Williamsport

by Todd Herges

Where the dreams come from not everyone knows
but the fortunate few who the old coaches chose
stand straight now in two perpendicular rows
recite the good pledge, then take a few  throws.

The glare of bright lights, the cameras, the action
excite each young ballplayer’s loud hometown faction
and give tickled fathers some proud satisfaction
that’s tempered with hope, and a tinge of distraction.

A few in the Big Show once played on this stage
but so many more advance to old age
not reaching this peak of pure athletic rage –
a peak just a championship will assuage.

With fundraising over, long practices done
it’s time for the whole world to tune into fun:
to watch catchers gun and the fast runners run;
to see which team ends up on top, number one.

Regular contributor Todd Herges has passed along the exciting news that his son, Jack, plays on the new Nebraska state champ Little League team!  Congrats to Jack and the squad from Kearney!


Published in Fans, Lyric, The Game Itself, Youth | Link to this poem | 2 Comments

Williamsport: 2 Comments

  1. Ember Nickel wrote,

    Congratulations, Jack!

    May I ask what the pledge is?

  2. Todd wrote,

    The Little League Pledge was written by Peter J. McGovern, the late president of Little League Baseball, in 1954. It made its first appearance in the February 1955 “Little Leaguer” magazine. Its text has remained unchanged in the half-century since then.

    The Little League Pledge was drafted after Mr. McGovern became aware that local Little League programs were reciting the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance before games. Mr. McGovern wanted to give all leagues (not just those in the United States) a pledge reflecting some of the sentiments of the Pledge of Allegiance, minus the references to the U.S., while adding the elements of sportsmanship and the desire to excel.

    The text of the Little League Pledge was sent to U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Feb. 22, 1955. President Eisenhower (and every president since then) was a strong supporter of Little League.

    In a response by letter to Mr. McGovern a few days later, President Eisenhower said: “Thank you for…sending me the inspiring and fine pledge that, I understand, will now be repeated at the start of the Little League Baseball games. I am always glad to hear the plans and activities of Little League.”

    A recitation of the Little League Pledge is led by President George W. Bush before Tee Ball on the South Lawn games at the White House. President Bush first recited the Little League Pledge in 1955 as a Little Leaguer in Midland, Texas.

    Pledge

    I trust in God
    I love my country
    And will respect its laws
    I will play fair
    And strive to win
    But win or lose
    I will always do my best

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