by Millie Bovich
If you walk around the ballfield in the darkness of the night
If you let your mind just wander, love of baseball comes to light.
For the ballpark is enchanted and its magic doesn’t cease
Sights and smells and sounds surround it, though it seems at last at peace.
Love of baseball never leaves you, always there at your behest
And the players ever loyal, always there to do their best.
On the wall, the tigers crouching, prowling in protective guard
Watching well for no intrusion of their namesake’s sacred yard.
No flags waving to remind us of the teams that come to play
No lights shining, chasing darkness, making night as bright as day.
You’ll hear cheers and jeers diminished of the season’s games well played
Gone forever, not forgotten, though particulars may fade.
And the dust of sliding runners, safe despite the sizzled throw
In the air it seems to linger as the seasons come and go.
Yes, the losing is quite painful, and the “W” like gold
A no-hit game so special and a happy story told.
Smells of vendors’ foods have lingered as the wafting breeze will show
Stimulating well your senses, scents you miss and love and know.
And the scoreboard shows no numbers, no statistics grace its face
Stats invisible and hidden till next season’s welcome race.
In your eyes the park is empty all the seats in silence wait
For the fans again rejoicing, for the opening of the gate!
Millie Bovich may be the oldest fan and regular contributor to Bardball. “I had the pleasure of meeting All-Star Johnny Pesky when he visited the Detroit office of the FBI where I worked,” she writes, “and met and married a special agent from New York and made a Tigers fan out of him!”
By Stuart Shea
Always a good story . . .
With your amazing catches,
Your religious dispatches,
Your homers and doubles,
Your OBP troubles.
You don’t like gay marriage,
But you don’t have to get one,
And I hope you enjoy the rest of your life,
With your kids and your wife.
by the Village Elliott
For sons Edinson, Bobo and Mort
Volquez started Royals’ World Series play
After learning Dad just passed away.
Just like Cards’ Cooper knew,
And Bengals’ Bobo, too,
Back in forties; each team won that day.
The Royals’ Edinson Volquez threw the first pitch of the 2015 Series yesterday, having learned on the way to the park that his father had died earlier that day. He pitched six innings with no decision, though his team won in the 14th.
In the 1940 World Series, Detroit Tiger Bobo Newsom shut out the Reds in Game 1 with his father in attendance. After the game, his father died. He dedicated his victorious Game Five start to his dad. Asked to also win Game Seven for his Old Man, he replied, “I think I’ll win this one for Old Bobo,” but lost 2-1.
Three years later, the Cardinals’ Mort Cooper learned his father died a few hours before his Game Two start against the Yankees. Pitching to his brother Walker, he won the Cards’ only game in the 1943 World Series.
by James Finn Garner
So now, my friends, it has come to this,
The World Series of 2015
The kids ablaze on the New York Amazin’s
Versus the Big Blue Royal Machine.
Let’s consider all that’s gone before
As we bid the warm weather goodbye
Some teams did roll as had been foretold
While others came through with surprise.
The new Cubbie kids swung some mean bats
The Blue Jays refused to show fear
Motown fell dead, now needs a retread
While the Giants await an even year.
The Dodgers in their close-ups again blinked
Staid St. Louis became hot and unglued
The Nationals sputtered, then throttled each other
The Lone Star State watched a marvelous feud
So when someone tells you baseball is boring,
Whether online, at work, in a bar,
Don’t chuckle or sigh. Look them straight in the eye
And say, “Baseball’s not boring — you are.”
by the Village Elliott
For Hank Greenberg and Edgar Guest*
On Rosh Hashanah, 1st of Tishrei, 5776**
“Landsman” Hank played ball Jew’s New Year’s Day,
Won game with two home runs ’cause he’d play.
Ten days on, Hank for sure
Wouldn’t play on Yom Kippur.***
Tigers lost, but won flag anyway.
*Came Yom Kippur: A Hank Greenberg Poem
10th of Tishrei, 5695
by Edgar Guest
Published in Detroit Free Press, 1934
The Irish didn’t like it when they heard of Greenberg’s fame
For they thought a good first baseman should possess an Irish name;
And the Murphys and Mulrooneys said they never dreamed they’d see
A Jewish boy from Bronxville out where Casey used to be.
In the early days of April not a Dugan tipped his hat
Or prayed to see a “double” when Hank Greenberg came to bat.
In July the Irish wondered where he’d ever learned to play.
“He makes me think of Casey!” Old Man Murphy dared to say;
And with fifty-seven doubles and a score of homers made
The respect they had for Greenberg was being openly displayed.
But upon the Jewish New Year when Hank Greenberg came to bat
And made two home runs off pitcher Rhodes—they cheered like mad for that.
Came Yom Kippur — holy fast day worldwide over to the Jew —
And Hank Greenberg to his teaching and the old tradition true
Spent the day among his people and he didn’t come to play.
Said Murphy to Mulrooney, “We shall lose the game today!
We shall miss him on the infield and shall miss him at the bat
But he’s true to his religion—and I honor him for that!”
** Rosh Hashanah: lit., head of the year
***Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement (Holiest of Holy Days 10 days after Rosh Hashanah)