by Stephen Jones
Yesterday, a kid–Slade Heathcott–
Hit his first big league home run.
In the majors for only a week,
He hadn’t even seen his team win.
But the Yankees put their slide on hold
And waxed KC’S Guthrie but good.
Maybe Steinbrenner’s ghost had paid
The Yankee locker room a visit.
Maybe Slade saw the ghost as well,
Maybe he was just glad to be alive,
Because he smacked a ball over centerfield
And called the experience “surreal”.
by Brandon West
the last time we had fun
was at a Cubs game.
One of Sammy Sosa’s
He did great!
The only thing that I remembered
is that he hit a homerun into deep
When he touched home plate, he touched
his lower chest,
then right shoulder,
then left shoulder,
kissed the side of his
hand, then pointed
like I was blessed
to play baseball.
I don’t know, but maybe I am.
Cubs won, 6-5 against one of the teams to beat,
the Philadelphia Phillies.
Then the next thing I know,
Abuelo started smoking. Everything went downhill from there,
he was diagnosed
with type 4 lung
cancer, it was spreading
to his bones.
The last time I saw him was when Abuela was making
breakfast, he got up, with his neck brace and walker,
went to the kitchen,
asked Abuela for something
He left me,
and his soul left us.
I would always remember
Brandon West is a seventh-grader at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy in Chicago.
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.