by Robert Hilliard
Pete, Pee-wee and Jackie
by crashing into walls,
hustling infield rollers,
and stealing home with a bang.
Dolph and Cookie and Leo.
No Lip to the umps
No soda or peanuts or crackerjacks.
No cries from the
twenty-five cent bleacher seats
“Wait till next year!”
No more we’ll be chumps.
And Hoyt ain‘t hoit anymore.
Van Lingle the Mungo and Sandy the K
and Campy, Newk, Preacher
and Mickey, who dropped the third out,
kicking the game away.
Even after Ralph hurled
the Shot Heard ‘Round the World
we were soothed by the guy in the catbird seat.
Red’s voice helped take away the heat.
There was sweet swinging Duke
and Gil’s four in a game.
Why aren’t they
in baseball’s Hall of Fame?
We can still boo the Giants,
but it just ain’t the same.
Waiting year after year
for a moment delirious,
to root for the trolley boys,
at last, in 1955,
in the Woild Serious.
Finally, some fame,
more games to be won,
big houses to tally.
And the money ain’t lame.
But poof, they were gone,
a pox on O’Malley.
A pseudo-team now in LA
copping a cherished name.
For shame! For shame!
Rest in Peace, Ebbets Field.
Rest in Peace, Brooklyn Dodgers.
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.
by Stephen Jones
Donnie Baseball is off to Miami–
Sunshine home of the Northeast retiree–
Where he’ll raise Marlins, a la Girardi,
On a budget one-third Dodgers’ salary.
by James Finn Garner
So now, my friends, it has come to this,
The World Series of 2015
The kids ablaze on the New York Amazin’s
Versus the Big Blue Royal Machine.
Let’s consider all that’s gone before
As we bid the warm weather goodbye
Some teams did roll as had been foretold
While others came through with surprise.
The new Cubbie kids swung some mean bats
The Blue Jays refused to show fear
Motown fell dead, now needs a retread
While the Giants await an even year.
The Dodgers in their close-ups again blinked
Staid St. Louis became hot and unglued
The Nationals sputtered, then throttled each other
The Lone Star State watched a marvelous feud
So when someone tells you baseball is boring,
Whether online, at work, in a bar,
Don’t chuckle or sigh. Look them straight in the eye
And say, “Baseball’s not boring — you are.”
by the Village Elliott
Today, this Giants fan’s feeling blue,
Team’s worst nightmare at last has come true.
Unlike Jim Harbaugh–Niners,
“Mutual parting” long overdue.
LA Bums “Donny Ballplayer” led:
High-priced Blue-Bloods that Dodgers Blue bled.
“Donny Manager” flailed
Since first mound visit failed,
When Jints’ Bruce Bochy got in his head.