The Article in the Paper
The Peaches were playing in their home town two days later. Mae waited anxiously to go up to bat as she practiced swinging. Then she felt pee trickle down her legs. She was wetting herself again for the forty-fifth time.
The same guy who mocked the girls about them can't play ball and babies can't play ball, stood up and said, "Looks like we have another baby in the league. Hey, it's baby in the league two. Two babies."
Three more men stood up and climbed up on the stands yelled, "Go baby in the league two."
"Shut up," Mae shouted as Dottie ran up to her. "Mae, c'mon, time to get you cleaned up."
Mae went with her to the locker room. She had her sit down so she could take off her cleats and socks.
"But I can do it," Mae told her.
"Nonsense, babies can't do it themselves."
"But I'm not a baby."
"You are now. Big people don't wet themselves."
Then Dugan and Miss Cuthbert came in the locker room. They ordered her to sit down too.
"I can do it myself. I'm not a baby."
"Mae, sit down or we'll give you a spanking," Dottie ordered.
"You wouldn't dare," said Mae.
"Sit," Jimmy ordered.
"Doris!" Mae screamed.
Jimmy and Dottie pushed Mae onto the gurney. He and Miss Cuthbert held her down as Dottie took off her cleats and socks. She couldn't kick because Jimmy held her legs.
"Doris!" Mae kept creaming.
"Scream all you want. She can't hear you," Jimmy yelled.
Then Miss Cuthbert and Jimmy had her stand up. Dottie lifted up her uniform and unbuckled the belt and pulled down her shorts. Then she pulled down her underwear that was long. They were like shorts. Dottie had her step out of them and then she left and came back with some diapers and rubber pants.
"No, I'm not a baby," Mae yelled. "I don't need them."
"Mae, this is your forty-fifth time you've had an accident, you definitely need them," said Dottie.
Jimmy and Miss Cuthbert took her over to a table and had her lie on it. Dottie got a rag and got it wet and she wiped her legs and bottom. Then she laid the diapers under her and pulled them up and pinned them shut. Then she put the rubber pants on her and pulled them up over her diapers.
They took her out of the locker room and out to the dugout. Mae was embarrassed.
Her diapers showed under her uniform.
"We need to borrow one of your uniform socks," said Dottie.
"She can borrow mine," said Beans. She sat down and took off her cleats and socks. She handed the socks to Dottie and she had Mae sit down. Miss Cuthbert and Jimmy forced her to sit down and Dottie put the socks on her and her cleats.
The game had been paused while she was getting changed.
Then Mae was ready to bat.
"No, don't make me go out there," said Mae. "Doris?"
"Sorry Mae, we warned you," she said. "We told you to stop being a brat and putting stuff in Kit's drink to make her wet herself, so here you are getting what you deserved."
"Yeah," said the Peaches, even Kitty. She had shorts under her uniform again because she didn't have to wear diapers anymore since she could control her bladder again and she was more grown up than when the season started.
"I'm sorry," Mae shouted. "I'll stop putting stuff in Kitty's drink to wet herself."
"Her name is Kit," said Dottie.
"Yeah," said the whole team.
"I'll stop putting people down," Mae continued, "I'll stop being mean, I'll stop being the ringleader of rule breaking, I'll stop-"
"No Mae, we gave you lot of chances to change and you never did so here you are," said Dottie. "After the game's over, you will get the same treatment my sister had."
"Noooo," Mae shouted as she was forced out of the dugout.
People in the stands saw her diapers. Even the photographers and the newsmen.
The photography men snapped picture of her. People laughed and then she noticed Walter and Lowenstein in the stands.
Mae ran where they would notice her. "Harvey! Lowenstein," Mae yelled.
She lifted up her skirt and showed them her diapers.
Instead they laughed too. They let the people laugh at her and make fun of her.
"Looks like we got a new baby in the league," a teenage girl yelled.
"Don't forget your bottle."
"Don't forget your pacifier."
Mae started to cry when she heard those remarks. .
"Play ball," said the umpire.
The game begin again.
"Now batting for the Rockford Peaches, number five, Mae Mordabito," said the announcer.
"Baby in the league," people shouted.
"Mae, get batting," Jimmy yelled.
Doris picked up a bat and tossed it at her.
Mae picked it up and went to home plate and got in her batting position.
"Here's the pitch," said the announcer as the South Bend pitcher threw the pitch.
Mae swung and hit the ball.
"Swing and a hit," said the announcer as Mae ran.
She ran past first and then headed for second.
"Wet all the way Mae, wet all the way," few of the Peaches were saying.
"Mordabito is heading for second," said the announcer.
"Dirt in the skirt Mae dirt in the skirt," Jimmy yelled.
Mae slid into second base feet first.
"Safe," said the umpire.
"She's in there," said the announcer, "No wonder they now call her Wet all the way Mae. She has been having lot of accidents lately and she is now in diapers finally."
People in the stands laughed and so did the Blue Sox.
Mae got up and stood on second base. She had never felt so embarrassed before and humiliated.
Then Mae woke up from her nightmare. She was in her hotel room with Doris in South Bend. The lights were off and Doris was sleeping. Everyone was sleeping. It was three in the morning and the rest of the Peaches were already back from Moe's Place. Mae was sleeping on the floor with a pillow because Doris wouldn't let her sleep in the same bed with her. She didn't want her to wet it so Mae was forced to sleep on the floor. But something wasn't right. She was soaked. Her nightie was wet from having another accident in her sleep. She was even madder at Dottie for switching drinks with Kitty.
She got up and turned on a light. Doris didn't wake up.
Mae took off her nightie and her underwear. She threw them on the ground and picked up her pillow. She turned off the light and moved to another spot on the floor where it wasn't wet.
But she had troubles falling asleep. She couldn't get comfortable on the floor and in her birthday suit with nothing on it.
The Peaches got up at Six. Mae had no problems getting up because being on the floor was so uncomfortable. Mae had wet again. She hoped the meds had worn off by now.
Doris got dressed. She did her hair and put on her lipstick.
In the other hotel room, Jimmy woke up Miss Cuthbert from her deep sleep. She got up and stretched and yawned.
"I'm up," she said.
Jimmy left the room.
Miss Cuthbert still felt a little tired but she had to get dressed into her chaperon uniform and do her job. She had to make sure the girls were up and doing their thing.
She took off her nightie and changed her underwear and put on a clean pair. She put on her bra and her chaperon uniform. She did her hair and put on her green hat. Chaperons had to wear hats too. The color of them matched their outfits. Miss Cuthbert wore green. An ugly dark color. She left her hotel room and checked on the girls.
Kitty was going around announcing she didn't have to wear diapers anymore because she could control her bladder again. Kitty was dressed in her same clothes. Her hair was still disheveled.
"Kit, you need to do your hair and put on your make up," Miss Cuthbert told her.
Kitty went back in her hotel room. She brushed her hair and put in her barrettes.
In the other hotel room, Mae got dressed. She put on one of her dresses and left the hotel room to use the bathroom. She went to the end of the hall and went in the bathroom. She closed the door behind her. She sat on the toilet to see if she had to go. She didn't so she got up and brushed her teeth. After she was done, she rinsed off her tooth brush and rinsed out her mouth. Then she went back to her hotel room. She did her hair and put on some lipstick and make up.
After the girls were done getting ready, they packed their suitcases and grabbed their clean uniforms. They washed them the night they checked in. They took them to the bus. Everyone had to check out before they left. So far Mae had not had another accident.
Maybe the stuff had worn off.
Kitty sat in her seat after she put her suitcase under the bus. She put on her Rockford hat and took out her drawing pad and begin to draw.
Evelyn told Norman she had to stop at a store so she could buy some more Harvey bars for her son.
Isn't it about time you stop spoiling your son rotten? He thought.
He didn't like Stilwell either. None of the Peaches did except for Evelyn since she was his mother. Jimmy didn't like him either nor Miss Cuthbert.
On the way out of town, the Peaches stopped at a café to get some breakfast. Evelyn bought more Harvey bars for her son in another store. She actually bought the whole box of them and the total cost was only a dollar. Each Harvey bar was five cents and Evelyn bought twenty of them.
"Evelyn, you gotta stop giving your son chocolate," said Doris when she saw her with the bars. "It's making him fatter. Pretty soon he be so big he wouldn't be able to get on the bus or fit in any seats when he's older."
Stilwell indeed had gained weight since he had come to travel with the Peaches. Evelyn even had to go out and buy him some bigger clothes that fit. He didn't wear any little boy clothes because none of them fit so he had to wear big boy clothes.
Evelyn took her son in the café with the rest of the team.
Kitty got herself a muffin.
Evelyn bought her and her son some fruit but Stilwell wanted a chocolate bar only.
"No Stilwell, you need some fruit. Eat this," she gave him a banana, "and then you can have a chocolate bar."
Stilwell bit through the banana skin.
"No Stilwell," said Evelyn. "Don't eat the skin, peel it off before you eat it."
As Evelyn peeled off the skin, Mae spotted a newspaper stand outside across the street. She went outside and got one and opened it. As she looked through it, she spotted an article. The head line read Will this be the end of Baby in the League. Below it was a picture of Kit and her diapers stuck out from under her uniform. It was taken while she was up to bat.
Mae skimmed the article. It took up the whole page. Then she went back across the street and into the café. She showed the picture to Doris.
"Oh let me read," she said as she grabbed the paper.
"No, get your own," said Mae as she tried to pull it away from her.
"No I'll be quick," said Doris. "Let me read."
Doris and Mae fought over the paper.
"Hey what's going on?" Dottie asked.
"It's mine," said Mae.
"Let me read it," said Doris.
On the front page Dottie saw the picture.
"Oh my," she said. "Don't let Kit see it."
Then the paper ripped.
"Now look what you done," said Doris.
"Me, you did it. You should have let me read it."
Then Ellen Sue saw the picture and wanted to see the article.
"Get your own," said Doris.
"I got it right outside," Mae pointed.
Ellen Sue went outside and got a newspaper herself.
She looked for the article and found it. She read part of it and came back inside.
She showed the picture to Marla, Shirley, Beans, and to everyone else but none of them would let Kitty see.
She noticed all the girls except for Dottie, Mae, and Doris, crowded around Ellen Sue. Stilwell was trying to shove his way through to see. Kitty got up and went up to them.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"Nothing, don't worry about it," said Beans.
"But I want to see," said Kitty.
"No you wouldn't want to see it, trust us," said Alice. "You will get mad and get bad luck."
But Kitty wouldn't listen. She kept trying to shove her way through but the girls kept blocking her out. Dottie got up and got her.
"Kit, don't worry about it," she told her.
Kitty broke free from her. "You're not the boss of me. Who died and made you my mother?"
"I'm your sister and believe me you would not want to see what they are looking at."
"She looks so cute," she overheard Shirley say.
"Too bad it all had to end thanks to them," said Helen.
Then Kitty got suspicious. Were they talking about her?
Then she heard Mae and Doris giggling at another table. They were both sitting together reading the paper. Kitty walked up to them and Doris and Mae folded the paper so she would not see but too late. She saw a picture of her and the diapers from under her uniform.
"You guys are reading about me," she said shouted.
"No we're not," said the girls.
"Yes you are," said Kitty. "Why else wouldn't you let me see what you guys were reading?"
"We didn't want to upset you," said Evelyn as Kitty ran outside.
Dottie followed after her.
Jimmy and Miss Cuthbert were looking at her but then they went back to eating their food after she and Dottie went outside.
Then they both got up and went up to the girls to see what was going on. Ellen Sue showed them the article.
"She's cute," said Jimmy.
"Where did you get the paper?" Miss Cuthbert asked.
"Across the street. Newsstand," Helen replied for Ellen Sue.
Miss Cuthbert walked away from the girls and went outside. She looked across the street and saw the guy with the newspaper stand. People were going by buying a newspaper from him. He was also selling Life magazines and other magazines.
In front of the café, Kitty was banging her head on the wall of the building.
"Kitty stop," said Dottie.
Kitty kept banging her head so Dottie had to stop her by grabbing her.
Miss Cuthbert saw her right when she came outside and Dottie was trying to get her to stop.
Miss Cuthbert butted in. "Kit don't do that. You don't want a concussion."
Dottie pushed her away. "I'm handling it. Don't worry about her. It's my job. You worry about the other girls."
Miss Cuthbert ran across the street to get a newspaper.
The newsstand guy saw Kitty banging her head.
An old couple walked by and they took a newspaper from him.
"This is so humiliating," said Kitty as she kicked the building.
"Lot of people like you," said Dottie. "Didn't you notice how much attention you got? It's what you always wanted."
"I didn't want this kind of attention,'" and she kicked the building some more.
A few people looked at her as they walked by.
Is she mentally impaired or something? One of them thought. She belongs in an institution.
What a brat.
Miss Cuthbert bought a newspaper and went across the street again. She went back in the café.
The Peaches finished eating and they all went outside and across the street.
They each got a newspaper from the guy at the newsstand. Then, "Sorry I'm all out."
"I'm going to read this whole article," said Neezer.
"I wish there weren't so many words," said Shirley.
"I'll help you read it," said Mae.
Then Jimmy and Miss Cuthbert came outside.
"Girls, c'mon,' Jimmy yelled across the street. "We gotta get going."
It was hard for them to hear because there were cars in the street.
"Girls," Jimmy yelled again. This time they heard him.
"We gotta get going. To the bus."
Kitty was still throwing her tantrum. This time she was kicking and screaming and Dottie was standing there watching her waiting for her to calm down.
The girls went to the bus. They sat down in their seats and read the article. Some had to crowd over the seats to read the article since not everyone got the newspaper. Mae was reading to Shirley.
Then Jimmy got on the bus carrying Kitty on his back. She was screaming at him to put her down. Dottie and Miss Cuthbert followed behind them. Jimmy dumped Kitty in her seat and told her to quiet down and quit acting like a baby.
Kitty sat up in her seat. Her hair was disheveled and so was the make up on her face. You could tell where the tears had went down because the make up wasn't there anymore and her face was also red and so were her eyes from all the crying. Norman turned on the engine and left South Bend.
The girls continued reading the article. Kitty heard snickering and giggling.
"I can't believe they decided to ask us what we think of the baby in the league?" she heard Helen say.
The girls were discussing the question that was asked at the end of the article. It was asking the readers what they thought of the Peaches treating Kit and rather they shall let it continue or not.
Miss Cuthbert was sitting in her seat reading the article too.
The article didn't just appear in the South Bend Tribune, it also appeared in the papers in Racine, Kenosha, and Rockford. It also appeared in the Chicago Tribune. People read the article and discussed it to their friends, family, spouse, etc. They even responded to the article and mailed them to Harvey's House in Chicago. Most of them enjoyed what was happening and the ones who never even went to any of the games thought what the Peaches were doing to one of their team mate's was cute so they decided it should continue so they can come to the games and see the baby as well. Even a few English teachers in High School turned it into an assignment for their students. They each had to write a response to the question in the article about rather the Rockford Peaches shall continue the baby treatment or not. Most of them liked it and most girls didn't. They thought it was cruel because them women didn't have much rights and they wanted to have rights too just the same as men. So they wrote it was cruel and abusive and it shouldn't continue.
All week, Harvey and Lowenstein opened their mail and read the responses they got from people who read the article. They separated them too. They had a pile for the yes's to the baby in the league and to no's to baby in the league. The yes pile was indeed higher than the no's pile.
"Looks like we finally have a decision," Harvey told Lowenstein at the end of the week.
"What is that?" Lowenstein asked.
"The Peaches can continue treating one of their team mates like a big baby."
"Hope this will bring a big crowd now," said Lowenstein as he wiped his glasses. He put them back on. "Some people in the letters said they will come to the games if Kit Keller is a baby again."
"This would be good for the league. The more people, the great," said Harvey.
"Think they will continue this again next year?" Lowenstein asked.
"I don't know," said Harvey.
"Hopefully Kit will grow up. She is a good player but her attitude is lousy. That's why her team decided to treat her like a baby in the first place. The tantrums, the poor sportsman ship, the- god why did she had to make the team? If it weren't for her, this wouldn't have happened. Did you read what the Peaches said about her in the article? She whined, she complained, she threw some temper tantrums."
"Ira, I've read the article," Harvey interrupted. "Now I'm going to get a hold of the newsmen again and tell them and have them put the article in the paper about the baby in the league is back."
"Now I need to inform the Peaches that," said Lowenstein.
Now back to the day Kitty had the tantrum outside the café in South Bend. Kitty was sitting in her seat frowning. She was too mad to draw so she just sat there. Then the article was thrown in her seat on her lap. Kitty jumped when the paper flew in front of her face and landed on her lap.
Mae had tossed the article in front of her so she could read it and hopefully get pissed off and throw another tantrum.
"You wanted to see it before, now you can," Mae told her.
Kitty picked up the article and read it. It made her angry. A few girls talking behind her back to the newsmen back in South Bend the day Lowenstein had put an end to the treatment. They told them what a big baby she was and how embarrassing she was to the public and they gave them details about her tantrums and her behavior. She read about how she got mad at Dottie in Monopoly back at the boarding house in Rockford and how she griped and complained constantly of how good Dottie is and how she refused to cheer her team on because she was too busy being angry at Dottie and jealous of her.
The article even mentioned of her diapering and how they made her drink from a bottle and how she had to suck on her pacifier and it even mentioned her having it pinned on her uniform during the games. The article mentioned all her treatment, the baby food, the toys they got her, the naps she has to take, her urinating and defecating in her diapers.
This grossed Kitty out. Oh no what if this ended up on the radio too as well. Then her parents all the way in Oregon would hear about it if they happened to be listening to the right channel. They would know about her torture she's had and they would darn well believe she deserved it. They never loved their second daughter much as Dottie. Kitty had been trouble to them her whole life. She never outgrew having tantrums, her balance wasn't as good as Dottie's. As a matter of fact she couldn't even walk backwards or run or stand on one foot or touch her nose with her eyes closed. Every time Kitty did try to run backwards, she would end up falling down. She was known as the clumsy kid in town when she and Dottie were kids. But when they both started to play softball and when Dottie worked with her skills to help her get better, it also helped her balance as well so hers got better. She could do well in softball. She was a great pitcher but her hitting was lousy because she wouldn't stop swinging at the high balls. She loved the high ones so she refused to leave them alone. She could never hit them of course due to her poor eye coordination. But she would not give up. She will eventually hit them when she keeps practicing at swinging at them.
The other thing the Kellers couldn't stand about Kit was her stubbornness. She was so stubborn they couldn't get her to do something they wanted her to do. They couldn't get her to eat all the food they gave her when she was a baby because she kept spitting it out. They even tried mixing the food together and it still didn't work because she kept spitting it out. They couldn't even get her to use the potty when she was a toddler because she never wanted to sit on it because she didn't have to go. So they had to make her by holding her on top of the hole in the outhouse. The Kellers' did not have indoor plumbing. They didn't have electricity either until the 1930's.
Yes she and Dottie were both adopted so they didn't look like sisters. The reason the Kellers didn't get rid of Kit was because then Dottie wouldn't have a sister anymore and she be lonely so they kept her. Yes they could have taken her to the orphanage and trade her for another kid but they didn't. At least they had some love for her.
Kitty finished reading the article. The question she saw at the end made her mad. She crumbled up the paper and ripped it into pieces.
Mae watched her reaction.
"Mae, you didn't?" said Evelyn.
Mae nodded. "I did. Look at her go. What a big baby she is."
Everyone ignored Kitty's behavior. Who cares if she was ripping up a section from the paper.
Even Dottie ignored her. Miss Cuthbert and Jimmy didn't care either, nor the bus driver.
Kitty kept ripping up the paper. Then she got out of her seat to rip up the other same article about her. She started picking up each newspaper and looking for the article and she ripped it. Beverly tried to stop her from tearing up her paper but Kitty kept doing it. Dottie and few of the other girls tried to stop her. Kitty stopped and picked up another newspaper and ripped up the article.
"Kit, stop," said Ellen Sue.
"No don't Kit," said Neezer.
"Kit, cut it out," said Dottie.
Kitty put down the torn up article and shoved by the girls. She picked up another newspaper and ripped up that same article. Connie and Alice tried pulling the article out of her hands but fighting over it ripped it.
In the front Miss Cuthbert got up and went up the aisle to stop the fight.
"Girls girls," she said. "This isn't lady like."
This time Kitty grabbed the newspaper from Evelyn and went leafing for the article. She found it and ripped it up.
"She's ripping up our newspaper," said Helen.
Miss Cuthbert walked up to Kitty and grabbed her.
"Kit stop," she said.
But Kitty didn't listen, she kept on ripping up the article.
Evelyn kept her son's eyes covered. She didn't want her sweet little boy to see the behavior and learn it from her.
Then Jimmy got out of his seat and went up to Miss Cuthbert and Kitty. He grabbed Kitty's throat and knocked out her circulation and she passed out.
The commotion stopped. Miss Cuthbert and Jimmy took Kitty back to her seat and set her down. Her head leaned against the window with her eyes closed.
Evelyn gave Stilwell a Harvey bar for being so good during the episode.
Jimmy and Miss Cuthbert went back to their seats and sat down.
"Look what you did Mae," said Doris laughing.
"I just love watching her like this," said Mae.
"Mean," said Shirley.
"No, it's funny," Mae corrected.
Kitty slept on the way back to Rockford but every time she woke up, Jimmy would pass her out again by grabbing her neck. Kitty would fell back in her seat.
"Do you think you can teach me how to do that?" Dottie asked him.
"Sure," said Jimmy.
Dottie was starting to like him. He wasn't bad after all. She admired how he did things such as getting her kid sister to stop causing a big commotion on the bus and how he knocked out Lowenstein at the Suds Bucket when he showed up.
When they got to Rockford, everyone got their things off the bus and brought them in the boarding house, even the baby bottles, diapers, the pins, and the rubber pants. Kitty had woken up when they got there. Ellen Sue tapped her shoulder and she woke up. She grabbed her things and brought them inside to her room but she left her dolls and pacifier on the bus. She didn't need them.
After Dottie was done bringing her things to her room, she went outside with Jimmy to the backyard and he gave her her first lesson of how to put someone to sleep. The first lesson he gave her was sneaking up on someone. Dottie did that but Jimmy kept catching her.
"No no no," said Jimmy. "Try to be patient. Here look that way and don't turn around until I say so."
Dottie looked at the street Jimmy pointed to. Then Jimmy's arm went around her neck.
Dottie got startled.
"See like that," he said.
He walked away and looked at the sky and the flowers and the yard. Then he felt two skinny arms go around his neck.
It was Dottie.
Jimmy turned around after Dottie let go of him.
"You got it," he said. "All right. Now to show you where to cut off the circulation on someone's neck."
Jimmy showed her where on her neck. Then he gave her a step of how to do it.
"You grab someone right here," he showed Dottie on her neck. "And you do this."
He showed her but he didn't make her pass out. He only pretended. "Now try it with me."
"With you?" Dottie asked. "I can't. I can't do this to you."
"Fine, we'll find a volunteer," said Jimmy. "How about Miss Cuthbert?"
"No," said Dottie.
"Evelyn might get mad."
"Nah, she already had enough naps. Let's wait until her next episode."
Then a dog came by. It belonged to one of the neighbors who lived across the street from the boarding house. It was a Yellow Lab. He ran in the grass.
Jimmy grabbed him and put his hands around his neck and squeezed it. The dog fell down.
"Like that," he said.
"I can't do that to an innocent animal," said Dottie.
"Why not, it won't hurt them. They'll wake up eventually."
"But what about the owners? Wouldn't they get worried about their-"
"Geez Dottie, they're animals," Jimmy interrupted. "They live outside anyway so they might not even know they're gone."
Back in those days, most people kept their pets outside because it was unsanitary to have them in the house. Then he decided to call it quits to training for the day.
They went back in the boarding house leaving the unconscious dog in the yard.