by Grantland Rice
You may talk of throwing arms that come up from Texas farms,
With a hop on the fast one that is smoking;
But when it comes to pitching that will keep the batter twitching
I can slip you in a name that’s all past joking;
For in old St. Louis town, where they called him once a clown,
There’s a tall and gangling figure on the scene,
And of all that Red Bird crew, there’s one bloke that pulls ‘em through,
Just a fellow by the name of Gunga Dean.
It is Dean – Dean – Dean –
You human coil of lasso – Dizzy Dean!
If it wasn’t for old Dizzy
They’d be worse than fizzy-wizzy,
Come on and grab another – Gunga Dean.
He told ‘em what he’d do, and they labeled him a screw,
Just a blasted mug who took it out in boasting;
And one day they sent him back to the cattle and the shack,
With a fair amount of panning and of toasting;
But the tall and gangling gawk, with a fast ball like a hawk,
Keeps them standing on their heads along the green—
Brings back color to the game with a flash of crimson flame,
So I’m slipping it along to Gunga Dean—
Yes – it’s Dean – Dean – Dean –
He’s a beggar with a bullet through your spleen.
Though at times some bat has flayed you,
By the Texas sun that made you,
You’re a better man than bats are, Dizzy Dean!
Published in the New York Sun, July 20, 1934, in the middle of the remarkable year of the Gashouse Gang, under the headline “Dizzy Gunga Dean (If Mr. Kipling Doesn’t Mind)”
Published in Former Teams, History, Players, St. Louis Cardinals | Link to this poem | 1 Comment