By Stuart Shea
Mr. Scully hangs up his microphone,
Dick Enberg does as well.
Bill Brown retires from Houston’s booth,
Ain’t it the truth–
Things ain’t like they used to be.
Things ain’t like they used to sound.
The men who call the games
Don’t have the varied background
Of the older famous names.
Oh, the older famous names,
With their gravitas and experience,
They understand the common sense
Now they’ll be silent forevermore,
Closing the door
On a time and a style that will never return.
by Stephen Jones
Memorial Day — the unofficial
Start to summer. For many,
The sandy ritual at the beach;
For others, a pause to remember.
For me? I collect thoughts too —
Randomly, like shagging flies —
And I finally put away
All the winter clothes.
And I may self-indulge —
A Rasputin of the fridge.
One thing is certain:
I always watch a game.
It may sound disrespectful,
To be so hedonistic, but
During the seventh inning stretch
“God Bless America” popped up
And I caught a thought —
It curved to where I sat:
I only get to do this because
Of what someone did for me.
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.
Each year, before the first spring training game, the late Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell would read from the Song of Solomon (2:11-12).
by Stephen Jones
He faced a lot of batters in a season,
But none of us knew his demon.
C.C. Sabathia made a decision —
Leave the mound for rehabilitation.
It takes a strong man to make this call —
To recognize that life’s more than baseball.