Baseball Debate Rebuttal

by Stephen Jones

“Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank my learned other sports opponent
For his critical remarks about baseball.
They – and he – were most erudite,
Were most informative (the all-color,
Market-share pie charts were especially nice.) . . .
And were mostly wrong.”

I pause, then spit for effect, and
My audience leans forward in their seats,
Their faces a grandstand of expectation.
I look up and squint.
The sky is so blue it almost hurt the eye.
I nod to the invisible, then resume.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,
If, as Kenneth Patchen rightly penned,
God threw out the first ball,
Then imagine it could have been
Mark Twain who called the first play-by-play
(As well as providing color commentary)
And set the tone for something
That is true to this day.

“In what other sport
(There is none . . . so don’t answer that)
Do raconteurs thrive?
(And we know God likes a good tale.)
So I don’t have to watch baseball,
Or be a part of some rating system,
To know it exists.
All I have to do is listen.

“The game’s broadcast patter
Seamlessly weaves together
A story of stats and analyses
With anecdotes and memory.
(And what other sport can provide
Banter and commentary with artistry?)

“Therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I submit to you:
Baseball is a game outside of time.
Where else is it recorded
That a game reported is more
Than just a cadence of Xs and Os?
Each game is its own short story
Of which Mark Twain would be proud.

“And it is no small wonder
That God is such a good reader.

“Thank you.”

 


Published in Fans, Free Verse, History, The Game Itself | Link to this poem | 3 Comments

Baseball Debate Rebuttal: 3 Comments

  1. Michael X. Ferraro wrote,

    So nice to read about Steamboat Clemens, instead of the tedious Rocket. Well played.

  2. Jay Kenny wrote,

    Interesting, but from what is it derived? Commentary by Mark Twain, Kenneth Patchen or some other source?

  3. Stephen Jones wrote,

    To answer, it derives from Patchen’s poem, from Twain’s “Captain Stormbringer’s Visit to Heaven” (as well as from his own voice) and from my own good imagination.

Leave Your Comment

Comment Form

AL East

NL East

Extra Innings

AL Central

NL Central

Poems by Type

AL West

NL West

Heavy Hitters

Copyright 2007 Bardball.