Chapter 3- The Dickie August Story - "It is TRUE!"

Dickie was floored. He looked around the room and pondered her comments. “So let me get this straight.” He began. “If I stick that alet in my pocket while I’m pitching, I can make the ball do what I want. Is that what you’re saying?”

Martha sat back down in her chair and looked directly at Dickie. She scratched her nose ever so slightly as she chose her words. “Dickie, this is a unique opportunity for you and if you choose not to accept it, somebody else will. You see, there are thousands, probably tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of young men who would JUMP at what you are being offered right now.

Dickie sat up straight and shook his head. “But, how can I really expect you to be telling me the truth. I mean this is a story that is so far fetched that I don’t know who would believe it. I’m only listening to you because you keep contacting me and you seem harmless.” Dickie smiled.

“The answer is pretty simple, you like to play baseball and wish to do it professionally, yes?” Martha asked. Dickie nodded in the affirmative.

“Have you considered what if I am telling you the truth? Long story short Dickie, would you rather be a professional baseball player with fame, money, power and access to beautiful women, or work here in obscurity for the rest of your life. Ha ha.”

Continued Martha. “Why don’t you just take the alet with you and play some baseball. Use this opportunity to kick the tires on the alet.”

Dickie felt some inner relief as he liked this idea. He leaned back in his chair before speaking. “Ok- let’s just say I try it. And during my alet “test”, Dickie made air quotes with his fingers. “How do I activate the thing…how does it work? I assume there isn’t a user guide that comes along with it?”

Dickie comes around...

The old woman smiled at the questions. She sensed Dickie was coming around to the idea and gave Dickie another look at her unimpressive dental situation. “Well Dickie, here’s the thing, the alet is operated from your own mind. By that I mean, all you need to do is to concentrate on what you want to happen to the ball. Once you do that, whatever you wished to happen, will happen.”

“There is no on and off switch.” She went on. “As long as you have the alet on your body somewhere, it is active. It can be in your pant’s pocket, in your ball cap or in your shoe, it will work.”

Dickie laughed at the possibilities. “So, you’re saying if I’m on the pitcher’s mound, in the biggest game of my life, that I can control what happens?”

You can control what happens with you, Dickie, with you. You don’t control every player on the field or every person in the stands.”

Dickie looked out the window to gather his thoughts. “So right before I throw the ball, I think in my mind that I want to throw the ball 110 miles per hour right down the middle of the plate, no, right on the corner of the plate – outer corner – then you’re telling me that is what will happen? As long as I have this thing” Dickie points to the alet. “With me?”

Martha sighed. “That is exactly what I’m telling you. Now, I don’t know the intricacies of baseball, or pitching, for that matter. But, whatever you envision in your mind, whatever you call for prior to delivering the ball, is what will happen.

Dickie went silent for a moment. While he truly doubted Martha’s words, he allowed himself to dream a bit.

“So, you’re saying if I throw the ball 110 miles per hour, which no one has ever done, would anyone, could anyone, hit it?” Dickie continued. “Or, even put it in play?”

Martha wiped her brow and looked Dickie in the eyes. “If someone can hit a baseball thrown that fast, then they will. All you can do is manage your actions. You can throw any pitch at any time, with whatever specifications you desire.”

Martha stopped and then let out a loud belch. Dickie smirked at the disturbing scene.

“Anyway.” She continued. “You are only limited by your mind. If a hitter is successful against you when you throw the baseball 110 miles per hour, then you can throw 115 miles per hour and further diminish their chances. Does all this make sense to you?”

Dickie again laughed – this time with more emotion. “OK- Fine- you win. Why don’t you give me the thing and I’ll give it a whirl. I guess the time for talking is done and now we can see what happens.”

“Ok - When?” Martha offered.

“When what?” Dickie fired back.

“When are you going to test…” Martha stopped and started again. “I think tomorrow seems like the perfect time.”

“Fine. Let me see if Cass is around tomorrow. Cass is an old friend who can catch for me.”

Martha rose and pointed her finger at Dickie while raising her voice. “This is not a joke son. You are going to get this test done tomorrow. Do you understand?”

Dickie reluctantly agreed. “One question though, Martha?”

Martha raised her head to acknowledge Dickie.

“Let’s just assume all of this works as you say. No, I don’t think it will, but, who knows. Let’s just say it does.” She shook her head in agreement.

“What would these futuristic people want with me? Would they want my first born child, my soul or my baseball card collection? What is in it for them? Is it money?”

Martha looked away and smiled. “Dickie, just try the alet and we can talk about that later. Right now I just want to know what you think. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

Martha turned and ambled out the door. The alet was left on Dickie’s desk.

The next day Dickie could not wait to test the alet.

Although he genuinely expected the story to be a hoax, he had his hopes. He had a setup a throwing sessions with Cass at lunchtime at Lyons field. Lyons field is a baseball field that the high school team uses.

Cass Willis was 20 years old and like Dickie, he did not go to college. He worked at his father’s gas station. Cass was smaller than Dickie, stood about 5 foot 9 and had a stocky build. He sported long reddish blond hair and an infectious grin. Cass loved most sports and was also passionate about baseball. Cass, unlike Dickie, played high school baseball and was a decent hitter at the catcher position.

When Dickie arrived at Lyons field, Cass was already there. He was tossing, and shagging, pop-up fly balls.

“Hey Stumps!” Stumps was Dickie’s nickname for Cass. His friendly way of teasing Cass about his lack of height.

“Dickie my boy – how goes the antique game?”

“Not bad – business is up, so that’s good. Dad is pleased and I can run out for some ball here and there.” Laughed Dickie.

“So why the urgent need to get the ball thrown around?” Inquired Cass.

Dickie started to walk to the mound and motioned to Cass to head behind the plate. “The nice weather has me ready to go. I’m so sick of the snow and the cold!”

Dickie took the mound, the alet in the right back pocket of his favorite blue jeans. Dickie carefully looked in at Cass’s mitt. With all the thoughts swirling in his head, he froze.

“Let’s go…” Yelled Cass after waiting for 10 seconds, which seemed like 10 minutes.

Dickie carefully went through the thoughts in his mind. “Ok- this is a regular Dickie pitch.” Dickie went in to this pitching delivery and fired a fastball in to Cass. Just a regular pitch, he thought.

Before he could ask Cass his thoughts…

“Come on Dickie boy…put something on it.” Criticized Cass.

“Yeah? OK- what would you like to see?”

“Hit me with a fastball at 80 – not 65 like that last one.” Cass demanded.

Dickie mumbled as he again took the mound.

“Ok- alet- thing- I want this one at 80 miles an hour right down the middle.” Thought Dickie.

Dickie then yelled out – “This is for you Martha.” As he went in to his delivery he let lose the ball.

Right on the money and with SPEED.

“Nice one.” Yelled Cass. “And who is Martha?”

Dickie laughed. “Just playing around.

How about one at 90, Stumps?”

“What? You can’t throw 90, never could.”

Dickie allowed himself a quick second to just think about what happened. “It just WORKED! RIGHT? But, it was only 80 mph. Maybe I really did throw 80 myself.”

He was on the mound and ready to pitch again.

“Ok Alet- here were go.” Dickie ran through the sequence again in his mind. “I want 90 miles an hour right down the middle.”

Dickie released the ball and it took off…like a rocket. It smacked into Cass’s glove and left his long time friend with his jaw hanging open in disbelief.

Dickie turned his back to home plate and mouthed the words…”IT IS TRUE.”

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