I clutched my Babe Ruth card in one hand and my necronomicon in the other. “The big game’s tomorrow, and we don’t have a shot. Babe, I need help.” The room shook as a ghost rose from the ground. “Babe Ruth?” I asked, quivering. The ghost dusted off his baseball cap, spilling ghost dust all over the floor. “He’s with some other kid,” he said. “I’m ‘Limp Joe’ McGraw.”
Limp Joe told me his story: played with Babe for almost a season, until cholera and one too many punched umpires took him out of the game. “But enough about me.” He put me on his shoulders and flew me out of the room, scratching my face against a bunch of tree branches. “You ever seen a baseball field before?”
Limp Joe took me to his “secret batting hole,” an alley by Club Fantasia where we watched a rat miscarry. “Here’s my signature move, kid. Keep your eye on the other team’s star player. If you let go of the bat at the right time mid-swing, that baby becomes a guided missile. Once you get a few players out, the game’s in the bag.” I tried explaining that baseball had rules now, but he got distracted by a cell phone and wouldn’t leave until I told him how to use it for porn.
That night, I confided in him: my dad was always away on business, so I never had someone to teach me baseball—and Joe may have had a negative batting average, but at least he was there for me. Joe looked at me. “What? No. No personal stuff. Now quit yapping and cover your ears, I’m summoning ghost prostitutes.”
The day of the game, I was first to bat. The pitcher stared me dead in the eyes, the ghost of Babe Ruth standing behind him. Shit. Then, a tap on my shoulder. It’s Limp Joe. “Kid, It’s my time. I’m being called back to hell.” These glowing red hands reached up from the floor and dragged him slowly down as he cursed out Babe Ruth one last time. His raised middle finger sunk below the ground, and he was gone. “Here’s to you, Limp Joe.” I swung the bat and let go, shattering the pitcher’s kneecaps. “Here’s to you.”