Before the rabbi set out the door, he handed over two tickets to Ebbets Field, so that he and Michael can watch Jackie Robinson play. Michael asked the rabbi to sign his cast.
Michael made use of his time by studying and training himself to get better. His make-up tests for school were scheduled two days before the game. As he rode the trolley with his mother, he saw the Falcons by the pool. His mother explained to him that they were let go from jail. They were released because the district attorney wanted Michael to testify, but his mother said he couldn’t do it.
As he was leaving after his tests, he saw Sonny. Sonny told Michael that he couldn’t talk to him because Michael was a rat, according to the Falcons. Michael got mad at his friend.
Notes: His status as a rat made him lose his friends, even if it wasn’t true.
On the last Tuesday of June, the rabbi finally took Michael to see the game. Michael felt as if everything was unreal due to his excitement. They enjoyed the game and met some people in the process. Some people from the crowd started hollering racial slurs against Jews. One of their new friends decided that enough was enough. A fight broke out, with Rabbi Hirsch partaking in it as well. The cops came and took the young men away, with Michael’s new friends laughing at what happened.
Notes: The rabbi and Michael bonded and had fun during the first ever baseball match that the pair have attended.
On the Fourth of July, Michael had no choice but to watch the fireworks from the roof. Every time the rabbi dropped by, his mother was around. They always had tea, with Mrs. Griffin popping in from time to time. Kate told Michael that Father Heaney is bound to leave Sacred Heart and go to South America. A lot of people were leaving their parish, with the war veterans using the GI Bill to get mortgages on better homes for their families.
By the second week of July, Michael was able to return to the synagogue once again. Michael showed the rabbi how to play tunes on an empty Chiclets box. Rabbi Hirsch was happy. He could play better tunes on a Chiclets box than his shofar.
Michael thought about that fateful day in September when they shoveled snow for Unbeatable Joe. Things would be different. Completely different.
One night, while he was walking home with his mother, they saw the Falcons approaching. Kate knew that they couldn’t run with Michael’s crutches. The troublemakers started mocking them. The Falcons ripped Kate’s blouse off and started touching her inappropriately. Michael desperately swung his crutches at them to no avail, only getting it destroyed by one of the Falcons in the process. They left the pair alone when someone from an apartment upstairs told the criminals to stop. Kate told her son that they needed to leave.
Notes: This broke Kate down. Even if she was strong-willed, she knew she had to protect her son and take him somewhere safer.
Kate was catatonic after what happened. Michael had to do everything for his mother so they’d get through the day. He decided to summon Rabbi Hirsch for help. When he reached the synagogue, he saw that someone carved a swastika on the wooden doors. Then, he saw the poor rabbi lying on the curb, his face covered with dried blood. Michael used his cane to smash the windows of a car out of pure rage.
Rabbi Hirsch was still alive, but he was in bad shape. The cops asked Michael if he was the one who attacked the rabbi. Mister Gallagher defended him and told the cops that Michael was a good kid. He was numb when he returned home, his mother suddenly out of her catatonic state. He told her what happened and started crying. He vowed to kill the Falcons. Kate told him to not bother because they were leaving. Then, she started weeping for the first time since her husband died.
Notes: The attack towards Rabbi Hirsch has convinced Michael to take drastic measures.