CURVE BALL

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Chapter Twenty-Two

“You’ve been working on this guy’s story for months?” Billy Dee asked. “Why? He’s been out of baseball for, what 30-35 years. What’s newsworthy about Jack Rakow?”

Melissa finished her drink. “How about another? On me.”

He jiggled his almost empty can of beer. “Sure.”

She walked over to the bar. Billy Dee couldn’t help staring at her ass. Mercy, he thought, and emptied the can.

She came back and put the drinks on the table. “An Old Style for you, and Grey Goose for me. Pat said he kept the good stuff for special occasions.

He gave her a look and popped the top.

“Actually it’s the 40th anniversary of the 1975 World Series between Boston and Cincinnati,” she said.

“So?”

“Rakow went to Chicago during the first game. His father was sick or something.

“Yeah?”

“Do you remember the series?” she asked.

“Kind of. That‘s when Boston’s catcher… shit what was his name? He played for the White Sox later on…”

“Carlton Fisk.”

“That’s right.” Billy Dee closed his eyes for a second then opened them. I can picture Fisk going toward first, waving his arms willing that ball fair. He was a son-of-a-bitch.”

“You’re right about that,” she said and took a drink.

“Okay, so what does any of this have to do with anything,” he asked.

“Well, Officer Jackson, our friend, Jack Rakow never pitched a game in that series.”

He stared at her, his hand on his beer. Maybe he didn’t hear her or he missed something she said. His wife constantly accused him of not listening. He took a long pull and set the can down. He leaned toward her. “What am I missing? So Jack Rakow didn’t pitch in the 1975 World Series. I probably knew that and forgot. So what.”

She didn’t have much left of her drink. She lifted her glass, tilted her head and finished it off. She smacked the glass on the table. “You know why he didn’t pitch a game?”

“No, but you’re about to tell me.”

She smiled. “Very good.” She lowered her voice. “He didn’t come back.”

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