Browse all poems and songs in the 'Players' Category


Roadtrip

by Stephen Jones

The summer’s done, the season’s done,
And you’ve been on a very long journey.
The rising road no longer winds so much, and
On both sides, the once-lush fields are empty.
Autumn flickers like a golden fish.
You drive between here and tomorrow.

.                                                  And

It’s no surprise, that you pass roadside stands
Selling end-of-season distractions.
You see peach baskets full of analytics
(For wintering over, like last year’s apples),
Crates clearly marked Hustle and Muscle,
(But with dates that have now expired),
Stacks — like cords of wood — of guaranteed
Live arms (these also root-cellar bound),
Boxes and boxes of spins and grips, and
Canning jars of freshly made good stuff.

.                                                  And

Up ahead, on the road’s gravel shoulder,
Just before the winter turn,
Fired managers hold out their thumbs.

.                                                  Meanwhile,

A dusty red pickup honks, then passes you.
It’s full of young talent, like day workers, and
Heads back to the farm.

 



Whiskers Like Wrigley

by Jim Siergey

This concept, though weird,
causes me trouble:
If a ball gets tossed in
Or merely lost in
Justin Turner’s beard,
Is it a ground rule double?

 



Rooting Vivisection

by Hilary Barta

Into fall to the very last minute,
Players all say they play it to win it
Then one troop gets the boot
So for whom does one root
Watching ballgames when home teams ain’t in it?

 



Getting His Licks In

by James Finn Garner

Does it matter that
Yasiel Puig licks his bat?
Something, I mean,
Apart from hygiene?
Is it nerves? Is it taste?
An act done in haste?
When speculation’s void,
Ask Sigmund Freud.

 



Wonderful Iron Horse Lou

by Willard Mullin

Published in the New York World Telegram, May 1939.

You heard of the Wonderful Iron Horse Lou,
Who looked as if he would never be through,
For fourteen years as good as new,
And then of a sudden, he — ah, it’s true!
Gehrig was not like the common folk;
Created, was he, like the strongest oak;
Seemed nothing could crack on this hardy bloke!
No flaw to be found, no use to try
With hand as good and sure as his eye,
His arm was just as strong as his knee;
His back and shoulders enough for three;
And his legs the best you ever did see.
A thousand ballgames passed and found
Gehrig at first base strong and sound.
Fifteen hundred came and went;
Eighteen hundred and still unbent.
And then the two thousand twenty-first game
Playing as usual, much the same.
His body was sturdy — just like the start;
His lungs were still as strong as his heart,
He was sound all over as any part,
And yet, as a whole, it is past a doubt
In one more game he will be worn out.
The second of May, Thirty-Nine!
McCarthy was naming his men down the line —
And what do you think the people found?
Dahlgren on first to the right of the mound!
And off in the dugout with head going round
Was the man who had played himself into the ground.
You see, of course, if you’re not a dunce
How he went to pieces all at once —
All at once, and nothing first —
Just as bubbles do when they burst.
End of the wonderful Iron Horse Lou.
Flesh is flesh — and Lou is through.

 

Willard Mullin, a widely syndicated sports cartoonist, was the creator of the Brooklyn Bum, the clownish personification of the Dodgers’ team in the 1940s and ’50s. 

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