True Heart of a Champion

by the Village Elliott

Dedicated to Johnny Kuenn, Curt Flood, Bob Gibson and the 1964 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Written in 2005.

Yo, Chief, stop the presses,
The Red Sox successes
Worth an “Extra” to proudly proclaim,
Nigh a century’s passed
Since we last topped our mast-
Head with “Sox Win Final Series Game!”
Put the champagne to chill
Next to Ted’s head, he will
Then defrost, tip his cap, drink a toast,
To Aught-Four edition
Of BoSox Tradition;
“We swept Out ‘Curse of Babe,’” they can boast.

To get rid of their angst,
They swept back the Yanks,
Then swept Cards, their Series nemesis,
Who beat Sox half the four
They’ve played, lost since “Babe Swore;”
Sweeping Birdies adds greatly to bliss!
Yes, Sox swept my Redbirds
Whose play evokes these words:
“Cards played like all-time worst Series team.”
And though they did not quit,
Were never quite in it;
The World Series sweep felt quite extreme!

I salute the Red Sox
For destroying their “Pox,”
In a manner befitting their Curse,
But before they grow smug,
And relapse with their “Bug,”
Here is my opinion, cast in verse:
It’s now a new season,
Each team has its reason
To think maybe this might be their year,
While every team’s fans
Are now making fall plans
To partake of team’s “World Series Cheer!”

I recall Connie Mack,
When Al Simmons came back,
The next spring, after winning bat title:
“To be ‘True Champion,’
You must win second one.
Defending your crown, this is vital!”
“I believe that I shall,”
Replied Bucket-Foot Al,
And, indeed, as bat champ, did repeat.
So, if “Champions: True,”
What the BoSox must do
Is again avoid last game defeat.

I would be most remiss,
If I didn’t quote this,
‘bout Bob Gibson’s last World Series start:
When Cards’ bubble went bust,
Gibby repaid the trust
Of ex-skipper’s “Commitment to Heart:”
“Curt Flood caught too many
For me to say any-
Thing but I’m the one whose pitch was grooved!”
“Upstairs,” Johnny Keane smiled
When the Akasha filed:
The “True Heart of a Champ” has been proved!

Please, remember th’ advice
Of poet Grantland Rice:
“The Intangibles are paramount!
If ‘True Heart’ leads the way,
Every game that you play,
Then the ‘Final Score’ ends in your count.”
Way back when the Romans
Hit “Homers in Gloamins,”
Mare Nostrum sun-fielded their portal,
So, no matter how high,
One may rise in the sky,
Remember that we are but mortal!

Postscript:

Two years on: How ‘bout that!
Wearing my Redbirds hat,
For Game Five, when my Cardinals won,
When last out recorded,
Felt my Faith rewarded,
The Cards could be next “True Champion!”

One Year On:

The next season, Cards fold.
Off-field drama grew old.
Birdies fail ere they make playoffs,
But the Red Sox won crown,
Adding to team’s renown
For astute player movement payoffs.

 


Published in Boston Red Sox, Former Teams, History, Pure doggerel, St. Louis Cardinals, The Game Itself | Link to this poem | 1 Comment

True Heart of a Champion: 1 Comment

  1. Jim Siergey wrote,

    Whew! This is quite something.
    Kudos!

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