by the Village Elliott
Dedicated to Johnny Kuenn, Curt Flood, Bob Gibson and the 1964 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Written in 2005.
Yo, Chief, stop the presses,
The Red Sox successes
Worth an “Extra” to proudly proclaim,
Nigh a century’s passed
Since we last topped our mast-
Head with “Sox Win Final Series Game!”
Put the champagne to chill
Next to Ted’s head, he will
Then defrost, tip his cap, drink a toast,
To Aught-Four edition
Of BoSox Tradition;
“We swept Out ‘Curse of Babe,’” they can boast.
To get rid of their angst,
They swept back the Yanks,
Then swept Cards, their Series nemesis,
Who beat Sox half the four
They’ve played, lost since “Babe Swore;”
Sweeping Birdies adds greatly to bliss!
Yes, Sox swept my Redbirds
Whose play evokes these words:
“Cards played like all-time worst Series team.”
And though they did not quit,
Were never quite in it;
The World Series sweep felt quite extreme!
I salute the Red Sox
For destroying their “Pox,”
In a manner befitting their Curse,
But before they grow smug,
And relapse with their “Bug,”
Here is my opinion, cast in verse:
It’s now a new season,
Each team has its reason
To think maybe this might be their year,
While every team’s fans
Are now making fall plans
To partake of team’s “World Series Cheer!”
I recall Connie Mack,
When Al Simmons came back,
The next spring, after winning bat title:
“To be ‘True Champion,’
You must win second one.
Defending your crown, this is vital!”
“I believe that I shall,”
Replied Bucket-Foot Al,
And, indeed, as bat champ, did repeat.
So, if “Champions: True,”
What the BoSox must do
Is again avoid last game defeat.
I would be most remiss,
If I didn’t quote this,
‘bout Bob Gibson’s last World Series start:
When Cards’ bubble went bust,
Gibby repaid the trust
Of ex-skipper’s “Commitment to Heart:”
“Curt Flood caught too many
For me to say any-
Thing but I’m the one whose pitch was grooved!”
“Upstairs,” Johnny Keane smiled
When the Akasha filed:
The “True Heart of a Champ” has been proved!
Please, remember th’ advice
Of poet Grantland Rice:
“The Intangibles are paramount!
If ‘True Heart’ leads the way,
Every game that you play,
Then the ‘Final Score’ ends in your count.”
Way back when the Romans
Hit “Homers in Gloamins,”
Mare Nostrum sun-fielded their portal,
So, no matter how high,
One may rise in the sky,
Remember that we are but mortal!
Two years on: How ‘bout that!
Wearing my Redbirds hat,
For Game Five, when my Cardinals won,
When last out recorded,
Felt my Faith rewarded,
The Cards could be next “True Champion!”
One Year On:
The next season, Cards fold.
Off-field drama grew old.
Birdies fail ere they make playoffs,
But the Red Sox won crown,
Adding to team’s renown
For astute player movement payoffs.
by Steven D. Johnson
Five hundred eleven – the wins of Cy
near three sixty-seven – the bat of Ty
But in baseball heaven, just blink an eye . . .
. and records will be broken.
Just look at Babe Ruth – seven hundred fourteen
. To tell you the truth, his home runs were seen
. to hold a record not passed – thirty-nine years, ‘til alas
Hank Aaron’s bat was woken.
Yet there is a record that will ever stand,
. but it’s not Ted Williams, and it’s not Stan the Man
. don’t look to Tris Speaker, don’t bank on Pete Rose
. for this baseball record every ballplayer knows
. belongs, yes it does, to another.
It’s not for stolen bases – though Oakland’s a believer
. nor is it held by aces – like Gibson, Ford or Seaver
No, the sole baseball mark that will hold in every park
. belongs to father, son, and brother.
The record that won’t break, held through highs and heartache,
is going seven-for-seven, every baseball season week
. since 1911 – now that is quite a feat!
It’s keeping baseball alive since 1925.
It’s zero games missed since 1886.
It’s giving ballplayers a reason
. to thrive in baseball season.
Yes, the only baseball record
. that will maintain its stand
. belongs to the beloved,
. committed baseball fans!
By Stuart Shea
10 Teams Continue,
20 Teams Done.
Stories we have followed
Now consigned to history–
Into the pages of a book
That has been replaced by a web site.
Jose Abreu’s rookie season is over.
Corey Kluber’s ass-kicking year is over.
Phillip Hughes’ breakout is over.
Charlie Blackmon’s beard is over.
Kirk Gibson is VERY over.
But the damage done by Kevin Towers’ trades is just beginning.
Altuve’s wonderful year is over.
The Rangers’ long march of injuries is over…
But the Wash Era is also over.
Everth Cabrera’s honeymoon is over.
Marcus Stroman’s debut is over.
The painful Jay Bruce year is over.
Brock Holt Mania! is over.
Another King Felix masterwork is over.
Giancarlo’s monster season is over.
Jonathan Lucroy’s emergence is over.
The Braves’ painful swan dive is over.
Mesoraco’s breakout is over.
The struggles of Springer are over.
The weird Joe Mauer year is over.
Justin Smoak’s chance is over.
Another frustrating Rockies season is over.
The Chase Headley Padres are over.
The Papelbon crap is over,
But the Phillies’ country club continues.
The Frank Wren Era is over.
Colby Rasmus in Toronto is REALLY over.
Desmond Jennings’ honeymoon is over.
Heath Bell seems over.
The Cubs on WGN are over.
Bobby Abreu is over.
Josh Willingham is over.
Carlos Beltran sure looks over.
Can Kevin Gregg please be over?
Jason Giambi is finally over, right?
The 2013 World Champs are really over.
Is Ron Roenicke’s time over?
The Mets’ sexual harassment suit is NOT over.
Wrigley Field as we knew it is over.
Paul Konerko is over.
Derek Jeter is over.
20 Teams are over.
by The Village Elliott
Moe Berg was both a catcher and spy,
And the Big Leagues’ most erudite guy.
Spoke languages many,
But couldn’t hit in any
Unless curve ball hung up “lettered” high.
by Stephen Jones
Back in baseball’s glory days
A plug or “chaw”
Stuffed in the back pocket
Was the norm.
In those summer salad days
Players in interviews
Or at their locker room ease
Smoked without a thought.
But time and culture changed;
Still, some habits – they die hard.
Stogie, wad and cigarette may have gone,
But not so the pinch between cheek and gum.
First this year, it was Tony Gwynn -
Remember the bulge in his rounded cheek
As regular as his steady swing? -
Who died because of that reason.
Now we hear Curt Schilling’s
Undergoing chemo and radiation,
But if all the reports are true,
His “Big C” is in remission.
In baseball some things
Are timeless -
Like a walk-off home run
Or a perfect double play.
But a bad, cruel habit
which shortens mortality?