ERIE, PA—Funny how you learn things about people. Like Dr. Sheila having a dentist uncle named Sid Grossinger who lived in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1977. When she was a teenager she went out to visit him and her Aunt Flo a couple times, and remembered a cigar box on a shelf in the garage that he kept a spare money clip in.
Dr. Sheila wasn’t too keen on my idea of taking a bus to Erie from Cleveland, sneaking into the garage and “borrowing” the money, mainly because once she got back to the present there’d be no way to pay Sid back in the past, but what else could we do? We needed fundage to follow the rest of the baseball season, to keep tabs on poor Seamus until he got his senses back in the hospital, and to track down Lester and Fred and Sherman and Amy before they did something idiotic and messed up the future.
Sid and Flo lived on a serious suburban street. Flo was pruning bushes in the backyard and Sid was off filling cavities somewhere, so we snuck in the garage through an unlocked side door, found the cigar box, grabbed the dough, and beat it down the street, Dr. Sheila saying she was going to hell about five times.
We didn’t get to hell but did end up in a used car lot, buying a six-year-old Dodge Coronet with dents on both sides. And by the time we camped out in a chain motel outside of town to plan our next move, I was happy to turn on a clock radio and find the Twins-Yankees game on a Buffalo, NY station. One “Holy cow!” from Phil Rizzuto and the day’s craziness melted away. I tried to help Sheila melt hers by filling her on the great Rod Carew hitting streak, at 46 games going in, but she just sat with a pad across the room and scribbled things during the game—and you can bet they weren’t lineups.
Game of the Day
Joltin’ Joe himself is in the owner’s box for this one, and Rizzuto says it so I got no reason to doubt. Figueroa’s going for the Yanks, and he’s not only been their best pitcher so far but is tough on lefties. New York should beat up Thormodsgard pretty good, but with Carew making outs his first two times up, no one scores at all.
In the 4th, Bostock gets hit, Hisle singles him to third, and with the corners in, Adams scores Bostock on a deep grounder. What nobody counts on is Thormodsgard mowing down the Yankees, let alone anybody. After Jackson’s single in the 1st, he retires the next 16 in a row. The Twins get three singles to load the bases in the 6th, none by the 0-for-3 Carew, but Cubbage leaves them there with a line out.
In the top of the 7th, Carew comes up for the fourth time. Rizzuto and Frank Messer set the stage beautifully, DiMaggio leaning out of his seat, but Carew slaps a grounder to Randolph and gets thrown out. He’s 0-for-4, but will he come up again? His spot in the order is two batters away when Randall makes the last out in the 9th, the score still 1-0. Thormodsgard has a 3-hit shutout going, but Rivers, Munson and Jackson are coming up, all home run threats to tie the game and get Carew another at bat.
Rivers grounds to third, though, and Munson to second. It’s up to Reggie, Mr. Drama himself. Thormodsgard winds, and the ball is cracked out to left-center. Hisle and Bostock converge, Lyman makes the catch for the only good game Thormodsgard’s thrown all year and the end of Carew’s hit streak, ten games shy of the Yankee Clipper.
The losing home crowd gives him an ovation anyway, and Rodney will head up to Boston to start his next streak. In that park against that pitching, he should have no problem. I’d sure like to be there of course—but first we have a Lester to find.
MIN 000 100 000 – 1 6 0
NYY 000 000 000 – 0 3 0
W-Thormodsgard L-Figueroa GWRBI-Adams
at ORIOLES 10-12-1, WHITE SOX 3-5-1
Another Birds-bath, this time against the inexplicably hideous Steve Stone. How does an 0-8 record, 9,87 ERA, 93 hits allowed in 52 innings grab you? Baltimore hops percentage points back in front of Texas.
W-R. May L-Stone HRS: L. May, Kelly GWRBI-Murray
at RED SOX 5-11-1, ROYALS 4-10-0 (11 innings)
If not for the Carew business, this would be Game of the Day easily. Up 2-0 on Splittorff, Tiant falls behind when Burleson boots one with two gone in the 6th and three unearned K.C. runs follow. Singles by Evans and Montgomery and a Dillard double tie the game in the last of the 9th. Cowens doubles off Stanley to start the 11th, Campbell enters and Wathan singles in the go-ahead run with two outs. No biggie, say the Sox. Helms pinch-hits a single off Littell, and after Evans whiffs, Carbo pops one over the Monster for the 15th Boston comeback of the year, tops in both leagues. Though the slumping Yaz also gets hurt for three games.
W-Campbell L-Littell HR: Carbo GWRBI-Carbo
at INDIANS 5-16-2, RANGERS 4-8-0 (10 innings)
The Tribe doubles up on Texas’ hits, but it takes a Manning single in extras to finally cool off the hot Rangers. Harrah ties up the game in the 9th against Garland with his daily clutch 3-run homer, no. 18 on the year.
W-Kern L-Barker HR: Harrah GWRBI-Manning
DODGERS 2-5-1, at EXPOS 1-6-0
Sosa throws four hitless relief innings to bail out a shaky Rau, and L.A. holds a lead for a change. They’re now off to Pittsburgh to try and regain some lost ground.
W-Rau L-Rogers SV-Sosa HR: Yeager GWRBI-R. Smith
at PHILLIES 5-6-1, CUBS 3-9-0
Carlton wins his third straight despite being in trouble most of the game, swats a game-deciding homer, and the Phils keep sneaking northward in the standings.
W-Carlton L-Resuchel HRS: Buckner, Swisher, Carlton GWRBI-Carlton
at REDS 6-6-1, CARDS 5-11-0
Bizarro line score, as Cincy clubs four homers off Rasmussen, two by Bench including a 9th inning walkoff, and knock the Cards three games behind the idle Pirates. The Reds leave one runner on base the whole game.
W-Norman L-Rasmussen HRS: Cruz, Bench-2, Griffey, Foster GWRBI-Bench
American League through Monday, June 2
National League through Monday, June 2