It’s time for another thrilling installment of Captain Awesome solves mysteries originally written for children! Yay! Up next: Encyclopdia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (Dutton 1965). For those unfamiliar with the series, boy genius Encyclopedia Brown (neé Leroy) solves crimes and his Police Chief dad takes all the credit. He also opened his own detective agency for the kids (and occasionally the desperate and/or cheap adults) in the neighborhood. Other recurring characters include Encyclopedia’s partner, bodyguard, and kick-ass feminst icon, Sally Kimball; nemesis Bugs Meany; and teeth fetishist and future serial killer, Charlie Stewart. Now, on with the mystery solving!
The Case of the Secret Pitch
The case: Speedy Flanagan bet Bugs Meany his baseball bat (which was his first mistake) that Bugs couldn’t sell superstar Yankees pitcher, Spike Browning, a new pitch. Bugs shows Speedy and Encyclopedia a letter allegedly from Browning, dated June 31st, stating he was going to win 30 games with this new pitch. Encyclopedia calls bullshit and demands that Bugs give Speedy his baseball bat since he lost the bet. How did Encyclopedia know that Bugs was lying?
My verdict: Well at first I thought the answer stemmed from baseball knowledge. Do pitchers even pitch 30 games a season? And there were less games in the 60s, right? Maybe? But then I realized that the letter was dated June 31st and there is no June 31st.
Was I right?: Yes. Bugs might have gotten away with it if he wasn’t such an idiot.
Other Observations: Why do kids even make deals with Bugs anymore? Quite frankly I think Encyclopedia should just let them get scammed. It’s the only way they’ll learn.