by Peter Gordon
This second-most-famous baseball poem, by FPA,
Features these three turning double plays
When the game and league were young
“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” unsung
Their wins record in ’06 remains unbroken
Just like their great deeds remain unspoken
On the diamond their choreography
Like Astaire, Rogers and Gene Kelly
You may not know they hated each other
Quarreled worse than spurned lovers
Evers, the Crab, the agitator
Chance, Peerless Leader, peace maker
Tinker’s steady play kept it together
One of the greatest when he flashed leather
They led the Cubs to World Series wins
Not knowing none would come again
Left during the teens without backward waves
Evers 1914 MVP for the Miracle Braves
Chance led the Yankees before they were great
Tinker made a fortune in real estate
Some say they don’t belong in the Hall
I say count their wins: over 1,000 in all.
Peter M. Gordon recently published his second poetry book, Let’s Play Two: Poems About Baseball, available on amazon.com. His poems have appeared in Slipstream, 34th Parallel, The Journal of Florida Literature, and several other magazines, anthologies and websites. He currently teaches in Full Sail University’s Film MFA program.
by the Village Elliott
For Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams (11/1/1814-1/3/1899)
Doc Adams, with newly claimed fame,
Now “The Man” whom historians name–
Not Doubleday, not Wright,
Or Doc’s teammate, Cartwright–
As “The True Godfather of Our Game.”
For more on Adams and his hand in drafting the “Laws of Baseball” as president of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, click here.
by James Finn Garner
Somewhere among the
Kiss Cam, and the
Mascot Race, and the
Find The Bagel Under the Helmet video, and the
Helmet Nachos, and the
Pork-Chop-on-a-Stick, and the
Mandatory seventh inning patriotic song, and the
Salute to the division winners of 15 years ago,
I saw a defensive shift
And I thought,
Wow! How do they know to do that?!?
by Hart Seely
The Twitterverse was raging o’er the Mudville game that day.
Both sides were firing salvos with the hashtag “#MudWillSlay!”
For broadcast rights, a local station raised a kingly sum
From sponsors Mudville Bong & Vape and Captain Morgan Rum.
In truth, the show’s producer viewed the game with mounting dread:
It would face the season opener to Naked: Walking Dead.
Yet the station had one weapon to ensure a ratings spike,
For the whole town would be watching, what with Casey at the mic.
Though 20 years had vanished, since he swung and missed that day,
He remained a local sports show host, the king of play-by-play.
He owned the Hyundai dealership, made time for local youth,
And no one ever missed a pitch with Casey in the booth.
But when the game fell out of reach, with Mudville down by four,
Two dozen TVs switched to watch Survivor: Baltimore.
And as the innings slipped away, the producer grew distressed.
To keep a decent audience, he’d need Casey at his best.
Then Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball!
And when the dust had settled, in the bottom of the frame,
Casey shouted out his catchphrase, “We done gots ourselves a game!”
Across the town, great cries of joy rang out like shrieking birds.
Five hundred Mudville faithful knelt, awaiting Casey’s words.
Five hundred phones, in unison, gave off a cheerful bleat,
And the population contemplated Casey’s fervent tweet.
It said, “Mexican illegals cause our paychecks to be littler.
“The media’s full of commies, and the President is Hitler.”
As fans across the bleachers analyzed what Casey wrote,
The show’s producer closed his eyes and loudly cleared his throat.
“Not good,” he grumbled angrily; he didn’t want to preach.
For Casey raised a scribbled note; it said, “It’s called free speech.”
“Strike one,” the show’s producer said, not one to fan a flame.
“We need to scrap the politics and focus on the game.”
But as the pitcher raised his mitt, and as the orb was thrown,
Casey’s very tiny fingers stroked the keypad of his phone.
He typed some words, deleted them, then typed them in again,
Tweeting, “Now they want girls’ restrooms to be filled by creepy men.
“The Muslims are upon us! It’s no wonder folks are mad!
“The President’s a moron! No one’s mentioning this! Sad.”
And as his harsh opinions hit the Internet anew,
The show’s producer hung his head. “Not good,” he said. “Strike two.”
Now Casey shrugged and gave a wince, as if he felt some pain.
And everyone was certain he would not hold forth again.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he brings high heat.
And now the landscape shivers from the tone of Casey tweet . . .
O, somewhere on the Internet, ex-jocks can still condemn
Anyone who does not look, or think, or talk, or pray like them.
But elsewhere fans can watch and cheer, no politics to bear,
And there is less mud in Mudville: mighty Casey’s off the air.
Hart Seely, the Bard of Lake DeRuyter, runs the indispensable Yankee blog, It is High, It is Far, It is . . . caught, where this poem first appeared.