Yesterday, the evil-doer behind "Death Loads the Bases" was introduced: the Black Toad. He's the guy Marvel Central Casting sends out only when Matador, Leap-Frog, the Owl, the Orb, and Mister Fish are all busy elsewhere in other comics. And that's not often.
Naturally, Cap and Bucky locate him almost immediately. After all, he's right there in the park (though he doesn't need be), wearing an absurdly vespertilionine costume (particularly for some named the Black Toad), and peering at the game with glowing raccoon eyes (at least, that's what the caption said). Why not just sit in the stands in a business suit, like everyone else?
Anyway, like most of the kids reading this comic in 1941, Bucky can't take this Black Toad seriously as villain.
Whoa. Bucky took the full brunt of a baseball bat at the apex of a 270 degree swing by Toad's hired muscle. No wonder they said Bucky would never come back from the dead. Obviously, Bucky's skull is cracked like an eggshell and his brains are now splattered all over the place like Black Hand's at Easter dinner. Somebody get that understudy girl, Betsy Whatsername, into costuming pronto; the show must go on!
WHAT TH--?!?!! Who is this kid, the Hal Jordan of Earth-616?! Your head shouldn't feel like balloon, kid; it should feel like oatmeal. And not to you; to the coroner. A half-hour nap is what you need to recover from, say, a pomegranate cosmo (um..l mean... that's what they tell me). Getting bashed in the head with a baseball bat requires at least 24 hours of surgery by a rotating team of 9 brain surgeons, 3 months in ICU, and another 2 years in an institution learning to feed yourself again.
Whatever; this is Marvel, after all, where characters eat tragedy for breakfast and shit drama for the rest of the day. Cap and Bucky not only shake it off, but volunteer to take the places of the stricken (dead, really) ballplayers. Because, yeah, the game is still going to go on, because, yeah, ESPN's lawyers are that good.
But Cap will play only on one condition:
This kind of child abuse is almost beyond the morals of even a baseball team owner. But the owner capitulates, particularly, since, ya know, Bucky's really into it:
Anyway, all this is followed by what feels like 47 pages of Cap and Bucky being Really Good At Baseball, which I prefer to think of as 47 pages of Cap looking Really Ridiculous in a Baseball Uniform.
Once Cap and Bucky have duly impressed the kiddies with their baseballetic prowess, the Black Toad, who's still lurking around the stadium despite almost getting captured by a 15 year old boy, makes his move:
Wait... what? How on earth (even Earth-616) could Cap discern that a baseball is actually a bomb...?!