by Robert Hilliard
Pete, Pee-wee and Jackie
by crashing into walls,
hustling infield rollers,
and stealing home with a bang.
Dolph and Cookie and Leo.
No Lip to the umps
No soda or peanuts or crackerjacks.
No cries from the
twenty-five cent bleachers seats
“Wait till next year!”
No more we’ll be chumps.
And Hoyt ain‘t hoit anymore.
Van Lingle the Mungo and Sandy the K
and Campy, Newk, Preacher
and Mickey, who dropped the third out,
kicking the game away.
Even after Ralph hurled
the Shot Heard ‘Round the World
we were soothed by the guy in the catbird seat.
Red’s voice helped take away the heat.
There was sweet-swinging Duke
and Gil’s four in a game.
Why aren’t they
in baseball’s Hall of Fame?
We can still boo the Giants,
but it just ain’t the same.
Waiting year after year
for a moment delirious,
to root for the trolley boys,
at last, in 1955,
in the Woild Serious.
Finally, some fame,
more games to be won,
big houses to tally.
And the money ain’t lame.
But poof, they were gone,
a pox on O’Malley.
A pseudo-team now in LA
copping a cherished name.
For shame! For shame!
Rest In Peace Ebbets Field.
Rest In Peace Brooklyn Dodgers.
by Celeste Johnson
Never give up. When you are down, when you are injured,
When you have been humiliated, never give up.
That is mantra of the Orange and Black. Never give up.
Whether through injury or misfortune,
Patches so rough it feels as if you will never win again,
Never give up. Injuries of all description
Shut out three straight. Can’t buy a hit or an out.
Never give up. Never give in. Never truer
Than a late September game named to honor
Two Giants in more than just name.
Exemplar to resilience and heart and honoring the game.
In careers revisited of course but also to honor the men that
They are. Huddy and Z as they are affectionately
Known. Men amongst men. But life rarely conforms
To the scripts that we write. And baseball has a way of
Writing itself. Refusing to be confined to our smaller vision.
Baseball finds a way to grow beyond the boundaries
That we set for it. On a day meant to honor the past
The future steps forward to write its own ending.
Future unknown but for this moment
A kid steps into the light to have the game of his life.
And, allowing redemption is Baseball’s beauty.
Blunder in field leads to promises made;
Promises kept. Parker steps to the plate in eighth
And in answer to wild and woolly game sends
First pitch over the right field wall and
Into History. Three home runs in single game.
Seven runs driven in. First Giant since 1961
When Mays completed the task.
Rookie speechless when informed of scope of his feat.
Baseball renews itself. In a game meant
To honor the past, the Future steps forward.
With beauty and strength and youthful verve,
The kid rounds the bases and, as a stadium exults,
Huddy stands with a smile as big as life,
Just honored to have witnessed its renewal.
And proud to have been a part of this Orange and Black
Family that never gives up. They would not know how.
It is not in their nature. A fact and feeling that Z can
Attest to, having been the heart of such resilience in postseason past.
Baseball renews and remembers, honoring both in one day.
by Michael Ceraolo
The playing surface had always affected
how the game was played,
the first lumpy unkempt pasture-like fields
to the later beautifully manicured fields
to the pretend grass that was popular
in the late second/early third millennium
Rule changes after that period
mandated only natural grass
even indoors in the new domes,
possible because of the new breeds
that thrived even indoors with artificial light
. without chemicals added,
were able to be maintained at a high level
to provide true bounces on every ball,
. for player safety,
gone were the two monstrosities:
a thing piece of carpet over cement,
damaged players’ knees and backs and sometimes
caused broken bones after dives;
the soft fake turf made of ground-up tires,
led to a cancer epidemic
from the many trapped chemicals
The game still had its risks,
later-in-life damage from the playing surface
was no longer one of them
Michael Ceraolo, a retired firefighter/paramedic, follows sports and writes poetry, mainly about the Cleveland area. This poem first appeared in Ygdrasil, Vol. XXIII, Issue 8, Number 268.
by Stephen Jones
Tampa the venue
Big Papi hits five hundred
Next stop? Cooperstown
By Stuart Shea
Is falling down
Into the stands.
Did he land on his hands?
Or maybe his head?
I hope he’s not dead.
Oh, good. He’s getting up,
But a little bit late,
As Ruben Tejada slides into home plate.