Better Than Perfect(102)

By: Kristina Mathews


“We’ve got a hundred and sixty-two games. Let’s make them count.” And he planned on enjoying every last one of them.

Johnny Scottsdale had come to San Francisco hoping to earn a World Series ring.

He glanced down at his left hand. He’d gotten something better than he’d ever dreamed of. He had a wife. A son. And a baby on the way. Alice’s due date was shortly after Game Seven of the World Series. If they made it that far.

If not, that was okay too. He had so much to look forward to. They’d had a good spring down in Arizona. The Goliaths finished in first place in the Cactus League and everyone was healthy to start the season. More importantly, they’d come together as a team. Learned to rely on one another, to trust one another and pick each other up if someone had an off day.

Johnny had an even more supportive home team. Alice was waiting for him when he got off work each night. And she sent him off to the ballpark with more than just a smile. He was no longer a monk, at least not off the field.

Zach was doing well in school and was getting ready to start his last Little League season. He was going to have a great year. He couldn’t help it; it was in his blood. The second DNA test came back positive. And they were in the process of legally changing Zach’s name and birth certificate.

Alice gave her notice at the foundation. Mel Sr. would take over as director and she’d be there to provide a smooth transition. The old man seemed to enjoy his new role, but he couldn’t quite give up his need to offer financial advice to Johnny. For most of his career, money had been the furthest thing from his mind. He hadn’t squandered it, but he hadn’t made the most of it, either. It just sat there, collecting more dust than interest.

Mel had helped him set up college funds for Zach and the new baby, life insurance and a retirement plan. Then he’d helped Johnny figure out how he was going to pay for this baseball camp he and Alice had their hearts set on.

Alice had already started looking for property in Reno. He told her what he wanted and she was determined to make it happen. She’d narrowed it down to three possibilities, all with room for indoor and outdoor facilities. He wanted to put in a regulation size field, with room for stands. There would be batting cages open to the public as well as camp participants. He also planned on having plenty of bullpen space, so pitchers could hone their skills. They just needed to decide and then make an offer.

She’d also been looking for a house in the Reno area. That search might take a bit longer. They needed a big enough place to meet the needs of a growing family. One with a teenager and a newborn. They’d need a place with room for a swing set and a batting cage. It had to be in the right school district. Close enough to town, yet with enough space for them to enjoy the peace and quiet.

But to Johnny, it didn’t really matter where they lived. Because wherever Alice was, he was safe at home.