I didn’t have a brownbag that day so I was in the cafeteria when Julia found me. She was quite upset, on the verge of tears.
“The police called and said they have a warrant for you, and that if they stop us in my car, they’ll impound it!”
When I landed back on the floor, she told me what it was all about. You see, I had been to see the Astros play the Mets earlier that week. During the game, they showed my seat number on the big screen and said that I had “won an at-bat in the bigs.” I went down behind home plate and they gave me a jersey and a helmet and sent me to the plate against Rob Dribble.
I looked at a batting practice strike, and then fouled one off to the right side, but on the third pitch I hit a seeing-eye swinging bunt that rolled just out of Dribble’s reach that found me stretching for first as he pegged the ball at my head, disgusted. I ducked, and seeing the ball sail away from the first baseman, legged it to second on the overthrow.
By now Dribble was really pissed off, but he got a pop-up off the next batter to retire the side and stared daggers at me as I rounded the bases on my way back to the stands.
Well close as I can figure, he must have called somebody at the police department and told them some kind of story to put me in dutch.
My mind raced, searching for a connection who could get the cops off my case. I don’t know anybody with that kind of clout. I know, I thought, I’ll call Dierker, I’ve read his books, he’ll respect that and maybe he can help me out.
But I couldn’t get through to him on the phone. I went over to Union Station where the club has their offices and managed to stroll upstairs. There was a lot of traffic around Drayton’s office and I strolled in as if I belonged there.
When I got the boss’s attention I introduced myself, and told him of the first time we’d spoken, once in the concourse behind home plate when my daughter and I had crossed paths with him. When he heard of my trouble with Dribble, he sent for him and directed him to make things right between the police and me.
As we left the office suite together, Dribble said that I could go to the DMV and straighten things out.
“The hell I will you son of a bitch!” I shouted and tipped a table and slung a chair as our voices raised alerting others who came to my rescue by separating us. Drayton’s fixer reappeared, ushering me through the lobby as he assured me that all would be made well.
After that season Dribble was traded to Cincinnati, where he languored in the miners. You can look it up.