by the Village Elliott
For Eddie Grant (b. 5/21/1883, Franklin, MA; d. 10/5/1918, Argonne, France) and Christy Mathewson (b. 8/12/1880, Factoryville, PA; d. 10/7/1925, Saranac Lake, NY)
Eddie Grant led a singular life:
Harvard, Jints, “Over There,” lost his life.
The Big Six enlists, too:
Gassed, stateside Christy’s through.
We remember their “Great Sacrifice”.
Polo Grounds decorated with plaque
To honor Grant, “All Who Didn’t Come Back”.
When Jints moved west, plaque’s lost.
“No Titles” was lost plaque’s cost.
Once replaced, three flags for Orange and Black.
Baby, if you’ve ever wondered,
Wondered whatever became of me,
I’m pitching in the ‘pen in Cincinnati,
Cincinnati, boy are we cra-a-appy.
Getting tired from bailing out our starters
The worst in homers, walks and ERA
Sure, we won’t ever catch the Cubs or Bucs
But with shelling like this, our fans need combat pay.
It’s crappy and I pitch for Cincinnati . . .
by the Village Elliott
Pitcher Milt Pappas claimed he was dissed.
“I belong in the Hall,” he’d insist,
“Just like Catfish, Big D–
If they’re in, why not me?”
His argument, voters still resist.
Some fans think the impact Pappas made
As much off-field as on when Milt played;
“Clubhouse lawyer,” some said,
Even now that he’s dead,
Ever linked to Frank Robinson trade.
by Hilary Barta
Cubs were better, and hit rapid-clip
It was wet, but their mitts didn’t slip
Their defense was proficient
Jake intense and omniscient
Arrieta no sweat, Cincy ZIP.
by Gene Fendt
“At 8-1, the Cubs are off to their best start since 1969”
–news story, April 15, 2016
They’re hanging the bunting at Wrigley
. a hundred years after the Babe;
so many have waited so long for this day
. it’s hard to believe what we see.
My childhood knows Santo, Kessinger, Beckert and Banks,
. the trade of Lou Brock, the umpire’s mistake,
facing Giants and Pirates and Hammering Hank,
. the line-up of Bench, Morgan, Rose and Perez,
the grace of Clemente before he was dead,
. the stare-down of Gibson, Bob Veale and Koufax’s crank:
Lou Boudreau on radio made it appear
. as Athena to Hector, when Achilles was near.
The world is unworthy of childhood faith,
. the utter incorrigible truth of its love,
its weeping for heroes defeated by fate,
. its Aprils and Augusts, stolen bases, gold gloves.
All that is over. It’s daytime, there’s ivy,
. it’s got God’s own green grass,
the bunting is hanging, and so soon you’ll see
. God himself in his garden, all home at last.
Gene Fendt has taught philosophy for 29 years at the University of Nebraska, but grew up in Wisconsin listening to WGN, “radio home of millions throughout mid America.” His poetry most recently has captured the Princemere Poetry Prize (2015) and won the Gemini Magazine national poetry competition.