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"The Home Run" by Richard Saxe

Flash #247 - April 2015

Orig. appeared May 1996

Flash 030: mystery inspired by a mysterious photo

TY COBB JONES WAS A HAPPY BALL PLAYER. His triple A team, the Tidewater Tides, was three runs behind the Toledo Mud Hens but that did not dampen his spirits. Ty felt ahead of the game. Way ahead of the game. About $90,000 ahead of the game. Just an hour before the start of the game, Ty had walked into the Downtown Savings Bank wearing his long brown overcoat over his uniform. He gave the teller a note in large print which read, "Give me all your large bills or you will be VERY sorry."

The teller had obliged, jamming handfuls of bills into Ty's bag. Actually, it was the his equipment bag where Ty usually kept his favorite Louisville Slugger. Taking his loot, Ty walked briskly to a previously stolen Olds Cutlass Sierra and drove away under the 35 mph speed limit to avoid suspicion.

Now, Ty was at bat in the last of the ninth, bases loaded and two outs. He figured this would be his last time at bat ever. Ty had booked a cruise and as soon as he and the rest of the Tidewater Tides got off the plane in Norfolk his ball-playing days were history.

The Mud Hen pitcher was tired of this game. He felt that he should have been relieved after the team built up a three-run lead and now the bases were loaded and he had this miserable .187 hitter to deal with. One more pitch should do it for this loser. The pitcher delivered his Sunday best pitch, a fast ball right over the heart of the plate at 86 mph. Let old .187 watch that one fly by!

Ty smiled as the he saw the ball coming. The manager had flashed the "take" sign hoping for a ball and a chance for his clean-up hitter to come to the plate. Ty couldn't care less about the manager and his signs; he was feeling loose as a goose and determined to go down swinging. "Take, schmake," he thought to himself as he happily swung with all his might. What could the manager do? Fine him in Jamaica? Ty's bat connected with the fast ball and the second law of physics sent the ball sailing over the right field bleachers for a grand-slam home run!

Now, Ty had to wait as reporters from Norfolk Channels 13, 3, and 10 waved microphones in his face. He jammed his Louisville Slugger into the bag and modestly accepted the accolades of his teammates and the Norfolk reporters.

At last it was over and Ty was boarding the bus for the ride to Toledo Express Airport when the reporter for Channel 13 said, "Let me get a shot of the bat that won the game and the series." He grabbed Ty's bat from the bag and $92,000 in large bills spilled out in front of the bus.

Ty wondered if prisons still had baseball teams. It would help him pass time for the next five to fifteen years.

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