Hey, remember when Kate and I went to see a Red Sox game at Boston’s Fenway Park? Well, I sure do. After all, we helped Big D find his lucky bat! If you haven’t heard what happened, you can read about it in the first Ballpark Mysteries book—The Fenway Foul-Up.
Anyway, after Big D gave us his signed bat, he let us play on the Fenway Park field. We had to wait for my mom to pack up all her stuff, so I told Kate to go on the mound and pitch to me. She ran to the mound. She didn’t have a baseball with her, so we just pretended.
“Kate Hopkins on the mound, getting ready to pitch to the ONE the ONLY MIIIIIIIIIIKE WAAALSH!” I announced from the batter’s box, in my best announcer’s voice.
Kate laughed. Then she got serious. She lifted her leg, leaned back, and swung her arm towards the plate as fast as she could.
I imagined the ball coming in and as I swung, I knew that I had hit it hard!
“SWING AND A DRIVE, WAY BACK, WAY BACK. IT’S GONE!” I yelled. I pretended to drop my bat and then ran around the bases, pumping my fists in the air.
“Oh c’mon Mike, no way you woulda hit that!” Kate called out.
“No that would have been long gone,” I said. I pointed toward the stands in right field where the ball would have gone. “Come on, I’ll show you.”
I jogged out to the right field. Kate ran off the mound and followed me. When I got to the right field wall, I saw something funny. At Fenway, all the seats are green, but right in the middle of the all the green seats was a red one!
I yelled for Kate to come check it out. When she made it over, she was still mumbling that I wouldn’t have hit her pitch. But as soon as she saw the red seat, she started blurting out information.
“It was 1946, early summer I think,” Kate said. “Ted Williams was up against mean Fred Hutchinson from Detroit when Ted hit the longest homerun ever at Fenway. Some guy wearing a straw hat was sitting in that seat reading the newspaper, when the ball hit him on the head!”
“Was he all right?” I asked.
“Oh, he was fine,” Kate replied. “They painted the seat red to show how far Ted Williams hit the ball!”
“Wow,” I said. I pointed at the red seat. “If you look closely, you can see my home run ball right behind the red seat. I sure crushed it!”
Kate squinted and looked at the red seat. She shook her head. “I think you need to take another look, Mike,” she said. “That definitely wasn’t a home run!”
I held up my hands in protest. “What do you mean?” I asked. I looked at home plate and traced an arc across the sky with my finger. It landed just behind the empty red seat in front of us. “Don’t you see? I hit the ball all the way from home plate to right there! That’s a home run if I ever saw one!”
Kate smiled. “Well, it would be,” she said. “But maybe you don’t see what I see.” Kate pointed to the red seat. “Can’t you see the guy with the straw hat sitting in Ted Williams’ red seat?”
I took another look at the empty red seat. I wasn’t sure where Kate was going. But I thought I’d play along, since I had just hit the biggest monster home run ever.
I nodded. “Sure, I can see the guy in the straw hat,” I said. “What’s he got to do with my Ted Williams’ home run? I crushed it!”
Kate shrugged. “I know,” she said. “But I guess you didn’t see the man in the straw hat catch it. You were out!”