Changeup, Chapter 23

"Joe, there's a lawyer here to see you."

Joe frowned. He didn't like lawyers.

"What about? Am I being sued?"

His receptionist, Kate, shrugged. "Not likely. Works for you in Legal."

Joe frowned further. He didn't know he had a Legal department, but it made sense.

"Send him in, I guess."

"She'll be right in", Kate said pointedly.

A tall, dour woman with permanently arched eyebrows tapped in loudly, her high heels leaving a staccato echo in the hall.

"Hi, I'm Joe."

"Annette Primrose, your General Counsel."

"Pleased to meet you, Annette. Have a seat."

"Ms. Primrose, thank you." She sat, but remained ramrod straight. Joe unconsciously slouched a bit more to balance it out.

"What's this about, Ms. Primrose?"

"You have to stop these stunts."

"What stunts?"

"You know perfectly well what stunts, Mr. -"

"Joe. Just Joe. So what do I have to stop doing?"

"Hmph. The lottery you hold before each game by randomly calling a seat number for a fan to throw out the first pitch, or to be the bat boy for the game."

"There's no harm in that, and the fans love it."

"What about letting the kids run around the bases after the games? If there were an injury, you would definitely be sued."

"For letting kids be kids? I doubt it."

"It's my job to protect you from lawsuits. These are things I see as a potential risk for our organization. It's my duty to advise you against these activities."

Joe stared for a moment, almost amused at the consternation Ms. Primrose felt over some Little Leaguers.

That's when the idea struck.

"I appreciate it, Ms. Primrose. But please don't have a heart attack when that risk gets a bit more potential."

Though hardly possible, Ms. Primrose's eyebrows arched higher as she sat up even straighter in her chair.

"And just what do you have planned?"

"Every Little Leaguer in the world dreams of playing on a major league field someday, Ms. Primrose. And starting tomorrow, they'll get that chance."

Before every home game, Joe let a local little league team play a game on his field. The leagues played on a rotating basis, so teams from all areas of town got a chance to play. Admission was, of course, free. And if you cared about baseball enough to show up early and watch the kids, you got to stay and watch the pros.

Attendance soared.