drysdale HRS: Neal, Banks GWRBI-Moryn
Nothing like a start against Non-Dandy Don to cure Cubby offensive doldrums. Five-plus innings allowing 14 hits will do ya good every time.

PIT 000 200 000 – 2 5 0
PHI 000 015 00x – 6 10 0
W-Cardwell L-Raydon HRS: Thomas, Anderson GWRBI-Anderson

PIT 020 000 001 – 3 8 1
PHI 201 000 20x – 5 9 1
HRS: Stuart, Thomas, Bowman GWRBI-Bowman
Phillies finish off their home schedule with a tidy little four-game sweep of the Bucs to jump them back up to 5th place. Now they’ll try to spoil the Braves’ party for a day.

NYY 100 100 010 – 3 7 1
BAL 000 000 000 – 0 9 1
W-Larsen L-Brown HR: Carey GWRBI-Carey
A candidate for one of the sorriest shutouts ever. Larsen faces 40 men and 15 of them reach base, the Birds stranding 13 all told. New York will take the wins any way they can this week, though, and their 90th keeps them one and a half up on the South Siders as they head to Fenway for two likely battle royales.

CHX 003 001 001 – 5 10 1
K.C. 002 000 100 – 3 10 1
W-Donovan L-Garver SV-Staley HRS: Lollar, Lopez GWRBI-Lollar
The A’s come oh so close to pulling off another upset win, but blow two great scoring chances in the 6th and 8th. Maris, who hit three homers in the first two games, goes 0-for-4 and personally strands five. Sherm Lollar’s three-run poke in the 3rd gives the Pale Hosers a lead they never lose, and now they’re home for two with the struggling (again) Tigers and three with these elephants.

WAS 000 100 000 – 1 5 0
BOS 131 000 00x – 5 8 1
W-Delock L-Ramos HRS: Zauchin, Piersall, Williams GWRBI-Jensen
And the Senators clinch last place, to the surprise of no one. But hey, they still haven’t lost 100 games!

CLE 000 200 002 – 4 5 0
DET 000 001 010 – 2 5 0
W-Grant L-Bunning HRS: Doby-2, Groth GWRBI-Doby
No Minnie? No Rock? No problem. Larry Doby fills in with a double, walk and two homers and the Tribe wins their 80th.

TEAM STATS REPORT: Here are your team hitting, team pitching, and assorted miscellany through Sunday’s games. One week to go, kool kats!!

National League through Sunday, September 21

Milwaukee 85 65 .567
San Francisco 82 67 .550 2.5
Chicago 81 68 .544 3.5
Cincinnati 76 75 .503 9.5
Philadelphia 72 78 .480 13
St. Louis 70 79 .470 14.5
Pittsburgh 70 81 .464 15.5
Los Angeles 63 86 .423 21.5

American League through Sunday, September 21

New York 90 59 .604
Chicago 88 60 .595 1.5
Boston 81 68 .544 9
Cleveland 80 69 .537 10
Baltimore 76 72 .513 13.5
Detroit 74 74 .500 16.5
Kansas City 56 93 .376 34
Washington 49 99 .331 40.5
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