by Grantland Rice
(From Base-Ball Ballads, 1910)
I wandered back to Mudville, Tom, where you and I were boys,
And where we drew in days gone by our fill of childish joys;
Alas! The town’s deserted now, and only rank weeds grow
Where mighty Casey fanned the air just twenty years ago.
Remember Billy Woodson’s place, where in the evening’s shade,
The bunch would gather and discuss the home runs Casey made?
Dog fennel now grows thick around that “joint” we used to know,
Before old Casey whiffed the breeze some twenty years ago.
The grandstand, too, has been torn down; no bleachers met my gaze
Where you and I were wont to sit in happy bygone days;
The peanuts which we fumbled there have sprouted in a row
Where mighty Casey swung in vain just twenty years ago.
O how we used to cheer him, Tom, each time he came to bat!
And how we held our breath in awe when on the plate he spat;
And when he landed on the ball, how loud we yelped! But O
How loud we cursed when he struck out some twenty years ago!
The diamond is a corn patch now; the outfield’s overgrown
With pumpkin vines and weedy plots; the rooters all have flown –
They couldn’t bear to live on there, for nothing was the same
Where they had been so happy once before that fatal game.
The village band disbanded soon; the mayor, too resigned.
The council even jumped its graft, and in seclusion pined;
The marshal caught the next train out, and those we used to know
Began to leave in flocks and droves some twenty years ago.
For after Casey fanned that day the citizens all left,
And one by one they sought new lands, heartbroken and bereft;
The joyous shout no more rang out of children at their play;
The village blacksmith closed his shop; the druggist moved away.
Alas for Mudville’s vanished pomp when mighty Casey reigned!
Her grandeur has departed now; her glory’s long since waned.
Her place upon the map is lost, and no one seems to care
A whit about the old town now since Casey biffed the air.
Grantland Rice (1880-1954), syndicated columnist known as “The Dean of American Sports Writers”, was given the Spink Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.
by the Village Elliott
Injuries are tearing the Jints apart
Doom best-laid plans their brain trust had conceived
Even attack Bruce Bochy’s broken heart
Stressed Brandon Crawford made him more bereaved
Posey beaned, Joe’s hand’s jammed, Bum’s bike doth fall,
Smith, Mac, Morse, Brown spend all spring on DL.
Both Parker, Span can’t hit ball, can hit wall,
Pence tweaks knee, now whole outfield shot to hell.
Maybe Jints are like Old Boney First, who said,
“I saw Elba ere I met my Waterloo.
Learned if I win battles, need not count dead.
Must if war’s lost, to pay butcher’s bill due.”
Jints laugh like Lincoln when told what to do:
“‘Anyone’ can’t replace an outfielder done.
‘Anyone’ might replace one done for you,
I must replace one who’s done with ‘someone.'”
I don’t know what Bobby Evans must do.
Not the GM, I don’t build big league squads,
Learned, “Must trust Jints’ brain trust has a clue
To appease and not offend Baseball Gods.”
by James Finn Garner
Stout Eric Thames
Splashes such bombs
On the shores of the Menominee,
Naming rights to the river
Have been bought by the Brewers
Who will soon make him its honoree.
by Jim Siergey
Let’s start at the top with Cap Anson
and then Jersey Bakley, so handsome
Brandon Belt, quite aptly,
holds Pants Rowland up snappily
Socks Seibold with style
makes Charlie Spikes smile
Gary Glover to catch the ball,
likewise with George Mitterwald
And to hold everything in place
Jocko Conlon, just in case.
by James Finn Garner
The game’s been built of 3s
Since, like, eternity.
3 outs, 3 strikes,
3 bases and the like
Now add to these trios
Garcias who with brio
Manned the grass for the Hose.
Unlike the real bros
Matty, Felipe and Jesus–
The splendid Alous–
These Garcias don’t own
But never in history
Has an outfield had 3
Confused when they hear
“Hey! Garcia! Get over here!”