Wednesday, May 23, 2012
the last book I ever read (Seasons in Hell, excerpt eight)
from Mike Shropshire's Seasons in Hell:
Two tables over, David Clyde, sitting alone, was reading about himself in the Boston Globe. A banner headline said: "Kid Sensation To Face Sox Tonight At Fenway." That was not the sports page but the regular front section. The story about John Dean's testimony in the Watergate hearings was positioned farther down on the page. Clyde looked at the headline without expression and took a deep drag off his Salem. The events of the previous two weeks were finally, I figured, about to make a cerebral impact. "Probably wishes now that he'd never left Westchester High. Fenway Park? Hostile crowd? The Green Monster? Carl Yastrzemski? Orlando Cepeda at DH? They're going to light him up like the Coconut Grove fire?"
In fact, the near sellout crowd at Fenway Park was not all that hostile. Everyone stood up and applauded when the Kid made the long and lonely march in from the bullpen in rightfield before he started pitching the bottom of the first inning.
They also stood and applauded--and cheered loudly--when Clyde finally left the game after seven innings. He'd given up one run when the Rangers' infield misplayed a grounder and another when Tommy Harper lofted a soft homer into the net atop the Green Monster. Clyde would take the loss, because the Rangers could muster only a solitary run in the way of support. For the night: Seven innings, two runs, seven hits, no walks and eight strikeouts. Not too shabby.
Afterward Yastrzemski told me, "In my second at bat, the kid threw as well as any pitcher I have faced in my career. The ball seemed to come out of nowhere. He struck me out and I wasn't surprised when he did."