The Dickie August Story - Chapter One-Who is Dickie August?


Ever since Dickie August was a little boy, all he thought about was playing professional baseball.

Playing baseball was an everyday thing for Dickie. Well, growing up in New England, the winter wasn’t all that accommodating for practicing baseball. But, outside of wintertime, game on!

When Dickie wasn’t playing some type of baseball, be it an organized game, catch with a friend or even a wiffle ball tournament, Dickie was watching the pros on the television. “Someday!” Dickie thought – “that will be me.”

Dickie would stand in front of the mirror with a baseball bat and take practice swings, imitating some of his favorite major leaguers. And when he wasn’t taking homerun cuts, he would be working on his pitching delivery. Right there in his bedroom he would strike out the side in his imaginary playoff scenario.

On those special days, Dickie would even do some play by play announcing. “And August strikes out the side – no one was even close. The crowd goes nuts and begins to chant, Dickie, Dickie, Dickie.”

Dickie went through the normal stops along the way. He played in the instructional baseball league as a child. He went through and played all the way up to the Babe Ruth league. There is where Dickie realized that his dream of walking out on a major league baseball field with thousands of fans chanting his name was never going to be.

You see here is where Dickie ran into players who were simply much better. There was one pitcher that Dickie just could not hit. He was a big right-hander who could really throw the fastball. While Dickie August was a decent player, hitting that fastball was not something he could do on a regular basis. There was also a left-handed pitcher that Dickie struggled against. As a matter of fact, Dickie struck out four times against that pitcher in one game. Dickie batted right-handed and there was something about that left-handed pitcher in his delivery and the way the ball moved that caused him all kinds of problems.

Dickie also tried his hand at pitching. He had some limited success, but his lack of control was a problem. His pitches could and would go anywhere other than where Dickie wanted them to go.

Dickie August realized sadly that he would need to find another profession. He would never be good enough to be a professional baseball player. Like most boys, he just did not have the necessary talent.

Dickie August does play Professional Baseball

Oh, by the way. It is here in the story that I should tell you that Dickie August, now 24 years old, does play major league baseball. Not only does Dickie August play professional baseball, he is very good at it. Many would say that Dickie August is the Best pitcher in the league.

Now you may ask how that happened. What part of the story did you miss?

To answer those questions and give you some behind the scenes information, we need to start at the beginning.

You see, Dickie August has a secret.

He has a secret that he doesn’t want you to know. The reason he does not want anyone to know is because, if you do learn his secret, Dickie August’s baseball playing days are over.

But, who would really believe his secret anyway?

To continue, we must go back to when Dickie graduated from high school. Dickie grew up in Pineville, Massachusetts and attended Pineville High School. Pineville is a small town with approximately 22,000 people. Dickie never played sports in high school, mainly because baseball was his main love and he could not make the varsity baseball team. And, he never really tried any of the other sports.

Dickie was popular in high school and had many friends. Dickie stood about 6 foot three and weighed 200 pounds. He had dark wavy hair and a gentle smile. Yet, one of Dickie’s strongest personality traits was his quick wit. People did enjoy being around Dickie and he spent way too much time in non-school activities. The girls also enjoyed Dickie’s company and he enjoyed spending time with them as well.

Many of Dickie’s friends were heading to college after high school but not Dickie. Dickie wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. His father Thomas was an antique collector and owned and operated an antique store downtown. His mother Beth was a registered nurse and worked at the local hospital, in the emergency room. Dickie was an only child and received quite a bit of attention from his parents.

Dickie’s parents were concerned that he had no interest in going to college and wondered what would become of him. At some point during Dickie’s senior year, his father inquired about Dickie’s future. “Dickie, at what point do you decide your plans are after graduation?” Thomas asked.

“You know dad, I think I might just come work with you at the store.” Dickie replied.

“Well I could use the help and if it’s something you’re interested in, why not?” Thomas offered.

“Yeah I mean I do like dealing with your old stuff. Ha ha.” Dickie laughed.

“You know Dickie; working with antiques can be very rewarding. There’s something about handling an item that is 50 years old, 100 years old, or even older. It makes you really appreciate history and understand how things worked.” Thomas explained in a serious tone.

And that’s where our story takes a big turn.

As we fast-forward now a couple years, Dickie has learned the antique business somewhat and rather enjoys working at the store.

One of Dickie’s favorite work duties is to go to antique auctions and see what he can buy for the shop. Thomas allows Dickie to go to the auctions alone. He feels that Dickie has developed a pretty good eye when it comes to identifying quality items at a good price.

On one Tuesday afternoon Dickie was skimming over some internet listings to see what auctions he could attend.

“This one is only 45 minutes away-looks like a winner.” He thought.

As Dickie left the store, he headed for his Jeep Grand Cherokee. The crisp October air smacked him in the face. “Why don’t I live in Florida? Ugh!”

Dickie approached the auction, which was located in an old factory in southeastern Massachusetts. As he entered the building, he noticed an older woman mulling around the merchandise. The woman wore a giant multicolored shawl, of some sort. Her face was covered in wrinkles and she moved very slowly.

“Hello – Hello”. She shouted at Dickie.

“Hi there.” Dickie replied. “Where is everyone?” Dickie waved his hand across the room.

“Well, you are here and I am here, Dickie.”

“Do I know you?” Questioned Dickie.

“You might say that.” Smiled the woman. She playfully showed Dickie that she was missing more than one tooth.

Dickie tilted his head at the view.

At that moment a pretty blond woman enter the building. “I’m here for the auction.” She proclaimed.

Dickie gave her a quick once over, forgetting about the odd scene that just occurred, and determined in his mind that he might like to know more about this young lady.

“Hi there – I’m Dickie August.”

“Penny Willis, nice to meet you.”

“Are you from around here?” Dickie pried

Before Penny could answer, the old woman interrupted. “Ok- let’s begin.” Over the next 20 minutes, 4 items came up and neither Dickie nor Penny even bid. “Are you two even paying attention to these items?” The woman snapped.

“Yes, but there is nothing there I want.” Dickie shot back.

“Ok, Dickie.” Smirked the woman. “What about this?”

She lifted up a small piece of black cloth. The cloth was cut in a circle and the size of a coffee cup lid.

Dickie scratched his head in amazement. Penny politely excused herself from the auction and made her way for the exit. She had seen enough.

“I never even got her phone number.” Thought Dickie as he watched Penny move out of sight. “Ok. I’m about done here.” Dickie said in a disapproving tone as he started to move to the door. He was hoping he might catch up with Penny in the parking lot. Obtaining her phone number would at least salvage this trip.

“Dickie! Do you even know what this is?” Barked the old woman.

Dickie stopped in his tracks. “And how do you know my name? We’ve never met.”

“Stop being a putz and listen to me.” Instructed the woman.

Dickie smiled. “Ok-Ok – What do you want to say?” Relented Dickie. “Just make it quick.”

“This simple piece of cloth, as you see it, is not a simple piece of cloth. Far from it!” Admonished the old woman. “It is an alet.”

“An alet?” Questioned Dickie. “What is it used for? I’ve never heard of an antique called an alet.”

“That my dear boy is because it is not an antique!” Laughed the woman.

Dickie paused and stared at the item before speaking. “So if it’s not an antique, why are you selling it here? At an antique auction?”

“Ah, yes, let’s get to the crux of the issue, shall we?” Remarked the old woman. You are Richard Wilson August, correct?”

Dickie grit his teeth and shook his head before raising his voice.

“How do you know me?”

“This is for you, my child. This item, the alet, is not from the past, but from the future.” The old woman slowly raised the alet with both hands towards the ceiling.

“The future…” Joked Dickie. “Ok- I’ve heard enough. You’ve wasted half my day.” Dickie started to walk to the door.

“Wait!” Yelled the woman. “Do you want to play major league baseball, Dickie?”

Dickie stopped in his tracks and thought for a second. “What did you say?”

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