Chapter 31 The Dreamers
Since I joined the Chicago Knights the team could do no wrong. It reeled off nine straight wins over two months and gave me a chance to really fit in with the team and the league. If I had been able to pile up more playing minutes I could be leading the league in scoring and assists, but that didn't matter to me. My goal was to try and be a part of stopping the violence that was destroying the community. Four more murders had occurred during this period, one was another player in the league. It was becoming clear that there was clearly something wrong with some of the players in the league.
The Knights had another game this evening with the last place team in the league. It was the late game which usually started around 9PM. The usual arrangements were made with Sergeant Jenkins with full surveillance across the street.
I had just come back from class and decided to call home. Dad answered the phone.
"Hey, son, how are you," said Dad cheerfully? "Your Mom has been bugging me to call you for a couple of days. Seems like I keep missing you."
"I'm O.K., Dad," I said. "Keeping pretty busy with school. Kind of hard at first getting back into the grind of studying again, but I've settled in now, I guess. How's everybody back home?"
"Everybody is fine back here," said Dad. "The team is doing great. First place by ten games, if you can believe it. Billy is tearing up the league. He is a perfect seven and 0 with an E.R.A. under one and a half and is hitting .360. The guy is making everyone on the team work so much harder trying to keep up. Reggie and Tavy are tied for the league lead in RBI's, with Reggie just ahead of him in the homerun derby twenty-two to twenty. This is all very hard to believe coming into July playing this well. Even Mr. Big has come up to see the team."
"You're kidding," I said. "George came all the way up from the Big Apple just to see AA baseball? Wonder what's on his mind." I ask?
"I don't know," Dad answered. "The big club is playing terrible. Last place in the A.L. East, fourteen games out. From what I read into the box scores their defense stinks and they lead the league in runners left on base. Mr. S. is not a happy camper."
"Dad, you don't think he is mad enough to bring up some of the players from the Madison team, do you," I ask? Just because some of these guys are having good years doesn't mean there ready to make the AA jump to the Show."
"I know," replied Dad. "Red and I have talked briefly about it. But, if George has made up his mind, secretly, there is not much any of us can do to change it. It is not smart career wise to get in his way if you want to stay in the Monarch organization."
"Oh, by the way," said Dad, "Your sister and Dave got engaged two days ago. Your Mom and I are real happy for them. We haven't seen your sister so happy. The wedding is set for October sometime, depending on our playoff chances. Sure would be great if you could come home for the wedding."
"Dad, that's great news," I said cheerfully. "I'm so happy for them. You'll tell Becky I'll be there with bells on. Wouldn't miss it for anything. Give her my love, will you?"
"Sure," Dad said responded.
"Tell everybody Hi for me," I continue. "Would love to see all of you. Definitely in October. Take care and keep that team in first place, will ya?"
"We'll try," assured Dad. "Take care, Son. Bye."
"Bye, Dad," I said, and hung up the phone.
It was just about 5PM and I decided I had better go over and get something to eat before the game. Someone knocked on my door.
"Bob," said a fellow student who was an office runner for Father Spencer? Father would like to see you when you have some time. He'll be in his office until 7PM."
"Thanks, I'll go over right after I grab a bite to eat." I replied. "Tell Father I'll see him by 5:45PM, O.K.?"
"No problem, I'll pass the word along," said the student. He headed back to Father Spencer's office to pass the word.
At 5:40PM I entered Fr. Spencer's outer office and found his door wide open. I knocked on the door frame and peaked inside.
"Father, you wanted to see me," I state?
"Yes, son, please come on in," said Father in a cheerful tone. "Haven't talked to you in a week or so and just wanted to make sure you were all right. Are your studies coming along?"
"Yes, Father, no problems yet," I answer. "With only eight hours of classes it is not too hard to keep up."
"Good," said Father. "Hear the basketball team is doing quite well with you on it. Sergeant Jenkins fills me in, you know."
"The team is doing pretty well," I replied. "Pretty good bunch of guys. It appears that the Knight players are clean and not involved in any illegal activity that I can spot. These murders have everyone a little on edge, though."
"Just be careful, that's all I ask," stated Father Spencer. "Jenkins says this Motown something is one bad character. I hope you are staying clear of him?"
"He hasn't tried to bother me or many of the Knight players," I answered. "Most just seem to brush him off. Guess he has enough action elsewhere to not need Knight players at this point."
"Is there anything I can do for you," asked Father?
"No, I don't think so," I reply. "Ben has been a big help. Great guy."
"Yes, I am so proud of him," smiled Father. "Had a full scholarship to Notre Dame for football, but chose to enter the ministry. He is a very special young man, just like you, Bob. We need more young men like the two of you. Your generation needs more leaders like the two of you."
"That's nice of you to say," I said. "Ben's about to graduate, I still have a long way to go."
"You'll make it," announced Father Spencer. "You'll make it."
"You ought to try and come to a game sometime," I offer. "I think you might enjoy it."
"Maybe I'll do just that," said Father, as he rose from his chair. I rose as well.
"Hope so," I said.
"Bob, if you need anything, don't hesitate to let me know," offered Father. "Don't be a stranger, either."
"I won't," I reply. "I know you're busy and I don't want to be a pest."
"You'll never be that," said Father emphatically. "We're in this together, don't forget."
"I know," I state. "Since I've been here it is a different feeling I have. It's kind of hard to explain. Kind of an inner peace, a calmness I've never know before."
"I know," said Father. "Those who are truly called feel the same way. Everything seems to fall in place. You'll be just fine. Good luck tonight."
I thanked Father Spencer and headed back to my room. I thought about our conversation as I slowly waked across campus and admired the beautiful grounds. How lucky I thought I was to be going to school here and trying to help the Police solve a major problem within the neighboring community.
Back at the room I decided to take a short nap before the game. I set the alarm for 7:30PM and fell right to sleep.