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I wish this could be my ball...
In the story, baseballs hit by the inmates of Alcatraz were valued highly by the children that lived there. On page 136, Scout says to Moose, "'Look, I'd just like to have one of those baseballs,'" which shows that the children really want some.
In chapter 22 of the story, Mrs. Capone got caught in the snitch box. By the end of the chapter, we find out her old-fashioned corset set it off. On page 133 Moose says, "Then he leads her through the metal detector snitch box, which blares its sharp alarm bell."
In the story, the wives of guards on Alcatraz censor the mail if needed. "They don't let just anyone write to Capone, you know. You have to be a relative and then it's censored," according to Piper in the story.
New York Times .
In real life, inmates were allowed to play baseball. According to nps.gov, "Inmates were allowed a few hours of yard time on the weekend." The Author's Notes also says that the children "did, in fact, collect convict handballs and baseballs."
Back in the 1930s, Teresina Capone actually did get caught in the snitch box, according to the Author's Notes. "And when Capone's mother, Teresina Capone, came to visit him on the island, her corset did indeed set the snitch box off."
The mail was not censored by the wives of guards. The guard himself would. Say there was a magazine that referred to one of the inmates. "The guard would rip out any page that said anything about criminals on it. The inmates got 7 magazines a week," according to the book Last Guard Out.
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