by Ralph Badagliacca
Shakespeare shaped the language.
Some say he invented it.
Wilde and Shaw spun expressions of unrelenting wit.
Whitman taught the mother tongue
How to sing for us;
Yeats scaled the beauty of her lonely peaks.
Joyce uncovered something new,
And so did Eliot.
But unlike Yogi, none of them could hit.
Taken from Ralph’s book, The Yogi Poems, available here.
by the Village Elliott
When Musial died, I really couldn’t name your
Oldest surviving Baseball Hall of Famer;
Learned at 97, Red Sox Bobby Doerr
Is oldest, while three others 90 or more:
There’s Albert “Red” Schoendienst who is 92,
Now Yogi, who last month just turned 90, too.
Still, third one is older; his powerful swing
Helped Giants of Gotham earn World Series ring.
Respect of the Franchise is still evident;
Invited by new champs to meet president.
Like year-older Red Sox, a star before War,
In the Negro, not Major Leagues (white like Doerr),
The player Branch Rickey first wanted to sign.
Branch wouldn’t compensate team, so Jackie broke line.
In two years he breaks Giants’ pale color scheme.
In two more, breaks Brooklyn hearts, bums Jackie’s team,
Big part of the Miracle of Coogan’s Bluff.
Mentored team’s prodigy: He taught me Right Stuff.
I was Negro League vet, but Majors raw rook,
He helped me to adjust, showed me what it took;
Was like my big brother, still is to this day,
A true Hall of Famer, says Mister “Say Hey.”
First Big League black exec, broke that color line.
Soon enters through “front door” of Cooperstown shrine,
Mid-80s, retires, stays active in game;
Jints retire number, still honor his name;
For long life in baseball, few more deservin’
Than young 96-year-old Monte Irvin.
(Adds Willie: First glove in the Big Leagues I score,
A MacGregor endorsed by Red Sox Bobby Doerr.)
by Stephen Jones
Tampa Bay and the Yankees–
They’re running neck-and-neck.
Each team a game over .500 . . .
And fighting for first place?
Mind you, those also-rans–
The Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays–
Aren’t so far behind. But, hey,
What’s happened to the AL East?
Dunno. Let’s hang up a sign–
For Sale: 1 Over-Hyped Division.
Over-Priced Team–Your Choice.
Get it now–Cheap!
by Stephen Jones
Yesterday, a kid–Slade Heathcott–
Hit his first big league home run.
In the majors for only a week,
He hadn’t even seen his team win.
But the Yankees put their slide on hold
And waxed KC’S Guthrie but good.
Maybe Steinbrenner’s ghost had paid
The Yankee locker room a visit.
Maybe Slade saw the ghost as well,
Maybe he was just glad to be alive,
Because he smacked a ball over centerfield
And called the experience “surreal”.
by Hart Seely
Imagine there’s no Beltran.
It’s easy if you try.
No more infield pop-ups.
And no more rallies die.
Imagine all the outfield,
Imagine there’s no long-terms.
It isn’t hard to do.
Nobody out on rehab,
And no Stephen Drew, too.
Imagine Yankee “prospects,”
You may say I’m a Met fan,
Bartolo Colon, Granderson,
We know one day they’ll rejoin us,
But only after they’re completely done…
Imagine no Sabathia.
I wonder if you can.
No waiting for his comeback,
And no complaints among the fans.
Imagine all the people,
Cheering his career…
You may say I’m a moron,
But we only want to win…
We hope some young players join us,
And someday we’ll raise a flag again.