Dickie August Story -Chapter 6 Where the Heck did you Come From?

Dickie wasn’t sure he just heard what he just heard. “Say that again?”

“I said.” Jason raised his voice. “Did Martha send you?”

Dickie shook his head. “Martha who?”

Jason went back to his chair and sat down. “A woman called me last week and said someone, someone like you, would be coming in to see me. She said her name was Martha.”

Dickie raised his eye brows.

“She said.” Jason continued. “Someone off the street would walk in, someone with great talent and when I asked her who the player was, she said the name wasn’t important but that she was the agent.”

Jason let out a measured laugh. “I thought she was nuts and hung up the phone. So, what are you telling me? She isn’t you’re agent?”

“Listen Jason, I don’t know what this lady has to do with me, but I’m here right now and I’m negotiating with you.” Dickie needed to get off of the Martha topic and fast.

Jason set his eyes on Dickie. “Ok – fine – whatever. I can’t give you 2 million dollars. I don’t even know where you came from and you have no baseball resume.”

Dickie stood.

“Can you get me a tryout with Kansas City, a legitimate tryout?"

“You’ve seen enough to know that I can make their team, right?”

“Ha! I don’t know that – how could I know that? Jason shook his head.

“Ok- fine.” Conceded Dickie. “Let me ask you, what is fair? How can I get a try out with Kansas City?”

“You sign here for 30 days – and if you’re as good as you say, Kansas City will notice. OK? I can’t promise anything – you know – but if you can dominate at this level, I’ll push for them to give you a tryout. Is that fair?”

Dickie smiled and reached his hand to Jason. “Yeah, that is really cool – thanks. No where do I sign – but only a 30 day contract here, right?”

“Yep! You have 30 days to make it.” Jason pointed down to the line on the contract that needed to be signed. Dickie obliged.

Dickie was thrilled beyond words. He had been discovered – sort of – and he actually made a minor league baseball team. Now $350 per week was not going to pay Martha back or make him rich, but he had 30 days to make a name for himself.

Dickie was so energized that he felt he could have run all the way home. He nixed the idea and drove the 35 minutes back home. After telling his parents all about it, and phoning Cass, Dickie settled in for the night.

The next day found Dickie at the ballpark at 7:00am, ready to roll. The only problem was that no one else was there that early. He waited in his car until one of the janitors arrived at 7:20.

Once he got inside he raced around looking for a uniform. Without the right keys and not knowing where anything was kept, he had to wait for the clubhouse guy to arrive – which finally happened at 9:30.

Dickie was given number 56 – not a number he wanted – but a real number nonetheless.

Some of the players started to straggle in and at around 10am, the manager, Bob Aloofe, entered the clubhouse. He stood right in the middle of the room. “Team, we have a new player – Dickie August has made the team as a pitcher. He was be starting tomorrow night in Buffalo.”

Dickie had chills go up his spine. “I’m starting already! WOW!” He thought.

Aloofe held a light workout before the team boarded the bus for Buffalo. One of the older players, a 30 year old catcher from Tampa, Florida, Lenny Aimes, sat next to Dickie.

Lenny was short and thin, but very athletic and had a strong arm. He had long blonde hair and apparently was not fond of shaving. He was know has a good defensive player but not much of a hitter. This is why he was still in the minor leagues at 30. “Dickie.” Started Lenny with a thick southern accent. “One of the guys said you never player ball before? How does that happen?”

Dickie closed his eyes for a second. He knew he would hear this question over and over again. “I’m a late bloomer. Some people find religion later in life, I found baseball later in my life.”

Lenny let out a thunderous laugh. “You are funny. Are you fixing to pitch a good game tomorrow Dickie?”

“That I am Lenny – that I am.”

Dickie soon fell off to sleep. He rested under a blanket in the window seat and in his hands he clutched on to the alet.

After a night in a sub-par motel, the team spent the day resting and some went shopping in downtown Buffalo. Since he roomed with Lenny, they reviewed the catcher’s signals. Later, Dickie stayed in his room and went over the game plan in his mind.

As the team arrived at the field, they exited the bus. Dickie was feeling uptight at the moment and thought he might be sick. Playing Minor League Baseball did not provide the best accommodations. However, Dickie knew this would only be a short-term stop for him on the way to the Major Leagues.

Unfortunately for Dickie, his parents could not make the trip to Buffalo for his first game. But, they (and Cass) texted him their best wishes.

As Dickie dressed, he took a closer look at his Sea Creatures’ uniform. Their mascot was on the front of the uniform. It looked like a cross between a green dragon and a blue dinosaur.

It was a cold night in Buffalo and Dickie made sure to wear a long-sleeved shirt under his uniform.

Dickie took the mound for warm-ups. Lenny crouched behind home plate and gave Dickie his signal to begin, he held up his catcher’s mitt looking for a pitch.

Dickie proceeded to hum a few fastballs in to Lenny’s mitt. “Nice speed Dickie.” Hollered Lenny.

The Sea Creatures left the field, as it was time for the home team’s practice.

Dickie watched from the bench when Lenny sat next to him. “For the first inning, let’s go with just fastballs. That way, you can get in a grove. Cool?”

Dickie nodded.

The game was starting and Dickie went in the clubhouse runway to stretch and to make sure the alet was in place.

The top of the first inning came and went – with no scoring- and it was now time for Dickie to take the hill.

He pulled his ball cap down as far as he could while still being able to see Lenny’s target. “Ok Dickie- this is it.” He told himself. “Let it fly!”

Dickie struck out the first batter in 3 pitches. He fired 3 fastballs at 95 mph and the hitter never even swung his bat.

The crowd of 3,300 started to rumble after each pitch Dickie let loose. The second batter grounded harmlessly to the second baseman for the second out. Dickie dropped his speed to 90 miles per hour on that last pitch and the batter made weak contact.

With 2 outs, the third batter of the inning approached the plate. He was a heavy left handed hitter with plenty of power to all fields. Back at the motel, Lenny repeatedly warned Dickie of this player. “He’s the best hitter in our league”

Dickie thought it was time to make a statement right here and right now.

Dickie summoned the alet for a 95 mph fastball and the big hitter swung right through it. He was late on the swing, as you might expect. The next pitch came in again at 95, this time the batter watched it hit the outside corner for strike 2.

Dickie peered in for the sign from Lenny. He knew it was going to be 1 finger, for the fastball, but did not want to let on for the hitter. Dickie, wanting a reaction and a big reaction, called for a fastball at 100mph. It FLEW – the batter helplessly waved at the pitch when it was already in Lenny’s mitt.

The crowd buzzed at the excitement.

Dickie fixed his gaze on the batter as he slowly walked to the dugout. “Bye - Bye.” He joked to himself.

Lenny came from behind the plate and galloped towards Dickie before Dickie hit the dugout step. “Where the heck did you come from?”

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