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?
by Tony Puma
“Take me out to the ball game”
Please stand for the National Anthem.
The Home Team takes the field: PLAY BALL!
Bottom of third, man on base,
pitch low and inside, count 3 & 2.
Fastball, strike 3, Batter out.
Man left on base.
The Mick, Duke, Willie, Jackie, Pee Wee,
The Scooter, Yogi, Joe D., Dizzy and Daffy,
Who’s on first. Abbott & Costello.
Red Sox and White Sox.
“take me out with the crowd”
Twi-light double header:
Cardinals and Orioles.
Da’ Reds/Dem Bums/ The Gas House Gang
Murderers Row/ The Bronx Bombers.
Reliever: South Paw ,Knuckleballer, 2.52 ERA.
The Sultan of Swat/The Splendid Splinter.
The Iron Man.
Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack”
Bottom of 7th, nothing-nothing.
Seventh inning stretch.
Padres and Angels.
A No-Hitter/A Perfect Game.
“I don’t care if I never get back”
Designated Hitter/Pinch Hitter.
Foul ball/Double play.
Catcher gives the sign.
Tying run at the Plate.
The Yankees win the World Series!
Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants:
Topps Baseball cards.
Indians and Braves.
Can’t anyone here play this game?
“let me root, root, root for the home team”
Rain delay/Box scores/Extra innings/K’s/RBI’s.
Only the ball was white.
Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio . . .
Devil Rays and Marlins.
Frozen Rope/Texas Leaguer.
Bull Pen/Home Plate/Batter’s Box.
Old-Timers Day/All Star Game.
I GOT IT!
“if they don’t win, it’s a shame”
Tagged out/Stolen base.
A swing and a miss.
Pitcher’s mound/Rosin bag/The Rubber.
Red Bird/Phillie Phanatic.
Cubs and Tigers.
A Sinker, down-and-out.
“for it’s one, two , three strikes you’re out
I watch a group of kids playing
baseball in a cow pasture.
“at the old Ball Game.”
by Bob Nemtusak
“Come on, Hobbs! You’re up!!”
Pick up a bat, and do it!
The Cubs fans blamed Steve Bartman.
Who’s to say?
Seems like they blew it.
Pierzynski punched Cubs catcher–
Now A.J.’s Saint Louis red;
Oakland has some Athletics,
Coco puts pitchers to bed.
Another earthquake series?
White Sox got Cy Young, and Rookie.
Shave those beards–
You lot not Wookiees
by Stephen Jones
David Ortiz saves his best for history -
The long, fierce Red Sox/Yankee rivalry -
And always the nemesis of Pinstripes,
He did it again just last Sunday night.
In the third he smacked a 3-run homer
And grinned It’s good to be a power hitter
As he beat up Chase Whitley, rookie pitcher,
With a detonation to Yankee right-center.
He’s a hulking figure at the plate,
But he and Cooperstown have a date.
Is Ortiz Marvel’s newest Avenger?
On newsstands now . . . The Pinstripe Tormentor.
by Gregory Corso
I dreamed Ted Williams
leaning at night
against the Eiffel Tower, weeping.
He was in uniform
and his bat lay at his feet
– knotted and twiggy.
“Randall Jarrell says you’re a poet!” I cried.
“So do I! I say you’re a poet!”
He picked up his bat with blown hands;
stood there astraddle as he would in the batter’s box,
and laughed! flinging his schoolboy wrath
toward some invisible pitcher’s mound
– waiting the pitch all the way from heaven.
It came; hundreds came! all afire!
He swung and swung and swung and connected not one
sinker curve hook or right-down-the middle.
A hundred strikes!
The umpire dressed in strange attire
thundered his judgment: YOU’RE OUT!
And the phantom crowd’s horrific boo
dispersed the gargoyles from Notre Dame.
And I screamed in my dream:
God! throw thy merciful pitch!
Herald the crack of bats!
Hooray the sharp liner to left!
Yea the double, the triple!
Hosannah the home run!