by Holly L. McEntyre
I spent my childhood
. learning to tell
. balls from strikes and
. rejoicing over 6-4-3
Memorizing the names and positions
. of all “my” players,
. watching my Montreal Expos “win some, lose some”
. at Jarry Park,
copying their signatures from baseball cards
. into my little red scrapbook.
Belting out two anthems
. at “The Big ‘O’”
Proud of my country,
. and of Canada,
and of the great North American game.
In the film version
. of “Shoeless Joe”
James Earl Jones
. tells us
that baseball is
. the one constant,
baseball is America.
When baseball is ruined,
destroyed for the masses
. by the few
. wealthy enough
. those who
. play for pay,
What does this say
. about our constant,
What does this say
. about our country?
that even though a boy can
. “have a catch” with his father,
although Mo’Ne Davis “throws
. like a girl” at 70 MPH,
we have struck out,
because “Field of Dreams”
is just a movie, the “American Dream”
is just a myth, and
is just a game.
by James Finn Garner
While Giants fans
And Royal loyals
watch the see-saw
with short breath
I feel like I do when I’m watching
an old favorite movie,
and the second-from-last scene is playing
as succulently as ever
“I couldn’t be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it’s possible to get another.”
“Love is eternal. It has been the strongest motivation for human actions throughout history. Love is stronger than life. It reaches beyond the dark shadow of death.”
“Well, nobody’s perfect.”
But it will be over soon, like always,
And time disappears again
And I walk up the stairs in the dark house
And hope to sleep
All the way til morning.
by Steven D. Johnson
Five hundred eleven – the wins of Cy
near three sixty-seven – the bat of Ty
But in baseball heaven, just blink an eye . . .
. and records will be broken.
Just look at Babe Ruth – seven hundred fourteen
. To tell you the truth, his home runs were seen
. to hold a record not passed – thirty-nine years, ‘til alas
Hank Aaron’s bat was woken.
Yet there is a record that will ever stand,
. but it’s not Ted Williams, and it’s not Stan the Man
. don’t look to Tris Speaker, don’t bank on Pete Rose
. for this baseball record every ballplayer knows
. belongs, yes it does, to another.
It’s not for stolen bases – though Oakland’s a believer
. nor is it held by aces – like Gibson, Ford or Seaver
No, the sole baseball mark that will hold in every park
. belongs to father, son, and brother.
The record that won’t break, held through highs and heartache,
is going seven-for-seven, every baseball season week
. since 1911 – now that is quite a feat!
It’s keeping baseball alive since 1925.
It’s zero games missed since 1886.
It’s giving ballplayers a reason
. to thrive in baseball season.
Yes, the only baseball record
. that will maintain its stand
. belongs to the beloved,
. committed baseball fans!
by The Village Elliott
With apologies to Rudyard Kipling and his “Gunga Din”
You may talk of those who bat
With reflexes like a cat,
Like Tony Gwynn, whose prowess was high art.
Played right field for childhood team,
Padre skipper’s Gold Glove dream,
A southpaw five-tool player, ‘ead and ‘eart.
Destined for the ‘All of Fame,
San Diego son became
Legend playing locally for twenty years.
Though big money thrown his way,
Stayed for “’Ometown Discount” pay,
Around the league fans paid him with more cheers.
Fans cheered, “Gwynn! Gwynn! Stalwart star!
Your sweet swing strikes spheroid far.
Though twice Series ring eluded,
When your career concluded,
Your .394 best season since World War.”
Padre uniform he wore,
Was nothing much before
And rather less ag’in when he retired.
But his two-toned Padre ‘at
An’ eight-time entitled bat
Was all the field equipment he required.
When Dog Days of Summer’s ‘eat
Has grim gamers in retreat,
Avoid high ‘eat that makes one’s average skid,
‘Eat didn’t wither, make Gwynn faint,
Hit another where they ain’t,
And it dropped in like three thousand others did.
Fans called, “Gwynn! Gwynn! Tony Gwynn!
Eighth bat title you did win
Puts you in the Pantheon
For most NL titles won,
Only you and ‘Onus Wagner, Tony Gwynn.”
‘Allowed ‘all in Cooperstown
Honors players of renown,
With special nod for “Inner-Circle Member,”
Those elected first time out,
For the writers have no doubt
They’re Immortals whose careers fans need remember.
One Immortal who slid in
Was the Padres’ Tony Gwynn,
Second San Diego son to get so tapped.
Though first two less bat crowns wrest,
William’s lifetime average best
Though Gwynn’s.338 best since Ted first uncapped.
Fans cried, ”Goodbye, Tony Gwynn!
End in town where you begin.
Now you play on Field of Dreams
Where Immortals field the teams.
You belong on their first ballot, Tony Gwynn.”
The Village Elliott lives in Stinson Beach, California. His bio is a poem in itself–watch this space for further details.