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He knew to grab a few baseballs, just in case Caleb hadn’t yet mastered his control and sent a throw sailing into the Robinsons’ yard; Hal didn’t feel like scaling the wood-plank fence with the neighbors out of town. He took two balls that looked brand new, as well as the neon-orange one his father bought him so he could take batting practice at night. Below those, though, he found something he hadn’t expected. It was a baseball in a plastic case, a cube designed to be as transparent as possible. He could see it was a major-league edition. The stamp between the stitches, where a pitcher throwing a twoseam fastball would have gripped it, featured Lee McPhail’s facsimile autograph, with a light-blue Spalding logo in the shape of a baseball. What grabbed Hal’s attention was the other signature, the one written by hand with a ballpoint pen. The handwriting wasn’t particularly legible, but it was no worse than the hurried signatures Hal left on credit-card receipts or the backs of checks, with the initials “E” and “B” clear enough but the other letters mere scratches. The troubling thing was that Hal not only couldn’t remember which player had signed the ball, but he had no memory of acquiring it. The signer had helpfully added the date beneath his name—but even that information didn’t trigger any memory. “Hold on, I’m coming,” Hal called upstairs. He put the box back, leaving the signed ball out so he could do some research later. Carrying the others he’d chosen, he returned to the barbecue as fast as his surgically repaired knee allowed.

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Profile for Mojave River Media

Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019  

The Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019 issue spotlights superb poetry and prose by brilliant contributors from around the globe. Enjoy 2...

Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019  

The Mojave River Review spring/summer 2019 issue spotlights superb poetry and prose by brilliant contributors from around the globe. Enjoy 2...

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