by Doug Fahrendorff
At age 31, a unique rookie
His baseball odyssey a winding road
Stops at Braves and Mets minor league affiliates
The Mexican league
And Italian pro baseball
This year he arrived in Milwaukee
His pitching success
A bright spot in a rebuilding year
However long his success lasts
Celebrating his perseverance
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 Stephen Jones
It was Old Timers’ Day
At Yankee Stadium:
Familiar names played the field;
Yogi was remembered.
The banter in the booth
Was long on lore and tooth
And was like the game itself:
A scrapbook of past and present–
Because baseball never gets old.
by Barbara Gregorich
pointed at dead center,
But pulled back,
balanced near the shoulder,
gyrating at its fulcrum,
ready to swoosh
across the plate
into the power alley,
Barbara Gregorich is the author of She’s on First and Jack and Larry: Jack Graney and Larry, the Cleveland Baseball Dog, and also conducts a terrific presentation on When Women Played Baseball. See her website for more details.
by Celeste Johnson
Word spread. Crowds grew. The Giants won on
“Happy Lincecum Day.” Joy suffuse. Happiness shared
Hopes grew . . . at least on the days when the Slight,
Quickly becoming the Beloved, One took the mound.
Poetic motion, Electrifying Stuff. Baseball was fun again.
And off the field the one rapidly becoming known
Only as “Timmy” was engaging, goofy and entirely unique.
Skater caps and a smile that lit up his entire face
Happy emotion pouring through letting us know
He was marveling at this as much as the Faithful.
He slipped into our hearts and gave us joy . . .
That was then, and this is now.
Staring at the finality (at least for now as the heart
Never stops hoping for Reunion.) But for now
We must accept that the Beloved may not
Grace the Orange and Black and the Gem
At Third and King will lack its brightest little star.
Unimaginable, but reality does not bow to the
Unimaginable simply because We wish it,
Unimaginable, that another color should blur
In front of our eyes as mesmeric motion unfurls.
Unimaginable . . .
Supplication only partially granted
We must move on. There will be others,
There are others now that don the Orange and Black,
To make us smile, to bring us joy even.
And we will love them. But there will be
A difference. Not all difference is bad and this is not
But it will not be the Beloved, the Slight one.
The One who brought hope to the baseballing heart
Of the City by the Bay. Hope that crystallized into
Three glowing rings that we will always cherish.
The Beloved, our brightest little star may not grace
The Orange and Black again, but the love remains
Imprinted upon the heart and we can only hope that
Joy returns to his own heart and the mound once again
A wondrous place. So it is Goodbye and
Somehow “Thank You” are words too small to
Encompass the gift of Time and Memories given,
But they will have to do for now.
And always the love remains strong. Forever Giant.