by Celeste Johnson
Word spread. Crowds grew. The Giants won on
“Happy Lincecum Day.” Joy suffuse. Happiness shared
Hopes grew . . . at least on the days when the Slight,
Quickly becoming the Beloved, One took the mound.
Poetic motion, Electrifying Stuff. Baseball was fun again.
And off the field the one rapidly becoming known
Only as “Timmy” was engaging, goofy and entirely unique.
Skater caps and a smile that lit up his entire face
Happy emotion pouring through letting us know
He was marveling at this as much as the Faithful.
He slipped into our hearts and gave us joy . . .
That was then, and this is now.
Staring at the finality (at least for now as the heart
Never stops hoping for Reunion.) But for now
We must accept that the Beloved may not
Grace the Orange and Black and the Gem
At Third and King will lack its brightest little star.
Unimaginable, but reality does not bow to the
Unimaginable simply because We wish it,
Unimaginable, that another color should blur
In front of our eyes as mesmeric motion unfurls.
Unimaginable . . .
Supplication only partially granted
We must move on. There will be others,
There are others now that don the Orange and Black,
To make us smile, to bring us joy even.
And we will love them. But there will be
A difference. Not all difference is bad and this is not
But it will not be the Beloved, the Slight one.
The One who brought hope to the baseballing heart
Of the City by the Bay. Hope that crystallized into
Three glowing rings that we will always cherish.
The Beloved, our brightest little star may not grace
The Orange and Black again, but the love remains
Imprinted upon the heart and we can only hope that
Joy returns to his own heart and the mound once again
A wondrous place. So it is Goodbye and
Somehow “Thank You” are words too small to
Encompass the gift of Time and Memories given,
But they will have to do for now.
And always the love remains strong. Forever Giant.
By Kelley Stoltz
With all the PED reports happening this year, it seems fitting to revisit a modern classic.
by Hart Seely
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that year.
The lineup had no hitting threats, the fans no cause to cheer.
So when Cooney tore his hamstring, and then Barrows broke his wrist,
The writers started calling for the brass to be dismissed.
The season stood in jeopardy, with one last hope in sight:
If only one great slugger could regain his former might.
One shot of horse testosterone, one jab in his caboose,
The team could get its mojo back with Casey on the juice!
But Flynn had tested positive, and also Jimmy Blake,
Their samples glowed with hormones like uranium yellowcake.
The infield faced suspension, the outfield in decay,
The team was dead unless some source came forth with antler spray.
But Flynn unleashed ten lawyers, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, with much persuasion, had his cousin take the fall;
And with the last indictment quashed, a miracle occurred,
The Mudville nine remained within one game of placing third.
Within the team’s top management, there rose a whispered din;
“We need to find a slugger who can drive some runners in.
“A deep-voiced man with swollen breasts, his beard as thick as rope.
“We need to bring back Casey, with his bloodstream full of dope!”
He’d all but been forgotten, in the pennant race of late.
No team considered signing him; he’d last hit .208.
He couldn’t touch the breaking ball or move much to his right.
He’d shrunken by some 30 pounds; he looked like Betty White.
They found him in a halfway house for former alcoholics,
Where he’d been kicking Andriol and street-sale anabolics.
They offered him a contract that would run from day to day.
But his sample had to come back clean before they’d let him play.
There was ease in Casey’s manner, though he tried to be discreet.
The testers watched him carefully; they figured he would cheat.
The sample showed diuretics, high above the zone of red,
“That ain’t my urine,” said Casey. “Strike one!” the clinic said.
The pundits, amped on Ritalin, fumed fury at the game.
He’d never see another pitch, or make the Hall of Fame!
“Ban him! Ban the juicer!” came a fervent, shouted wail;
And its likely they’d a-done it, had not Casey looked so frail.
With a smile of Christian charity old Casey’s visage shone.
He chalked it off to linseed oil, not high testosterone.
He’d suffered from a restless leg, took pills to beat the flu,
But the next test showed growth hormone, and the lab coats roared, “Strike two!”
“Fraud!” cried the gin-fueled writers, and the bloggers echoed “Fraud!”
But Casey’s hired publicist pronounced the tests as flawed.
And now his face grew stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
They knew he’d never let himself score positive again.
The smile is gone from Casey’s lips, his eyes like burst balloons;
He’s downed ten quarts of seltzer, after eating fifty prunes.
His body is a furnace, his bladder surely stressed,
And now the world awaits the hard results of Casey’s test.
O, somewhere in this favored land the stars are shining bright;
The games are played by people of a normal weight and height.
And somewhere fans are laughing, at peace with what they’ve got;
But there is no joy in Mudville: Mighty Casey’s tested hot.
by the Village Elliott
Pitcher Milt Pappas claimed he was dissed.
“I belong in the Hall,” he’d insist,
“Just like Catfish, Big D–
If they’re in, why not me?”
His argument, voters still resist.
Some fans think the impact Pappas made
As much off-field as on when Milt played;
“Clubhouse lawyer,” some said,
Even now that he’s dead,
Ever linked to Frank Robinson trade.
by Michael X. Ferraro
Conjuring his Inner Say Hey Kid,
Bartolo decamps from the mound.
Sprinting so fast he loses his lid,
He covers a whole lot of ground,
And hauls in Galvis’ base-hit bid–
Yet another Colon foe clowned.
For a clip of Colon’s play, click here.
Michael’s hilarious football book Circus Catch is available from Amazon now.