1

Shimmering in the late afternoon sun, the white stretch limo cruised by the flow of pickup trucks like a yacht on a river of old scows. Drivers waved, beeped a staccato of greetings to the unseen face behind the tinted windows, for this had to be John Clyde Cagle Jr., known throughout the sporting world as "Black Jack," coming home to Gandee, Missouri, to celebrate the nationally televised opening of Black Jack Field.

In the spacious back seat, he stretched his powerful six-foot-four, 220-pound body, hands clasped behind the thick black hair that draped the back of his neck. On his thigh, the jeweled fingers of Judith Pagonis tapped to the beat of Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do with It?," her seductive body moving like one who had danced in limos all her life. Instant stirring in his loins amused him, and he remembered how he had left Gandee eight years ago, an eighteen-year-old virgin who would jerk himself off in bed hoping to forestall recurring nightmares. Now he shut his eyes to wallow in the sensuality of her perfume (special exotic stuff she had discovered in India). Her uninhibited sexuality dazzled him, and because she made no demands on him, all other aspects of his life seemed perfectly arranged."I make magic happen," she would whisper in his ear, crystals dangling from the bedposts. What's more,Judith was the daughter of Theodore "Ted" Pagonis, billionaire shipping magnate, recent owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jack's hundred-million-dollar contract, a neat parlay if there ever was one. His friend and old road roommate Corky (nee Thomas Jackson Corcoran) had declared Judith to be the consummation of the Six Bs of good living: BaseBall, Big

-1-

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Table of contents

  • Other Books in the Writing Baseball Series ii
  • Title Page v
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 1
  • 2 20
  • 3 33
  • 4 40
  • 5 48
  • 6 51
  • 7 59
  • 8 64
  • 9 71
  • 10 77
  • 11 83
  • 12 88
  • 13 92
  • 14 99
  • 15 105
  • 16 114
  • 17 119
  • 18 128
  • 19 135
  • 20 139
  • 21 143
  • 22 145
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