by Hilary Barta
In baseball no pitcher is betta
Than right-hander Jake Arrieta
On the mound he will stand
Cool, calm, in command,
And throw a no-hitter, no sweata!
by Stephen Jones
In the beginning . . . of this baseball history,
Yankee Ivan Nova–he was not so super–
Got burned by Houston’s big bang theory.
Others followed–they couldn’t stop it either.
The Astros’ rain of runs, a meteor shower
Of them, had done in the old Pinstripers.
by William Tecku
Takes more than hope
to hit any high hard one
with mustard on it.
Dickinson knew that!
Higginson, the player’s first
and last coach said that.
Still, this Hall of Famer, before
blasting “Hope” into the books,
in one hitting situation.
From the minors, Dickinson,
always dying to homer
in ninth inning tie games,
swung from the shoelaces
at high hard one after high hard one
that blew out of blue afternoons
. . . bright sunlight bearing down
behind each bullet of bleached white, stretched, balled up cowhide balled up and tossed away hard like a lousy first draft page
. . . small as twilight’s first
or dawn’s last star . . .
singular, nondescript as a dove
with rolling red stitches for wings,
a sphere sprinting in spikes of air,
rotating into wide open eyes,
shouting down a thirsty throat,
or avalanching sideways
on top of the batter,
just a pitch, but, in-
as much a blur as love
or any other heater
only heroes connect with
yet seldom homer.
The fundamental physics
of such thrown objects
make it extremely unlikely
that even the best players
at any level can ever catch up
to these fastballs that pitchers
hurl in some full counts
to sucker batters
into chasing such stuff
blazed shoulder high
or a feather above
the strike zone.
Yeah, when the game is
on the line, and you’re
going for the fences,
hope is hardly enough to swing,
even if you are swinging
Dickinson coffin wood.
William Tecku is a Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry grant recipient, a six-time Arizona English Teachers Association “Teachers As Writers” award winner, a Lake Superior Writers Series award winner, and twice received the Mesa Public Schools Staff Writing Award. It’s Only a Dry Heat is his most recent collection of poetry and fiction. For more of his writing, visit his webpage, Road Reflections.
by the Village Elliott
“I’m afraid it’s so,” said Shoeless Joe.
Lost confession? Though cleared, Judge said “So?”
“As a player, didn’t bet,”
Pete Rose still claiming, yet
Baseball says, “Hall of Fame: Like Joe, ‘No!'”
Despite new evidence, some still claim,
“Say Pete gambled; so what? Why still blame?
Hall of Fame? Rose should go!”
I say, “First Shoeless Joe.
Be far better for ‘Good of the Game.'”
by James Finn Garner
We rode the bus a lot back then
Murphy was our bus driver
No first name
“Murphy” might’ve been fake too
He was bad business
A past we never asked about
Murphy was reliable
You could always count on him
Hearing one of us on the team shout
(and we did it many times a night)
“Hey Murphy! I think I just saw a police car!”
And hitting the gas
And driving like the devil himself was after him