by the Village Elliott
For Hank Greenberg and Edgar Guest*
On Rosh Hashanah, 1st of Tishrei, 5776**
“Landsman” Hank played ball Jew’s New Year’s Day,
Won game with two home runs ’cause he’d play.
Ten days on, Hank for sure
Wouldn’t play on Yom Kippur.***
Tigers lost, but won flag anyway.
*Came Yom Kippur: A Hank Greenberg Poem
10th of Tishrei, 5695
by Edgar Guest
Published in Detroit Free Press, 1934
The Irish didn’t like it when they heard of Greenberg’s fame
For they thought a good first baseman should possess an Irish name;
And the Murphys and Mulrooneys said they never dreamed they’d see
A Jewish boy from Bronxville out where Casey used to be.
In the early days of April not a Dugan tipped his hat
Or prayed to see a “double” when Hank Greenberg came to bat.
In July the Irish wondered where he’d ever learned to play.
“He makes me think of Casey!” Old Man Murphy dared to say;
And with fifty-seven doubles and a score of homers made
The respect they had for Greenberg was being openly displayed.
But upon the Jewish New Year when Hank Greenberg came to bat
And made two home runs off pitcher Rhodes—they cheered like mad for that.
Came Yom Kippur — holy fast day worldwide over to the Jew —
And Hank Greenberg to his teaching and the old tradition true
Spent the day among his people and he didn’t come to play.
Said Murphy to Mulrooney, “We shall lose the game today!
We shall miss him on the infield and shall miss him at the bat
But he’s true to his religion—and I honor him for that!”
** Rosh Hashanah: lit., head of the year
***Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement (Holiest of Holy Days 10 days after Rosh Hashanah)
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 Stu Shea
Madison Bumgarner doesn’t much care
For hitters who flip their bats into the air.
He’ll rip you a new one, buzz you inside,
Scream at you after retiring the side.
And he doesn’t care if you’re black or you’re white,
Latino or Asian…he’s up for a fight.
I have just one question to ask of you all–
Who appointed him guard of the castle of ball?
By Dan Bern
by R.J. Lesch
When Andy Coakley, traded to the Cubs
in time for ’08’s crazy pennant race,
received one of the pettiest of snubs
and didn’t get World Series dough, the case
of Coakley v. the Cubs went to the courts.
He knew he didn’t rate a full share, but
he thought he should get something. But all sorts
of calumnies got thrown into his gut.
“He’s so ungrateful,” said the press. “He should
be booted out.” And so he spent his prime
in outlaw leagues. His arm was just no good
by when he made it back to the big time.
When Coakley got the shafting from his team,
free agency was still a distant dream.