by The Village Elliott
With apologies to Rudyard Kipling and his “Gunga Din”
You may talk of those who bat
With reflexes like a cat,
Like Tony Gwynn, whose prowess was high art.
Played right field for childhood team,
Padre skipper’s Gold Glove dream,
A southpaw five-tool player, ‘ead and ‘eart.
Destined for the ‘All of Fame,
San Diego son became
Legend playing locally for twenty years.
Though big money thrown his way,
Stayed for “’Ometown Discount” pay,
Around the league fans paid him with more cheers.
Fans cheered, “Gwynn! Gwynn! Stalwart star!
Your sweet swing strikes spheroid far.
Though twice Series ring eluded,
When your career concluded,
Your .394 best season since World War.”
Padre uniform he wore,
Was nothing much before
And rather less ag’in when he retired.
But his two-toned Padre ‘at
An’ eight-time entitled bat
Was all the field equipment he required.
When Dog Days of Summer’s ‘eat
Has grim gamers in retreat,
Avoid high ‘eat that makes one’s average skid,
‘Eat didn’t wither, make Gwynn faint,
Hit another where they ain’t,
And it dropped in like three thousand others did.
Fans called, “Gwynn! Gwynn! Tony Gwynn!
Eighth bat title you did win
Puts you in the Pantheon
For most NL titles won,
Only you and ‘Onus Wagner, Tony Gwynn.”
‘Allowed ‘all in Cooperstown
Honors players of renown,
With special nod for “Inner-Circle Member,”
Those elected first time out,
For the writers have no doubt
They’re Immortals whose careers fans need remember.
One Immortal who slid in
Was the Padres’ Tony Gwynn,
Second San Diego son to get so tapped.
Though first two less bat crowns wrest,
William’s lifetime average best
Though Gwynn’s.338 best since Ted first uncapped.
Fans cried, ”Goodbye, Tony Gwynn!
End in town where you begin.
Now you play on Field of Dreams
Where Immortals field the teams.
You belong on their first ballot, Tony Gwynn.”
The Village Elliott lives in Stinson Beach, California. His bio is a poem in itself–watch this space for further details.
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