RECENTLY, IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE: Phillies almost pull off comeback win against Cubs...WIll the Braves ever win again?...Rachel too sick to answer Vinny's letter and action is needed...

June 19, 1924

Thankfully my baggage friend at the train station remembered who I was and got me a nice spot between a stack of steamer trunks and carton of pickle jars. I was on my way back to New York first thing to visit Rachel, who was sick with some disease her father couldn't even tell me about in his telegram. So because I was anxious to get up there the train trip seemed to take three times longer than the last few times.

When I got to Pennsylvania Station I took an elevated train over the river to Brooklyn, then got on the Franklin Shuttle line that went to her neighborhood. It was crowded with Robins fans heading to Ebbets Field for their last game with the Reds, and if I wasn't worried to death about Rachel I probably would have been joining them.

It took me a while getting lost on foot before I could locate her street in Prospect Heights. Her little brother and sister answered the door and said she was in the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital not too far away, with a bad case of something called red fever. Her parents were there watching over her and didn't want any other visitors but that sure wasn't going to stop me. I bought some flowers from a girl on a corner and went straight to the hospital.

A nurse at a desk told me what room she was in, then changed her mind and said it was off limits and I couldn't go up. I said okay, then found some back stairs and went up anyway. I peeked into the room, saw both her mother and father sitting there holding hands with these creepy white masks on their mouths, so I looked around until I found a supply closet and grabbed one for myself.

Ruth was shocked when I walked in, but when she saw the big bunch of flowers it calmed her down. Saul shook my hand three times and kept calling me a "mensch", which I guess is a Jewish word for a good thing. The "red fever" was actually scarlet fever and Rachel looked awful, her face all pale and sticky and these little red sores around her mouth. She smiled when she saw me but it was one of those weak ones and her throat was so swollen up she couldn't even talk. I got a chair next to her and rubbed her arm for a few minutes through her hospital dress.

She slept for a while, then seemed kind of thirsty when she woke up so I went out with her glass to try and find more water for it. I went past a room with some colored clean-up guys sitting there, and they were listening to a scratchy radio machine that had the Reds-Robins game on it, right from Ebbets Field. I asked the score and one guy said Carl Mays had a 6-2 lead on Brooklyn just an inning ago and now it was 6-5. I brought the news back to Rachel with the water and she gave me a weak nod.

Her father fell asleep after a while, her mother sat there and knitted, and I went back for more water and a few more scores but things were getting worse down the street. Cincy had scored four runs in the 8th to put the game to bed. I couldn't bear to tell Rachel this, so I just said the score was tied and that the Robins were getting lots of men on base. She held the sleeve of my shirt and fell asleep with a smile.

Saul and Ruth shooed the nurse away when she started asking who I was, then invited me home for dinner with them when the visiting time was over. I really liked them, even though her mother served those weird flat potato cakes again, and after the meal before they put me up in their spare room I had a chance to teach little Sammy and Sarah a card game or two. The doctor said that Rachel might be able to come home tomorrow or Saturday if her fever drops below 100 degrees, but there's a good chance it won't.

An announcer on Mr. Stone's radio machine mentioned that the Phillies got mauled by the Cubs today, but you know what? Even though they're now on their way up here for a weekend at Ebbets Field, they are the farthest thing from my mind. Good night reader-people, and especially you Rachel.

CHI 505 001 210 - 14 19 0
PHL 100 000 000 - 1 6 3

W-Aldridge L-Oescheger
REAL LOSER-Benny (sorry you had to suffer through this)

Other National League games today:

REDS 14-20-1, at ROBINS 5-18-3
Mays lasts the whole game but Bill Doak sure doesn't, getting plagued by the usual Cincy dink hits after Brooklyn errors. Decatur and Henry mostly responsible for the ten late runs. The Reds now spend the weekend in Pittsburgh, lucky them.

at BRAVES 7-10-0, GIANTS 5-11-0
Absolute proof that McGraw's team has no chance of winning the pennant. They score three runs in the top of the 1st but Bentley gives up five straight hits to the Braves seconds later, finished off by a triple from someone named Gus Felix. Boston had lost eight in a row and their starter Benton was 1-8 going in. Guess that's why we play all the games!

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Thursday, June 19
Pittsburgh Pirates3920.661
Cincinnati Reds3825.6033
New York Giants3526.5745
St. Louis Cardinals3429.5407
Brooklyn Robins3228.5337.5
Chicago Cubs3032.48410.5
Philadelphia Phillies2338.37717
Boston Braves1447.23026

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