By Hugh Encrye
Played the “unwritten rules” right,
Grooved the Captain a pitch to hit,
Then found himself in a world of trouble.
The greatest hitter of our era.
Pitch the pill behind his back
And still he’ll give that ball a whack.
Didn’t hit one out,
But a double and a triple
by R J Lesch
The All-Star Game is happening tonight.
Now, usually I mock this whole parade.
It ought to be exciting, big, and bright,
but TV makes it worse than a charade.
The pageantry is tedious when viewed
on television narrated by hacks
on Fox who, let’s just say, are not imbued
with any grasp of poetry or facts.
But this time, I’ll be there! Up in the stands!
I won’t hear Joe Buck jabber something lame.
No sitcom star close-ups, no gimmick cams.
Just baseball. Pageant, sure, but still, a game!
No mockery from me tonight? We’ll see.
But driven by the game, and not TV.
by Stephen Jones
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank my learned other sports opponent
For his critical remarks about baseball.
They – and he – were most erudite,
Were most informative (the all-color,
Market-share pie charts were especially nice.) . . .
And were mostly wrong.”
I pause, then spit for effect, and
My audience leans forward in their seats,
Their faces a grandstand of expectation.
I look up and squint.
The sky is so blue it almost hurt the eye.
I nod to the invisible, then resume.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
If, as Kenneth Patchen rightly penned,
God threw out the first ball,
Then imagine it could have been
Mark Twain who called the first play-by-play
(As well as providing color commentary)
And set the tone for something
That is true to this day.
“In what other sport
(There is none . . . so don’t answer that)
Do raconteurs thrive?
(And we know God likes a good tale.)
So I don’t have to watch baseball,
Or be a part of some rating system,
To know it exists.
All I have to do is listen.
“The game’s broadcast patter
Seamlessly weaves together
A story of stats and analyses
With anecdotes and memory.
(And what other sport can provide
Banter and commentary with artistry?)
“Therefore, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I submit to you:
Baseball is a game outside of time.
Where else is it recorded
That a game reported is more
Than just a cadence of Xs and Os?
Each game is its own short story
Of which Mark Twain would be proud.
“And it is no small wonder
That God is such a good reader.
By Ed Charles
Author of my talents, only You have I praised,
To Thee only shall my hands be raised.
For when I’m burdened with the weight of my team,
To my rescue You come, it will always seem.
For outstanding is my play on any given day
When You intervene and help lead the way.
Grateful to You I’ll always be
For exploiting my talents for the world to see.
For out there on the diamond before thousands of fans,
We players perform the best we can.
Perform we must both day and night,
Seeking victory with all our might.
Seeking a place with other sports greats
In the Hall of Fame where ability rates.
Where Ruth, Cobb, Robinson and the rest
Stand proudly enshrined as baseball’s best.
Excerpted from ‘An Athlete’s Prayer,’ c. 1966, by Ed Charles, major league third baseman (Kansas City Athletics, New York Mets) from 1961-69
by Hilary Barta
I’m faced with a team that keeps losing
Disgraced, they are not of my choosing
Should I snort and yell “Boo!”,
Or support them, stay true?
Cubs debased-ball is very confusing.
Your day should start with a visit to Hilary’s pop-culture-and-monster-movie limerick site, LimerWrecks. Ask your doctor.