So me and Dr. Sheila finally get to Oklahoma City where Lester’s Mom lives, track down the beauty parlor where she works and find out she’s on a long lunch break. Great. We decide to sit around and wait, and I’m leafing through a stack of Ms. Magazines when I realize it’s June 12th–the day my five-year-old self is due to be found at Fenway Park! Damn…
I can’t imagine Sheila is going to want to leave this Lester goose chase for one of mine, so while she’s in the rest room I leave her a note, saying I’ll meet her back here in 24 hours. Grab a whole wad of cash out of her purse and run out to hail a cab to the airport.
I haven’t been on a plane since I won a trip to Disney World with Pam and Timmy in the early 90s, but I can’t remember if those flights were this awesome. The TWA stewardesses are young and sexy for one thing, wearing these cute little hot pants and boots, and the one named Lori flirts with me non-stop after she notices my dirty jeans and mistakes me for an oil driller. They serve an incredible meal of roast chicken breast with rice and vegetables, give me a pillow so I can stretch out my legs and watch the entire movie Silver Streak before we land in Boston five minutes early. I can only imagine how amazing flying must be now.
Unfortunately, I dumbly didn’t check the game time, and as soon as I get in my Boston taxi late in the afternoon and ask to be taken to Fenway, the cabbie says the Rangers already beat them. He takes me there anyway, and I find a way to sneak in and nab an aisle sweeper’s uniform and broom. It takes a few hours to clean up the park, and it’s almost dark when I see Jose Torres arrive for his night maintenance shift.
I follow him on his rounds, staying in the ballpark shadows. Around ten he hears the same noise that I do—a kid talking in his sleep—and I follow him to a hidden alcove under the third base stands.
There I am, five-year-old Buzz himself—laying on a flattened cardboard box. I get the chills something fierce. He wakes with a start, gives the two of us a terrified look. Then Jose turns and sees me.
“Who the hell are you, man?” he asks.
“I lost Buzz during the game,” I say, off the top of my head. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of him from here.”
Games of the Days
RANGERS 9-16-1, at RED SOX 7-12-0 (11 innings)
I would’ve let the cabbie explain this one, but I could barely follow anything he said so I just checked the box score in the Boston Herald later. Basically, it’s the same score as yesterday and almost the same game. Perry has a 3-2 lead into the 4th when Yaz smacks a grand slam, but Aase can’t even hold his jock, and Texas finally ties it in the 7th on a 2-run Claudell Washington homer. Perry, Moret and Barker hold the Sox scoreless for the last six innings until Claudell does it again, a 2-run double in extras that tightens up the AL again. Boston heads off to K.C. for three, with no friendly home run wall in sight.
W-Barker L-Aase HRS: Washington, Yaz GWRBI-Washington
ROYALS 10-13-0, at INDIANS 7-12-2
Marty Pattin is unbelievably awful for the Royals, but when the last-place Indians are home (9-25 there now) it doesn’t even matter. Mayberry cranks a grand slam off Bibby, Poquette gets four hits in the leadoff spot, and the Tribe free fall reaches nine straight.
W-Pattin L-Bibby SV-Littell HRS: Mayberry, Carty, Fosse GWRBI-Poquette
at ORIOLES 4-6-0, TWINS 3-6-4
Minnesota clearly would’ve won this game if not for maybe their worst inning of the year. Up 2-0 behind Zahn in the last of the 7th, Carew boots a grounder to begin. Wilfong boots Dempsey’s grounder. Kelly pinch-hits a walk with one out. Bumbry walks in a run. DeCinces bounces an easy DP ball to Wilfong, who kicks it for his third error of the game. Wilfong is yanked off the field just to humiliate him. Singleton singles in two and that’s that.
W-Palmer L-Zahn HRS: Smalley, Adams, GWRBI-Singleton
WHITE SOX 6-12-1, at YANKEES 2-7-2
The Yanks end their homestand in boring fashion, helpless against Ken Kravec and flubbing every X-chart chance in the field.
W-Kravec L-Figueroa GWRBI-Garr
at PIRATES 6-13-0, CARDS 5-9-1
The Bucs take another thriller to split the four-game series and go back up by a full game. Keith Hernandez goes batistic with a 4-for-4 performance, but off Mad Hungarian Hrabosky in the last of the 9th, Robinson singles and Pops Stargell doubles him all the way around for the winner.
W-Gossage L-Hrabosky HRS: Hernandez-2 GWRBI-Stargell
at PHILLIES 4-10-0, DODGERS 3-6-1
Smith gives Sutton a lead with a 2-run poke in the 1st, but L.A. can’t hold it as McBride and Luzinski hit late taters for the close win and 4-game split.
W-Lonborg L-Sutton HRS: Smith, Oates, McBride, Luzinski GWRBI-Luzinski
at EXPOS 1-6-1, ASTROS 0-4-1
Now even J.R. Richard can’t win Houston a game. The ‘Stros drop to 10-23 away from their friendly Dome, which they now thankfully return to—to face the first-place Pirates.
W-Brown L-Richard GWRBI-Valentine
at REDS 9-13-1, CUBS 8-16-2
Sorry Cubbies, 16 hits won’t buy you a win when you can’t pitch your way out of a paper bag. An early 5-0 lead for Bonham proves meaningless, as the Reds quietly inch their way back in the race.
W-Borbon L-Bonham SV-Sarmiento HR: Driessen GWRBI-Griffey
Game of Friday the 13th:
at TWINS 6-11-0, YANKEES 2-7-1
One game? We’re using a 1953 schedule, so gotta figure people were superstitious back then. Anyway, the Yanks’ rotten luck continues in the first chapter of their western trip, as Torrez is pelted from the start, and his mates somehow turn Pete Redfern (0-7, 8.80, 77 hits in 46 IP) into Walter Freaking Johnson. Mickey Rivers, by the way, is reason no. 1 for New York’s mediocre play. Hitting in the low .240s, 80 points less than expected, his horrible range in center leads to many big opposing rallies, and his arm is so weak he couldn’t throw out the two-year-old Bengie Molina.
W-Redfern L-Torez HRS: Nettles, Chambliss, Hisle GWRBI-Chiles
STAT DAY IS TUESDAY
EAST GOES WEST ON WEDNESDAY!
Expos at Cards
Phillies at Cubs
Pirates at Astros
Reds at Dodgers
Red Sox at Royals
Orioles at White Sox
Yankees at Twins
Indians at Rangers
American League through Friday, June 13
National League through Friday, June 13