by William Tecku
Major league-fastball-fast is fast.
first-take-her-out is fast.
of-the-St. Louis-Court House-fast
is fast but none of these fasts
is fast as darn fast.
Me finished before you start
that’s darn fast, that’s me.
Slow? Slow is how long it took me to tell Clara,
while we was out walkin’ after my game today,
how I got hit with my own hit ball
after I slid safe into second.
Darn slow? That was me with her tonight, guessin’
and guessin’ all the way back from hearin’ Henry Brown
at the Blue Flame until we stepped off the sidewalk,
outside the gas lights, and slipped under the shade trees
by her flat, before I could remember her favorite hymn
and she kissed me fast, in a slow way,
that made me feel like Lucky Lindy.
Like when I’m flyin’ around the bases
or runnin’ down flys or line drives
with eyes for the center field fence
and whole the ball park is movin’
slow as Missouri catfish in winter,
I didn’t feel nothin’ under my feet
all my way home where I
turned off the light and was in bed
before my room was dark.
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 Millie Bovich
Some managers spit pumpkin seeds in innings bad or fine,
Some managers come out to chat and won’t step on a line.
Some hitters crowd the batter’s box and twirl their bats on high,
Some batters take a too-close pitch and watch the beaut go by.
Some batters readjust their gloves, then readjust once more,
Then smack the whirling sphere into the parking lot next door.
Some fans will smother up their dogs, while some will eat them plain.
Some fans will watch in blazing sun, some gladly sit in rain.
Some fans will need a beer or three to quench a burning thirst.
Some runners just drink Gatorade when they slide into first.
Some pitchers work a snail’s pace and roam around the mound,
Then wind and throw a perfect strike that makes a sizzling sound.
Some unexpected umpire call will cause the fans to yell
That the authority in question should find his way to hell.
Some rookie out in center field will punch his well worn glove,
Then make a catch spectac’lar that the fans in stands will love.
Some fans will make excuses just to be there Opening Day.
It’s spring again, and time to watch the “boys of summer” play!
And the Tigers’ Ernie Harwell would begin the year the same
With a quote we’ve heard a thousand times before he starts the game.
“The Rose of Sharon blooms again”, ’cause spring is something grand,
“And the voice of the turtle will be heard in the land.”
Millie Bovich may be the oldest fan and contributor to Bardball. “I had the pleasure of meeting All-Star Johnny Pesky when he visited the Detroit office of the FBI where I worked,” she writes, “and met and married a special agent from New York and made a Tigers fan out of him!”
by Stephen Jones
Item: MLB and MTV
Tries to create something glitzy—
A “field of dreams” designed to lure,
Fusing the game with pop culture.
If baseball wants the 12-34 fan,
It should think very hard about its brand.
The NBA has King James;
Likewise, football has big names.
Sure, baseball players also score
Big figures at the big-cash drawer,
But when that’s done, who remembers
The names, faces—or even numbers?
Where are baseball’s market tags—
The “somethings” of which it brags?
Baseball may self-tinker with the game,
But what it needs is names of fame.
by Nathan Rudy
My Mets will win games, that much is clear,
With Harvey, deGrom and others this year.
If Cuddyer can hit, and Flores finds his mitt,
We won’t toss Alderson out on his ear.
But the best is out west, in the dry Vegas air,
Pitching their hearts out as arm tendons tear.
Matz, Monterro and Thor now are great,
But can’t reach the majors ‘til 21 days late.
So fans of the Mets will continue to fret,
Ownership’s bank account hasn’t recovered yet,
And hope for a year when we surpass 81,
And get to the playoffs ‘fore this century’s done.
By Stuart Shea
“The Braves will be good”???
…what I like about the South
Is its humility
Is 300 mil enough
To stand Loria?
It was a bright day
When the Wheel fell off the cart
Leaving three good ones
Men with few assets
Should not bargain as if they
Can afford to wait
The young man acts young;
His elders, who know better,
Lecture and complain