A Fast Game

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Death Row All Stars: A Story of Baseball, Corruption, and Murder.

 

A blinding, hot sun pushed its way out from behind a few clouds and stretched across a baseball diamond above Overland Park in Rawlins, Wyoming, in the summer of 1911.1 A crowd of people in the stands of the shade-free arena carved into the center of town waved cardboard fans in front of their faces in a futile attempt to push the merciless heat away from them. All eyes were trained on Thomas Cameron, a cherub-faced, overly tired baseball player on the pitcher’s mound. He backhanded beads of sweat off his forehead as he stepped away from his position and looked over the fielders behind him.

Some of his teammates slapped their fists into their rough, well-worn gloves, and all shouted words of encouragement. Thomas adjusted his cap and pulled it down far over his forehead. He kicked the dirt under his feet, and a haze of powdery dry dust rose in the air around his ankles and settled on his grimy uniform. He stepped back onto the mound and readied himself to pitch. His arms rose high over his head as he started his wind up. Rearing back on his left leg he fired a wild, high fastball. The alert batter turned away from the plate while fading backwards to avoid the out of control pitch, but the ball ricocheted off his left shoulder and bounded back into the stands.

A fat, unkempt umpire shouted for the batter to take his base. The spectators hissed at the rattled Thomas. He cast a glance at the team captain, George Saban, near the dugout and noticed the grim expression on his face.* It was an unfortunate error. Thomas’s shoulders sagged under the weight of what he knew could happen because of the mistake.

To learn more about the All Stars and the games they played to save their lives read

The Death Row All Stars: A Story of Baseball, Corruption, and Murder.

Death Row All Stars

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