The Dickie August Story -Chapter 11 – The Secret is Out

As the game ended in another Kansas City loss, 3-2, Dickie was more concerned about the fate of his longtime friend than taking time to enjoy how well he pitched.

Dickie sat quietly at his locker, as several of the players stopped by to congratulate him on his first career performance. “Nice shooting there Dickie – sorry about before- just having some fun.” Smiled Billy Wild.

“No worries and thanks.”

Cass sat next to Dickie and did not say a word.

The bullpen coach, Ed Cousins, came up behind Billy. “Dickie, Skip wants to see you in his office.”

Dickie raised and lumbered into Manager Keeton’s office.

“Hi Skip, you wanted to see me?”

“Yeah- close the door and sit down.”

Dickie obliged.

Dickie was learning fast that Barry Keeton was a direct sort of man. He said exactly what he felt and did not try and spare your feelings. “Dickie, Cass is hurting the team and as manager, I can’t allow that to happen. Now I know he is part of your contract, but I’m asking you, for the good of the team to fire him.”

Barry set his eyes directly on Dickie and did not move them.

“Listen, I know he had a rough game.” Dickie lightly scratched his neck while speaking. “But, you need to give him more than one game – more than one inning Skip! He needs more time.”

Barry paused and then shook his head. “Ok- fine. I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll start him tonight and if he plays…-just Ok – I’ll keep him. If he is a disaster, again, you agree that we cut him. Deal?”

“Yes – Ok. Fine.” Relented Dickie.

That night at the apartment was awkward for Dickie. He wasn’t sure what to tell Cass. Telling him the truth could put him over the edge. Because Dickie had the Alet – he was not worried – he was confident in his abilities. If he had nothing and it was just his REAL baseball ability, he would be a nervous wreck – like Cass.

It was late, but neither of the boys could sleep. “Let’s watch the sports on TV and see if they show us? I’m going to call my mother and tell her to watch.” Cass excitedly shared.

“One second first, Cass.” Dickie was sitting at the glass kitchen table, which comfortably seated eight.

Cass sat down there as well. “What’s up?”

“I just wanted to get your take on the game. What do you think?”

“Oh. I thought it was the coolest thing I've ever seen. And I owe it all to you.”

Dickie briefly put his head down and then looked at Cass. “Yeah no I get that. But I mean what did you think about playing in a major league game?”

Cass made an odd face. “Oh yeah I see what you mean. Well if I was being honest I would say that I just sucked. My catching skills are very rusty. I just don't know if I'm good enough to play. I tend to doubt it.”

“The Skipper told me that he's going to start you tomorrow night and see what you got.”

Cass raised his eyebrows. “No kidding? Wow! That is so cool. Should I call my parents and see if they can get out here? But, I'm not really sure I can hack it for nine innings. I mean how am I going to hit major league pitching?”

“Yeah it's a challenge, no question. But are you happy doing this?” Dickie waved his arm across the apartment. “I mean are you happy doing all of this? The baseball, the lifestyle, the stress and the pressure?”

Cass laughed at Dickie's comments. “Are you serious? This is the greatest time of my life. I've never been happier and I can't believe this is happening to me.”

Dickie stood and put his hand on Cass' shoulder. “Okay buddy, we got a big day tomorrow let's get some sleep.”

The only problem was Dickie couldn’t sleep. He knew that Cass would have a terrible game tomorrow night and be dropped off the team. He tried to justify, in his mind, Cass being cut. But the fact that Dickie was there on a fraudulent basis, made him more anxious about losing Cass.

And then like an oncoming freight train, Dickie got an idea.

What if Dickie let Cass use his Alet when he played? Since Dickie was a pitcher, and not a regular player, he did not need to have possession of the Alet at all times. He considered telling Cass the truth and letting him use the Alet went Dickie didn't need it.

But, could he do that? Would Martha allow the Alet to be shared this way? Should he call her and ask her? Would Cass understand and even participate, should Dickie let him in on the Secret.

Dickie had more questions than answers right now. Nevertheless, the game was tomorrow night and Dickie needed answers.

Dickie did not sleep well that night and was up early on the telephone, dialing Martha. Unfortunately, he could not get through. The phone just rang and rang and rang.

The two boys arrived at the ballpark at 2 PM and sat in the clubhouse chatting.

“I wonder what spot he'll bat me tonight. You think you might put me at cleanup?”

Dickie smiled at the absurdity of Cass's joke.

“Nah, I'll be batting ninth. But I really don't care; I just can't believe I'm in the lineup. Does Billy Wild know yet?

“I don't know it might just be his regular day off.”

Dickie had a major decision to make.

Dickie really wanted to share his major-league experience with his buddy. It would mean a lot more to him if he went through the entire process with his best friend. But – is sharing his Secret the right thing?

“Before we take the field, I need to tell you something.”

Cass looked at Dickie and nodded.

“You know how you kept asking me if there was something else behind the story of us making the major leagues?

Cass let out a long drawn out. “Yessssss. What is it?”

“Well, let me start at the beginning. A couple months ago I went to an antique…”

At that point Billy Wild came walking into the clubhouse. “Hello boys. I see that you're playing catcher tonight, Cass.”

“Yeah I was surprised.”

“I think everybody was surprised.” Billy insulted. “I tell you what; do you think that you can just catch the ball tonight? I mean damn, that is just basic catching.”

Dickie stood in an effort to change the subject. “Yeah, he'll do fine tonight. Cass and I were just hitting the field to do some work. We'll catch you later Billy.”

Dickie and Cass went on the field and found a quiet spot in the outfield to speak.

“Anyway, what I was saying was, I met this old lady at one of my antique auctions. And, she claimed that she had this item called an Alet.” Dickie reached in his back pocket and showed Cass the Alet. “She claimed it was from the future and it was from some futuristic people. These people wanted to see if people got to live out their dreams, would the human race be a happier group. Or something like that.”

Cass looked at Dickie and smirked.

“I know, I know, it sounds like crap. I didn't believe her either. But, remember the day when I pitched to you over at Lyons field?” “Yeah.”

“That was me testing the Alet. I don't know how and I don't know why, but it works.”

Cass took a couple steps closer to Dickie. He got right up in his face. “So you mean to tell me that this is all fake? That you're just a fraud. What happens if you take that thing out of your pocket and then try to play?”

“Well I haven't tried it, but I assume that I would just suck.”

“I knew something was going on, but not this. So what are you suggesting?”

“I'm suggesting that when I'm not in the game, I let you use the Alet. That way, you’ll be good enough to make the team and help the team. The only exception would be when I get called into the game that I need to have it first, since it's mine. What do you think?”

Cass turned and walked away a few steps before returning. “I don't know I think I'd feel kind of dirty playing with that thing. And if you think about it, all we’d be doing is cheating.”

“I know what you're saying and I thought that too, briefly. But, this is the big leagues. And like you said earlier, this is the best time in our lives. How can I give all this up and go back and work in my dad's antique shop? I'm giving you what that old lady gave me, which is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Dickie walked in closer to Cass, put his hands on his shoulders and looked him in the eyes. “So what do you say, are you in?”

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