"Vince. Now. The Cum Bac Rag. It'll work."
"Right," he said, and moved over.
I sat down and played Charles L. Johnson's Cum Bac Rag like no fish or bride had ever heard me play it before.
Crack! Bill Madlock (How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?) doubled to open the inning. After Jason Thompson (I'm Always Chasing Rainbows) was walked intentionally, Mike Easier (Ease on Down the Road) forced Madlock at third. And then...and then...a wild pitch allowed the runners to move up. Had it been blown up by one of my land mines? Had it been seized by a lingering cluster of eighth notes? Had it been whisked away by the echo of the ascending octaves in the Cum Bac Rag? Both Thompson and Easier scored on Tony ("Do you like Piña Colada?") Pena's double down the right-field line.
"Vince, Vince," I said jumping on top of him. "Vince! The Cum Bac Rag. They came back!"
Right before the Phillies came up for their last at bat, I played a diminished seventh chord and a staff of minor thirds. "They're diabolical," my piano teacher, Larry Wallach, had told me at my last lesson. "Hit the opposing team with as many as you can." I played an E flat and a C. Just once. That was enough. The Pirates won, 3-1.
"Vince, Vince," I sputtered. I was exhausted, my hands were spent, my vision was blurred. I took off my Pirate hat and let it drop on the floor.
"Send me a Xerox of that rag, would you?" Vince said, walking out the door. "And leave your phone number. We may need you again some day."
"I'm the relief organist," I said, shaking Tekulve's hand in the locker room afterward. Tekulve had relieved Rick Rhoden in the top of the eighth. "The Cum Bac Rag." I told him all about it.
"You better come back tomorrow," he said, laughing. "We may need you."