by Vern Morrison
Sung to the tune of “God Bless America”:
Man with a glove
You’re a catcher
And I betcha
You’re the man Red Sox fans love to love!
From the fenways
To the heartland
And the places in between
You sure are keen!
You sure are keen!
by Michael X. Ferraro
Twenty-five years is so long in L.A.
A city where trends are born ev’ry day.
Champagne last flowed here when Gibby burned Eck.
Since then, Dodger fans have been glum as heck
as seasons crawled by with no matching thrill.
Yet now, hopes are high the Boys in Blue will
make that Series drought a thing of the past,
with what all agree is some marquee cast.
Puig leaps off the screen with full-throttle play.
Clayton’s deflatin’ egos, E.R.A.
At shortstop he’s tops—Hurray Hanley-wood.
Gonzalez a rock, the A-Train that could.
Greinke’s grand on the mound, great at the plate;
Uribe, once a bust, now pulls his weight!
Ethier’s hobbled, and Kemp’s on the shelf,
while Wilson’s bounced back to his old bearded self.
Of course, there are some who don’t even care
about ball clubs’ fates and civic despair.
But those cold-hearted types don’t understand
the joys of the finest game in the land.
A whole quarter century’s passed us by
since Captain Kirk punched that hole in the sky.
Pardon us, Cubs fans, but it’s been too long
since Chavez Ravine was joyous with song.
Michael X. Ferraro is the author of Tased & Amused: A Poetic Recap of the 2010 MLB Season, which recounts such harrowing fan tales as an on-field tasering and a case of intentional regurgitation.
When I Swiped a Seat from Chavez Ravine (Well, Sort of a Seat, but I Stole It Like Davey Lopes, I Tell Ya)
by David Adler
In 1983, in the cheap seats of Dodger Stadium
It was Mormon Family Night at the Bardball palladium.
We paid exactly three bucks a bleacher ticket
And yet from that far we could still hear the wicket
When Franklin Stubbs went yard
Off a rookie from way down on the farm
And memory is a game the older you stay sane.
A single becomes a deuce, infamy becomes fame
A nail-biter becomes a rout
Barely clears the wall becomes no doubt,
But when the last of a Dodger 6-4 victory was secured
Saved by the red-headed, Landers-sister-dating Neidenfuer
(But Judy, not Audrey, my personal amor)
And as Helen Dell at the Dodger organ played
Others filed out quickly while we hung and stayed.
Then the Mormon kids in the row behind us spazz’d
So stoked to have room they were spasmically jazz’d.
The one boy (of the six) was dancing like Astaire
When he tripped and fell hard and forward right where
The orange numbered bleacher back was waiting
And while some opposing fans were still hating
On my main man Franklin Stubbs
With their sore loser little nubs
The Mormon kiddie Gene Kelly
Did come crashing onto his belly
Breaking off the back of the seat
Better than a firm Pedro Guerrero cleat.
He tumlbed into our row, face first into peanut shells
And then his quite pale rotund dad yells,
“I told you not to dance around like that,
You’re as deaf as a bat.”
Then when the kid got up and left with his folks
One of my buddies gave me the pokes.
He pointed down on the ground
Where the orange bleacher back was now to be found
So I nabbed it up like a professional getter
And jammed it up under my crew-neck sweater.
(Come on, it was ’83, I probably had Top Siders on, too.)
Anyway, with a piece of stadium tucked under my clothes
Exiting surrounded and camouflaged by all my bros
I made it past security and out with my O’Malley booty
And into the parking with that incomparable souvenir of baseball beauty.
I put it on display, and I wish it’d had its own hardball elf
To dust and buff it and tend to it every day on the shelf.
But then I became old and moved away from L.A.
My shortcut to Chavez Ravine through Chinatown faded away
In my memory, and so I put away that orange seatback
And I tucked away that memory with my other youthful knick knacks:
The memory that we played the Expos that night, with Larry Parish at 3B
And Gary Carter behind the dish crouching a knee
But it’s all so faded and I’ve lost touch with my guys.
Still, those baseball heroes of childhood never lose their grand size*
(especially Terry Forster).
Some days though, usually when I hear Vin Scully
I pull that seatback out of its storage gully
And I sit and I stare at it and I ponder the baseball Zen
That let me take home Dodger Stadium bleacher seat 110.
(Non-Poetic Postscript: Upon researching this particular game, I discovered it occurred in 1985, not 1983; that the Dodgers defeated the Braves, not the Expos; and that Franklin Stubbs did not hit a home run in the game. I do, however, know with certainty that it was Mormon Family Night. Or maybe day. Ah, memory!)
You can see cartoons and other work by David Adler at his website.
by James Finn Garner
The Asian bird flu,
From what I remember,
Was easier to get rid of
Than Sox tix in September.
The Pontiac Aztek
And White Castle sliders
Have more satisfied fans
Than Chicago’s South Siders.
With the Bears suited up and
Hockey season not far,
The Cell now won’t have fans
Enough to jump your car.
Long gone’s the excitement
Of AJ, Oz and Buerhle.
At 35th and Shields,
Winter’s come early.
By Stuart Shea
I once had a team,
Or should I say,
It once had me.
And though they played bad,
Their park appealed–
I sat through Jim Kremmel, Chuck Rainey, and Wayne Nordhagen–
Mike Vail and Karl Pagel were touted as saviors back then.
Sat terrace reserved,
Bleachers and box,
Never threw rocks.
And when they played well,
I cheered loud,
Part of the crowd.
But 2003 was so bitter that I had to leave,
And since then they’ve given no reasons that I ought to grieve.
I still love the game,
If somebody plays, I
Watch every day.
But root for the Cubs?
That’s in the can.
No longer a fan.