RECENTLY, IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE: Vinny and Rachel make up, even though the Phillies beat the Robins in 15 innings...Bucs torture Cubs again with four-run 9th inning comeback and 14-inning win...

June 28, 1924

What a wonderful world, I thought, as I squeezed my fresh orange into a glass this morning. Rachel blew me kisses at the table every time Mama turned her back, and made sure to knock her knee against mine the rest of the time.

Our mission today was a Saturday double-header in 85-degree heat, but Rachel could only go for the first game because she had a 4:30 train to catch back to New York. I asked why she couldn't just board a later one, and then realized it was because she already had a coach ticket, instead of riding in the luggage car like I always did.

The ball park was packed to the gills, and luckily Benny met us out front with grandstand tickets he'd bought early in the morning. He said he had a mystery lady friend meeting him there, and wanted to make sure she had shade. Benny noticed me and Rachel were holding hands, completely unembarrassed, and poked me for fun in the ribs four times in the next hour.

Anyway, the love pact I made with Rachel yesterday lasted less than one inning. That's because Hal Carlson gave up two quick singles, a Fournier double, Brown single, and 3-run Zack Taylor homer for five Brooklyn runs. How could I be happy about this, no matter how stuck I was on Rachel? She was very nice about it and was afraid to cheer at all, but then I got her right back. Tiny Osborne walked Sand, Harper and Holke to begin the Phillies 1st, Cy and Wrightstone creamed back-to-back triples, and we had four runs before one out was made. All we could do was laugh.

But the chuckles stopped in the top of the 2nd, when after a single and walk, Carlson gave up two doubles and four straight singles and the score was 11-4 Robins. Rachel threw up her hands over and over the deeper I sunk in my seat, but guess what? It was one of those loony days.

Three singles, two walks and another Wrightstone triple made it 11-8—after two innings. "Can you believe this daffiness?" I yelled, and Rachel just shook her head. After a Neis triple and Brown double in the 3rd it was 12-8, and then things calmed down for a while. Benny was all hoarse from screaming, but found his voice again when a young red-haired girl in glasses arrived and gave him a big squeeze. It was Mopsy, the jabbering little tomato I met on Ladies' Day whose number I gave him later out of pity. "I didn't miss anything, I hope!" she said, and the laughing began again.

So did the scoring, but this time all for the home side. Holke began the last of the 6th with a single. Williams singled. Wrightstone singled. Wilson walked. Mokan doubled in two and the score was suddenly 12-11. Dutch Henry came on, not to be confused with the crummy Dutch Ruether who pitched for them yesterday. And we made a dutch pie out of this guy. Ford, Carlson and Sand all singled, making that eight in a row reaching base to start the inning. After Harper hit a long sacrifice fly we had seven runs on the board, a 15-12 lead, and Rachel was standing up to leave. "I'd rather read a book at the train station then watch any more of this nonsense!" she said. Don't go, I told her, "Carlson is rotten today and you're gonna come right back. Your team needs you."

After Benny and Mopsy made her feel even more guilty, she gave in, just in time to see three Brooklyn singles and a double tie the score 15-15 in the top of the 8th! Harper doubled in our 16th run after that, and Benny did a little jig in the aisle to keep Rachel entertained and not crazy.

Huck Betts was in for the top of the 9th, and Zack Wheat opened with a single. Fournier bounced a ball in front of the plate but Wilson kicked it for an error. Brown then hit into a fast double play, Rachel groaned in agony and I had to throw my arm around her waist to keep her in the seat. "Look, Rachel, you got a man on third." She said she couldn't look, so I did for her. Zack Taylor whacked the ball hard to right. She looked up, saw the ball sail out to George Harper, who parked himself underneath it, lost the thing for a second and had it bounce off the top of his mitt for a 2-base error and tie game! Rachel screamed with delight and hugged me, but I was too shocked to feel anything. Benny turned, walked away from us and down toward a restroom, probably to upchuck.

Johnston singled to begin the Brooklyn 10th, but Betts got the next three men. Mokan started our inning with a walk, and with one out, Betts bunted him along to second. Up came Heinie Sand, without one game-winning hit the entire season, but Art Decatur threw him a curve that didn't curve enough and Sand shot it right into the left-field corner for the Phillie win!! I jumped out of my seat, whooping and yelling because it's my instinct but forgot all about Rachel. She was slumped in her chair, hat yanked off and sobbing into her hands.

"You don't care about me at all," she cried, "Your team stinks and you heart's even worse!" She stuffed her hat back on, got up and excused herself past us. I looked at Benny in surprise, then ran after her. Turned her around when she was halfway down the grandstand tunnel, grabbed her hand and dropped on one knee. My feelings from the last two months had gotten to the edge of the cliff and the words just fell right off.

"Rachel? Would you...wanna marry me?"

Her mouth opened wide and stayed that way for what seemed forever, even after her tears froze on her face and fans walked by us on both sides to stock up on food and drink for the second game. Finally she pulled me out of the way of everyone, took my hands and put them around her thin waist and whispered "If you can really stand being with a Brooklyn fan...sure!" I couldn't even talk for a second, then bloarted out "How soon?" and she shrugged her cute shoulders and said "I don't know. First you have to ask my father, don't you??" I said I had forgot about that and she took my hand and said "Don't worry, my love," so I held my cap up for a little bit of privacy and kissed her for a good thirty seconds. It was heaven in a ball park, which is kind of a redundancy thing, but it sure made the sight of her disappearing down the tunnel easier to take.

I was in a romantic fog for most of the second game, and after the Phils took a 2-1 in the 4th with the awful Glazner on our hill I hardly noticed. I didn't tell Benny I had proposed yet because I just wanted to swim in the idea by myself for a while. Heck, the Phils even had a chance of beating the Robins twice in one day! How much more good luck could I have?

As it turned out, not much at all. Glazner gave up the lead in the 6th with a single, walk and double, and after a 2-run single off Steineder by Taylor put Brooklyn up 4-2, I was annoyed all over again. Ivy Olson lined a foul ball back off the grandstand roof, and it bounced straight down into our aisle. I snatched the thing, stuck it in my pocket and said to Benny, "I'm saving this one for Rachel."

But as I think I've mentioned, foul balls are supposed to be thrown back on the field to save the home clubs money. I was feeling like a pretty big cheese today, though, and when a cop came up the aisle and asked for the ball I just stood there and shook my head. "Vinny? You better fork it over," said Benny, but I said nope, not today. The cop tried to reach in my pocket and I pushed him away and said "Get lost!" He whistled for two of his cop buddies, and before you knew it I was getting dragged right down the aisle and down the exit tunnel with the crowd cheering me the whole time.

"My girlfriend said she'd marry me!" I kept yelling, "and she's getting this ball!" They just laughed and said the hell she is and next thing I know I'm carted out to a paddy wagon, thrown inside and driven right to the local police station for making a public disturbance.

So I had to scribble out this report on a piece of paper the jail guy gave me through the bars. They're just a couple old drunks in here with me, thank God, but who knows who else will show up before the morning? Mama was here an hour ago but didn't have enough bail money and went off to find more from her cousins. At least she managed to bring me the other ball scores from Mort's.

And I didn't tell her about Rachel either. But the good thing was that there was a dirty foul ball still in my pocket.

Good night, reader-people!

BRK 561 000 031 0 - 16 24 0
PHL 440 007 010 1 - 17 17 2

BRK 100 003 001 - 5 10 0
PHL 001 100 000 - 2 8 1

Other National League games today:

at PIRATES 7-11-2, CUBS 1-5-2
No four-run comeback today, just a good old shellacking. Lee Meadows loses his shutout on a cheap Grantham homer with two outs in the 9th, but the Bucs have won five in a row.

at GIANTS 5-6-2, BRAVES 1-6-0
McQuillan pitches great for a change, Gowdy hits a grand slam homer and Hack Wilson also hits one out as the Giants squeeze in front of Brooklyn again.

REDS 6-12-0, at ST. LOUIS 0-6-1
Would that be Eppa Rixey, throwing another shutout? Yup. Six scattered singles give him his 10th win and keep Cincy six out.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Saturday, June 28
Pittsburgh Pirates4622.676
Cincinnati Reds4230.5836
New York Giants3930.5657.5
Brooklyn Robins3931.5578
St. Louis Cardinals3732.5369.5
Chicago Cubs3137.45615
Philadelphia Phillies2744.38020.5
Boston Braves1752.24629.5

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