THE RAMBALDI WORLD SERIES *“If you build it, they will come.” Jack opened his eyes and looked around. He was alone in his own bedroom, it was dark, and everything was just as it was when he had gone to bed. But this was the third night in a row the voice had awakened him. “If I build what, who will come?” he demanded irritably. Of course, there was no reply. It was no use trying to go back to sleep. Jack got up with a sigh and went over to the window, which overlooked his back yard. At first, everything looked normal. It was not a very large yard – just grass and a couple of trees – but as he continued to gaze, out, everything suddenly took on a hazy look, as if another smog-alert day was coming. Then it began to clear again, and the distinct image of a baseball field appeared before his eyes. It wasn’t much of a field – just the bases and baselines, a pitcher’s mound, a backstop, and a small wooden grandstand. It looked very much like the one in . . . “You gotta be kidding me.” Jack turned away from the window and shook his head. Who am I, Ray Kinsella?” “This is no joke, Signor Bristow, I assure you.” Jack stiffened; the voice was the same one he had been hearing for the past three nights. And now there was a short, stocky man dressed in late fifteenth-century garb standing in the middle of the room. “Now this is getting interesting,” Jack said dryly. “Who the hell are you, and what are you doing in my bedroom?” “I am Milo Rambaldi, Signor Bristow, and I need your help.” “The only thing you’ll get from me,” Jack growled, clenching his fists, “is a good pounding. Do you have any idea how much trouble you’ve caused with your nonsensical scribblings and your science fair projects?” “That’s exactly why I am here. I never intended that people should lie, steal, and even kill over my work. I have been watching that happen for the past 500 years, and I want you to help me put a stop to it.” “I’m almost afraid to ask, but how?” “A baseball game. I like baseball.” “What?” “A baseball game. I want you to build a field here and challenge Signor Sloane to a game – a pickup game, I believe you call it? The prize will be all of my artifacts and manuscripts, to do with as the winner wishes. That will settle this once and for all.” “But Sloane already has most of those things.” “Not anymore, he doesn’t.” Rambaldi smiled. “He doesn’t know it yet, but I have taken them from the warehouse where he had stored them.” “So why don’t you just destroy them?” “Only your daughter can do that.” “So why come to me?” Rambaldi grinned. “You have a much larger back yard. Now assemble a team and build a field, while I go visit Signor Sloane. Here is a new e-mail address where you can contact him. Oh, and call your team the Cubs. I like the Cubs.” Jack looked dubious. “I don’t think it’s such a good idea to name a team after one that hasn’t won a World Series since Ronald Reagan was a baby.” “The Cubs,” Rambaldi repeated. “Now get busy. You have one week.” With that, he vanished. ______________________ TBC *"If you build it, they will come" is from the classic baseball movie "Field of Dreams."