Browse all poems and songs in the 'Players' Category


Adios, Jimmy

by the Village Elliott

For Jimmy Piersall (11/14/1929 – 6/4/2017)

Jimmy Piersall today passed away
Childhood hero had own style of play
My first glove bore his name
Tried to play game the same
With his glove, learned to field Jimmy’s way.

Jimmy played with unique sense of pride,
Until by his pride Piersall was fried.
After treated with shocks
Rapped with Harry, White Sox,
Only sane man on air, certified.

 



Harper/Strickland

by Stephen Jones

Baseball’s a game of skill;
That’s what we all know.
It’s not the NFL,
Where headhunting’s bought and sold.

But what about history
and baseball’s unwritten rule?
When a batter’s tagged a pitcher twice,
What’s a hurler to do?

As a sniper with a (maybe) grudge,
Hunter Strickland thought he had the pip:
He’d aim, then fire. He’d drill Bryce Harper
Dead-on in the hip,

And as Bryce Harper later said,
“At least he wasn’t aiming at my head”
(Although some medicos might concur:
His brains are definitely not up there).

No surprise, Harper charged the mound
And gave Strickland some punches.
Strickland obliged him back, and in the end
It was like a battle of dunces.

When the smoke clears, MLB will admister
Band-Aid punishment to fit the crime:
Each will pay a chunk of change
And probably serve some time.

Just don’t expect MLB
To solve its unseen baggage.
Afterall, like in hockey,
This stuff is good green cabbage.

 



September 23, 1908

by Laura Weck

In baseball, as it is in life,
Not always everything will stay the same–
Rules may change further down the road
As they could in a baseball game.

In life when you err, you may
at times find an atoner,
But not so with baseball
and “Fred Merkle’s Boner.”

Though there was great world news
Back in those days,
Nothing could overshadow
Poor Fred’s Bonehead play

That year was a roller-coaster
Predicting which of the teams might play
and that was only decided
On the season’s very last day.

That stellar season would provoke
Even Joe Tinker to rub,
“If you don’t furiously hate the Giants,
You aren’t really a Cub.”

After that year I can’t fathom
That ever again there will be
As thrilling a contest, as that on
September twenty-three.

It was the bottom of the ninth
The score tied one to one,
With Merkle standing at first
and anxious to run.

The Polo Ground fans were a rowdy bunch
Often storming the field
After a tumultous win, never imagining
Their team to another would yield.

New York’s Birdwell hit one
Allowing McCormick get home.
Rookie Merkle rounded second, then
To the clubhouse he’d roam.

The fans stormed the field not knowing
Johnny Evers had been guaranteed
A new rule that now
The players must heed.

The folks perched on poles
Came close to falling.
When New York got the loss
The fans started bawling.

They spat and they fought
When they learned of the loss.
So irate the ump, to the stands
The “winning” ball he’d toss.

In public they jeered him.
They told him he stank.
So distraught was Fred Merkle
His tombstone was left blank.

 



“America’s Favorite Pastime” by Todd Snider

 



A Tale of Two Cities

by Alan P. Rudy

Our freshman got promoted to varsity,
He was raking and dealing while at JV . . .
The big guys were facing adversity.
Why, oh, why have they done this to me?!

Wait, what? They’re not starting him at third?!
Coach’s sending him on a line drive to left . . .
The ball’s up the line, the catcher . . . my word,
Collision! The umpire’s tossed him, the turd!

Suspended three games for failing to slide
In his first game, his new teammates loved it.
Back in, he’s comfortable, emotions elide,
But pitching Game Two, oh! We almost died!

The guys quite like him, though not yet 15.
The coaches just start him, it’s still unexpected . . .
Almost rounding to normal, it must be a dream.
We worry and fret, while joyous and keen.

 

Alan P. Rudy, father of two ball-playing boys, is an associate professor of sociology at Central Michigan University.

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