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      Baseball Poem of the MonthBaseball Poetry: Baseball Poem of the Month


      Spitball Magazine would like to acknowledge outstanding baseball poems by selecting a baseball poem of the month. If you would like to submit your baseball poem to be considered for "Baseball Poem of the Month" honors, as well as for publication in the Spitball Magazine, see our writers guidelines. For a complete listing of all baseball poems that have been published in Spitball Magazine, check out our baseball poems index.


                                         


      November 2013: Baseball in Manzanar, by by Bruce W. Niedt
      October 2013: Driving by a Snow-Covered Baseball Park in December, by David Allan Evans
      September 2103: The Ghost Chaser (for Roger Maris), by R. Bremner
      August 2013: The Gloucester Fisherman's First Game, by Robert L. Harrison
      July 2013: To Believe, by Marna Owen
      June 2013: Empty Ballparks, by Tobey Shiverick
      May 2013: To James Creighton, by Robert L. Harrison





      Baseball in Manzanar

      By Bruce W. Niedt

      When I was twelve I played sandlot ball
      in my little town in California.
      After the game, I would go to the docks
      and help my father with the catch
      on his fishing boat.  A year later we were 
      in the desert, in a government compound
      bordered by towers and electrified fences.

      My father had everything taken from him,
      but he said they could not take our pride.
      We still played baseball, with a vengeance - 
      teams and leagues and uniforms, just as
      we would have done back home.  One day
      I almost hit a homer over the barbed wire fence.
      A guard in a tower gave me a thumbs-up.
      My father said, They think we're trying too hard
      to be Americans.  They don't know I played baseball
      as a boy back in Kyoto.  It's a Japanese game too.
      I said, Papa, we are Americans.  

      My father died too early, never the same
      since he lost his business.  I grew up,
      went to college, married, had three kids,
      and now, six grandkids, the oldest of whom
      is a college professor.  When I think back,
      sometimes I still get angry with my country,
      but it's still my country.  I still watch baseball,
      and I have my favorite players, like Ichiro,
      who marches inevitably to the Hall of Fame.

      Bruce W. Niedt (Cherry Hill, NJ) has a chapbook of recent-composed baseball poems ready for publication, awaiting discovery by a publisher.



      Driving by a Snow-Covered Baseball Park in December
      By David Allan Evans

      Three crows were standing on
      spindly legs between second
      and short, all three looking
      toward home plate, as if waiting
      for a hot grounder to scramble
      their wings, or a frozen-rope single
      to sizzle right over their heads,
      making them duck.

      When I slowed down for 
      a closer look, they lifted lazily
      and flied out deep to center,
      but heading, I guessed, toward
      the strewn concessions
      in the Western Mall parking lot.

      David Allan Evans (Sioux Falls, SD) has published eight collections of poetry and has been the poet laureate of South Dakota since 2003.


      The Ghost Chaser
      (for Roger Maris) 

      By R. Bremner 

      He chased a ghost 
      to the crack of our whip.
      Our simple plan:
      the ghost would vaporize
      through his fingers
      before delighted eyes
      and excited sighs.
      The stupid man!
      He couldn't understand
      the plan.
      He caught the ghost 
      we loved the most.
      His prize:
      the stings of our whip.
      Away he ran.

      A prolific poet, R. Bremner (Glen Ridge, NJ) has worked as a cab driver, truck unloader, computer programmer, and bank vice-president.

      The Gloucester Fisherman's First Game

      By Robert L. Harrison

       

      The upper deck was cod
      as he sat with his chum,
      being hard of herring
      he was floundering about
      watching shrimp-like players
      playing bass ball.
      He smelt hot dogs
      while netting a beer,
      as the pitcher threw down the pike
      balls with fresh bait
      watched by crabby umpire eyes.
      He stayed tuna end
      for the game was a fluke
      a turning tide that would
      even make a mermaid cry.

      A retired special education teacher, Air Force photographer, docent, and parking lot attendant, Robert L. Harrison (East Meadow, NY) is a well-known baseball bard.



      Baseball Poem of the Month: July 2013

      To Believe

      By Marna Owen

       

      It's all I can do
      To pay attention and drive
      While the last half of the 9th is played out
      The last battle of the regular season
      It's now or never
      A baseball cliche, but who cares?
      It is now or never

      I listen to games from spring to autumn
      Grab the morning paper
      Read, critique, coach aloud to no one and anyone
      I count the games, study the box scores
      When the magic number is 1
      I believe in magic

      Until the third out.
      It happens in the parking lot.

      Bludgeoned
      I leave my car and wander down the street
      Buy some bread I do not want
      Stare mindlessly at a purse in a shop window.

      Then I see the clerk in the wine store, his head in his hands,
      Eyes covered, and I know, I know despair.
      I back up, go inside.
      He has the game on,
      The final season wrap-up among all the bottles of wine.

      He lifts his head, looks at me
      "Let me know if I can help you," he says dejectedly.
      "Thanks," I say, and pretend to shop.  Just to keep company. 

      We both know there is nothing to be done.

      Marna Owen (Berkeley, CA) is a Tigers fan and a project manager.




      Baseball Poem of the Month: June 2013

      Empty Ballparks

      By Tobey Shiverick

       

      Empty ballparks speak.
      It's true, you know.
      They are not just empty spaces
      Surrounded by tiers of empty seats.
      They speak with silent eloquence
      Of green grass and ghosts
      Of ball games past
      And promises of ball games to come. 
      You have to relax and listen.
      Consider it therapy

      Tobey Shiverick (Vero Beach, FL) has visited all 30 major league ballparks and is writing a book about it, to be published this summer by Summer Game Books.


       

      Baseball Poem of the Month: May 2013

      To James Creighton

      By Robert L. Harrison

       

      Creighton
      You were a brother of the ball from long ago.
      A man who ran the bases before us
      Who pitched a snap wristed curve ball
      That went where no sphere before has ever been.
      And on your last at bat
      You saw the arc of the ball melt into the sky
      And it pained you to see the end of your game.

      Creighton
      You were young and the game was young
      The world of nine men playing together just beginning,
      And there you were, a star raising from the dust
      That the scribes would write about
      That the fanatics would come out and see
      A hero of green fields and summer's song,
      Where the innings could stretch forever.

      Creighton
      Yes, we remember you, the pioneer,
      the man who dreamed of future games
      Where under the sun players would run 
      And bat, and catch, and seek new ways 
      To stretch their imagination on the field.
      For this we salute you and cross our bats
      And stand in silence in honor of you.


      Robert L. Harrison (East Meadow, NY) is the author of several baseball chapbooks and a longtime contributor to Spitball Magazine.

      Baseball Poem of the Month: April 2013

      Fastball

      By Dwayne Brenna



      sniper fire
      from the un-grassy knoll 
      cocaine high 
      you see in living colour after that 
      pure white smoke 
      and bee bee at the knees 
      arrives like a punch in the face 
      or a pail of cold water 
      and hops and sometimes drops
      and sometimes disappears
      (ask any ump)
      and thwack goes the mitt
      a foley artist couldn't make that sound

      statement of unbending bluntness
      black and white
      and no détente
      you on that side
      me on this
      and hit it if you can


       Bio of poet: Dwayne Brenna (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) teaches in the drama department of the University of Saskatchewan and was published in the Spring 2012 issue of Spitball.

      Go to Top: Baseball Poems

      Baseball Poem of the Month: March 2013

      Where I'm From

       By Michael Kumar


      I am from center field, 

      From where the rich green grass and the warm brown dirt meet.  
      I am from the place where champions are made, and
      legends are born.
      I am from the drive to succeed and the fear of failure.    

      I am from where players made footsteps too deep to fill,
      From the same turf legends and DiMaggio and Mantle, and where The Say Hey Kid
      made his famous catch.
      I am from the roar of the fans and the chatter of my teammates.  

      I'm from the place where I feel comfortable, and I am determined to stay here.
      I'm from the place where left meets right and I am ready.
      I am home.  


      Bio of poet: Michael Kumar (Little Silver, NJ) is a senior baseball player at Red Bank Regional High School and plays for a traveling team called the NJ Marlins.


      Baseball Poem of the Month: February 2013

      Tiant's Apprentice

       By Denise Newbolt

       Clear August sunlight spotlighted the dancer

                  he twirled in the style of Tiant
                  technical in spin, placed practiced choreography.  

      A white ball, laced red with a season's skill and hope,
                  hurled to the stanched batter,
                  who would nick it to the dirt

      In his 7th inning finale
                  a foul, a strike released in a summer's era,
                  the spiraling pitcher spun to a season's final ovation, 
                  in late afternoon shadows.

      Bio of poet: Denise Newbolt (Florence, KY), now retired, was the Kentucky School Media Specialist of the Year in 2006. She has also worked for the Florence Freedom professional baseball club.


      Go to Top: Baseball Poems

      Baseball Poem of the Month: January 2013

      Little League Strikeouts Ain't Pretty

      By Robert L. Harrison

       

      With sadness I report
      about the last ball
      your son bought

      It was both high and low
      and curved before
      the final blow

      It was flying fast
      a white meteor
      that he let pass

      And so I say with pity
      that this scene
      was not too pretty

      For even I did cry
      after he let
      that ball go by


      Bio of poet: Robert L. Harrison (East Meadow, NY) is a widely published baseball versifier with several baseball chapbooks to his credit.


      Baseball Poem of the Month: September 2012


      The Curve

      Life throws you a curve,
      Breaking so sharply,
      That just before it crosses the plate,
      You flinch, bend back.
      You still have two strikes to go.
      Next a change up or a slider.
      Perhaps followed by high heat.
      A 100 mph fastball.
      Even if you know what pitch is coming,
      You still can’t hit it out of the park.
      Soon you are not allowed
      Any more pitches. 3 strikes.
      Return to the bench.
      No sense hanging around.
      You’re out. That’s it.

      Bio of Poet: Louis Phillips (New York, NY) is a widely published poet, playwright, and short story writer and the author of numerous books, including The Woman Who Wrote King Lear and Other Stories. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.




      Babe Ruth

      by Larry Eickstaedt

      Ted Williams was my idol.
      Ruthie and I were always the Boston Red Sox
      for our farmyard baseball games
      but I paid grudging respect
      to Joe DiMaggio and the Yankees –
      my brother's team.

      Stories our dad told about the greats
      like Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson,
      provided an historical feel for the game.

      More important than school lessons –
      lifetime batting averages, most runs,
      most hits, most stolen bases –
      were committed to memory.

      And
      At the top of the list, records
      held by the most famous of Yankees,
      the Babe –
      most home runs in a season,
      most in a lifetime –
      were sacred.

      In the afternoon of August 16, 1948,
      a wave of silence,
      like a sharp line drive,
      swept the family when Mom
      came out to the yard and announced
      to Dad, my brother, sister, and me,
      Babe Ruth died today!

      That's all she said.
      As though in a trance,
      stunned by the news,
      she slowly went back inside.

      Time was suspended
      like one of his towering home runs
      and tears were near as I struggled
      with unsettling feelings
      like striking out with the bases loaded
      in the bottom of the ninth.

      Bio of Poet: Born on a farm in Storm Lake, Iowa, Larry Eickstaedt (Olympia, WA) received a Ph.D in marine biology from Stanford University and was a founding member of The Evergreen State College in Olympia. A former Boston Red Sox fan, he now roots for the Seattle Mariners.





      For Andy Who Signed with the San Francisco Giants in 1972
      Written after Finding His First Bubble Gum Contract in the Smokehouse

      by Larry Rogers

      He wanted his ashes spread
      over a pasture in Logan County
      that decades earlier had been
      a ball field on which the Dean brothers,
      Dizzy and Daffy, had played
      when they were boys.
      When he was a boy
      he would go there
      and commune with
      their carefree spirits
      when he wanted to
      get away from the worries
      of this world.

      Accommodating him
      one bright, April morning
      I did not hear the pop
      of a fastball shooting
      into the heart of the catcher's mitt,
      or early 20th century
      infield chatter,
      only my own unsteady voice
      giving the barefooted Diz
      a glowing scouting report
      on another local boy.


      Bio of Poet: Larry Smith (Fort Smith, AR) served in Vietnam with the 1st Air Cav in 1967-68. His poems have appeared in the Wormwood Review, the New York Quarterly, and the Denver Post.



      Shakespearean Baseball Sonnet #51

      by Michael Ceraolo

      Thus can my love excuse the weak offense
      Of my hometown team, when the pitching’s good.
      No matter the batters can’t reach the fence,
      And don’t draw as many walks as they should,
      Nor do they blaze the base paths with much speed:
      Said offense is a catalog of need.
      With good pitching you can stay in the game
      And let your weak offense try to keep pace;
      Close, low-scoring games have a better name,
      Though you’re not any higher in the race
      Than a team built the opposite of you;
      Both have a similar also-ran view.
      And by all except the purist’s measure,
      Losing is not an aesthetic pleasure.


      Bio of Poet: Michael Ceraolo (Willoughby Hills, OH) is a firefighter/paramedic and the author of a book of poetry called Euclid Creek.



      A Mile in My Shoes: Joe Jackson

      by Don Waldo

      I had a uniform that was dirty but a conscience that was clean.
      I never laid eyes on a one of them but knew them all by name.
      I never spoke to them directly but heard what they were asking.
      I told them to go to hell, but they said I was already there.
      I asked to sit this one out but was told I would never stand.
      I never asked for nothing, but they gave it to me anyways.
      I tried to tell them what was going down, but they knew what was up.
      I always played to win but somehow managed to lose.
      I never learned to read or write, but my signed confession still damns me.
      I was owed a living wage, but he’s paying me beyond the grave.
      History has called me out, but His is the only call that matters.


      Bio of Poet: Don Waldo (Charlotte, NC) is a NY Yankees fan who has written extensively about Shoeless Joe Jackson.



      Split Finger

      by Dwayne Brenna

      Used to throw the screwball
      but pronated hands and elbows
      don’t make healthy arms
      Fernando Valenzuela found this out
      too late

      Took a while
      to stretch my fingers out but I
      enjambed a ball
      and held it there for weeks
      watching Jen on TSN

      Then winter came
      I threw it in the gym
      for six months straight

      So what’s it do?
      It fades
      like memories of Mathewson
      It dies
      like a wounded skunk
      and leaves an odor at your door

      When it’s working
      no one hits that thang


      Bio of Poet: Dwayne Brenna (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) is the author of a collection of baseball poems called Time Out of Mind.



      Why I No Longer Go

      by John MacLean

      To tear the old place down was the last straw,
      But they had long since changed the game for me.
      I didn’t spend enough to pay my share
      Of salary and profit for the club,

      And, so, somehow, membership was revoked.

      I had for years parked on the South Bronx streets,
      And bought a hero sandwich up the block,
      And sat with homemade scorecard through all nine,
      Without the need to buy a bobble head.

      But worst of all, I still contributed
      To silence that once hung across the park,
      A hammock on those lazy summer days,
      When you’re content to let the whole world slip.

      Then came fake bugles, mechanical cheers,
      Loud music danced to by Cotton-eyed Joe.
      You couldn’t hear the elevated train
      For all the noise the cartoon subway made.

      Forget the bat’s crack or the leather’s pop.
      They couldn’t trust that I would stay awake,
      And so they filled the once expectant space
      Between the innings with crowd pleasing din

      The way they do it in the minor leagues.


      Bio of Poet: John MacLean (Croton, NY) is a big NY Yankees fan and the author of If You Teach It They Will Read: Literature’s Life Lessons for Today’s Students.


      Baseball Poem of the Month: April 2011

      The Path to the Dugout
       
      by Rob Vogt

      Right-handers are power pitchers.
      They come from Texas, raised on beef
      and christened with names like Nolan and Roger.

      Left-handers are crafty southpaws.
      No one knows exactly where they come from,
      but they do strange things in the clubhouse,
      like reading books in front of their lockers.

      Right-handers pitch until their arms fall off,
      or until they can no longer make it out of the seventh inning
      without assistance from a sub-species known as a relief pitcher.

      Left-handers pitch into their early forties,
      or until they are offered jobs in the broadcast booth.

      Right-handers throw 95-mph fastballs
      at disrespectful, plate-hugging batters,
      the baseballs connecting with a painful thud,
      their seams leaving tiny, red bite marks
      on hitters’ barely-covered flesh.

      Left-handers nibble around the plate,
      Lulling batters to sleep,
      luring umpires into expanded strike zones.

      Right-handers storm off the mound
      at the end of an inning, pumping their fists –
      cursing,
      spitting,
      glaring.

      Left-handers curlicue called strike threes
      around the outside corner and walk off the field quietly,
      their eyes focused on the path to the dugout
      and nothing more.


      Bio of Poet: Rob Vogt (Los Angeles, CA) teaches writing at the University of Southern California and has had a poem nominated for a Pushcart prize.

      Bleacher Rat

      by Joyce Kessel

      I grew up a National League fan
      of the Pirates, Cards, Reds & Giants,
      not even knowing many decades before
      my Buffalo Bisons played in the Senior League
      well before becoming a minor league stalwart.
      So I'd pray for sunny skies over Forbes Field
      rather than Cleveland's "Mistake by the Lake."
      My rare defection to the American League
      came when the Orioles gained Frank Robinson
      in that lopsided trade and after,
      who couldn't have appreciated Cal Ripken?

      My dad & I would troll the minor leagues
      where for some reason affiliations
      didn't seem to matter as much,
      at least not to me,
      who took in the green expanses
      beyond dirt as the glowing diamonds
      they were meant to be,
      even in parks that were bare shadows
      to Little League fields today.

      In bandbox fields
      and open air bleachers
      we'd watch players with numbers,
      but no names on their uniforms,
      trading cards in their future or past
      or not at all, their talents raw and wild.

      I learned a geography of Rustbelt cities:
      Toledo Mudhens, Columbus Clippers,
      Rochester Redwings, Syracuse Chiefs,
      Geneva Cubs, Oneonta Yankees,
      Niagara Falls Rainbows,
      a day’s ride away,
      hoping they’d play two,
      and mastering the geometry
      & hieroglyphs of scorecards.


      Bio of Poet: Joyce Kessel (Hamburg, NY) is a widely-published poet and a teacher at Villa Maria College in Buffalo. Sample recordings of her work can be heard at www.thinktwiceradio.com



      Baseball Poem of the Month: February 2011 

      McNeil Island Penitentiary Closes
       
      by Kevin Miller

      The island boat sails
      empty one way. For
      years I told the kids
      of our away games
      against fed inmates,
      the Native pitcher
      with hand-carved knives
      tattooed underside
      his forearms, his stare
      walleyed as search lights
      when a kid sixteen
      brushed him back. He eyed
      me with unwieldy
      daggers, safe behind
      horizontal bars,
      I squatted, signaled
      for a curve. Bleacher
      bums hooted, howled,
      and bet cigarettes
      on each pitch. One guy
      yelled, He killed seven
      guys, watch your back
      at the plate. Hitters
      joked about playing
      the next game at our place.
      We split the double
      header, and ate lunch
      At the big house.


      Bio of Poet: Kevin Miller (Tacoma, Washington) is the author of Home & Away: The Old Town Poems, his third collection of poems. It was published in 2008 by Pleasure Boat Studio.

      Casey Park

      by Ed McCafferty

      There are youngsters playing pick-up baseball
      on a hardscrabble field
      in the Heights section of Wilkes-Barre, PA.
      We are not a real team,
      we have no uniforms,
      and our parents don’t watch us play.
      To settle first pick
      in choosing sides we spit
      on a smooth flat stone
      and toss it in the air-
      one side wet
      one side dry.

      Today the entire Heights
      is the stone come down
      on its wet side.
      The Asphalt on Empire Street
      lucent lavender,
      the infield at Casey Park
      rainwet orange,
      the woods beyond
      deep blue and
      heavy with rain.
      The sand quarry
      is a sienna pit,
      and the coal-company houses
      edging the woods
      are slaked a corrugated gray.
      A cool breeze blows
      in from the highway,
      and blows into my memory.

      Twenty years later I return.
      The woods, the sand pit, the company houses
      are paved over into an industrial park.
      But Casey Field thrives,
      now edged with an outfield fence,
      and now a Little League field
      where real teams play.


      Bio of Poet: Ed McCafferty (Alexandria, VA) has made several previous appearances in Spitball.




      Gum Based Good Times

      by David S. Pointer

      The antique gumball
      machine tech patted
      his little globe dispenser
      saying it was "the gum"
      that really got each
      baseball game started
      and helped a fastball
      burn hot as a fireplace
      front or brought out a
      cartridge box boom
      at the crack of the bat
      or helped the coach
      keep up maintenance
      on all our game gear
      stored in that Nicaraguan
      coffee gunny sack
      season after season,
      so in baseball’s brief
      little league time line
      it’s the chewing gum
      that may be going down 
      into history with the
      chomping rest of us.


      Bio of Poet: David S. Pointer (Murfreesboro, TN) is the author of the poetry chapbook Warhammer Piano Bar published by Thunderclap Press.


      Sandlot Dad

      by M. T. Corrigan

      Not to say too much, nor paint those shadows
      deeper than they were, his serves just clearing
      the drop of the woods, and that line of maples
      along Route Two, a deeper green. Greater matters
      attach themselves to the sense of things
      we learned, like the shockless strokes of triples
      scalded down the lines, singeing the Nadeaus'
      birch trees: overspin, top hand. What meaning
      could one assign to batting practice; who grapples 
      light enough to comprehend that meadow's
      darknesses? He pitched from deepeer shade, peering
      in to catch the sign to get me out. No scruples
      for the dustbacks that flung me down to dirt:
      "Get up, son. Hang in. Baseball doesn't hurt."


      Bio of Poet: M. T. Corrigan (Lewiston, ME) appeared in the Summer 1994 issue of Spitball.




      Roberto Clemente (Topps 1972)

      by Mark Hinton

      The first thing you notice is the ball
      stopped in mid-air. Playfully tossed just
      before the picture was taken. Right
      hand already waiting for the ball
      to come down. His tongue stuck out in mock
      concentration. The red pickup truck
      just beyond his right shoulder, the half-
      empty stands, the fans standing along
      the fence, even his shiny batting helmet
      tell the story: another batting
      practice before another game. Perhaps,
      the World Series. The long black sleeves
      would be right. The gesture too. A simple
      act of easy grace declaring much:
      certain knowledge of his own greatness.
      Perhaps I read too much into this card.
      But how can I not. The ball hanging
      there when his plane could not.


      Bio of Poet: This poem by Mark Hinton (Bloomington, MN) is from a series of poems by the poet about the players on baseball cards.




      A Broken Window

      by Larry Granger

      Up the hill next to the
      field is a house with an
      inviting window just out
      of range of our size batters
      even on our best days.

      Who will be first?
      That’s why we had a fungo
      contest with a crash being
      the ultimate prize.

      Finally we moved from home
      plate to third base.
      And it happened by one
      of us.
      I won’t say who.

      Usually only the American
      Legion team batters could
      come anywhere close.
      Parental pride replaced
      the window and saved ball.
      Full story not disclosed
      until much later family
      reunion.


      Bio of Poet: Larry Granger (Bloomington, MN) is a historian and writer who has coached youth baseball for many years in the Bloomington and St. Paul, MN areas.



      Rosemont Conventions

      by Robert Manaster

      I used to lounge around the inn's lobby
      By the Bering Room.  While standing near a wobbly
      Table— my pockets stuffed with change— I'd agree
      To buy the best from those sorry boys, who trusted
      Me after trading for their cards.  Sorry,
      It didn't matter much to them since they lusted


      For quarters anyway— they didn't know
      The deals those days.  How could I let them go?
      A quarter for Fisk— or any great name—
      They took without a struggle in their eyes.
      They never knew, they never worked the game,
      And I wasn't about to hint or compromise.


      They themselves played it big:  They'd plead and trade
      For what they saw were players a good grade
      Above the rest—Rose, Ripkin, Jackson, Hough—
      Then laugh behind some backs when done.  My take
      Was to fish out nibblers not smart enough
      To know a real worm from the rubbery fake.


      Bio of Poet: Robert Manaster has published poems in various journals including Many Mountains Moving, Wisconsin Review, and Sport Literate. He lives in Champaign, IL.



      Stetter to Sheffield to Matcovich

      by Howard Rosenberg

      His five-hundreth victim -
      A name for trivia lovers;
       
      The pitch, number nine,
      A full-count slider,
       
      Tossed nine days after
      His Mets debut.
       
      His swat -his first hit as a Met-
      A gloved surprise for a bleacher buyer;
       
      The media's momentum magnifying
      The threesome's moment;
       
      The catch worth bats, balls, jerseys,
      The gifts of a Major League man
       
      Whose dreams were now just memories,
      Whose blast could not revive the past -
       
      Only stir the present.


      Bio of Poet: Howard Rosenberg writes a blog about the New York Mets called "metbaseball.blogspot.com" and lives in Sewell, NJ.



      Ernie

      by Ed Werstein

      Five minutes after tuning in late
      you knew all the important stuff:

      score, inning, situation, pitchers,
      key plays, game summary,
      (the Tiges [like tikes with a hard g]
      scored first on Kaline’s
      sacrifice fly in the third,
      but the Bosox took the lead in
      their half of the inning
      with a two run blast by Malzone
      after a one out walk to Runnels.)

      If the Tigers were on the road,
      you got some additional info.
      Maybe a description of Comiskey Park,
      right down to those beautiful arches, 
      or the dimensions of Fenway’s
      green monster.

      But the stats were just the stitching
      in the patchwork of beautiful pictures
      he pieced together.

      Moms from Midland, lads from Lansing,
      and those gentlemen from Ypsilanti
      will still manage to snag foul balls.

      Watching called third strikes sail by,
      hitters will still just stand there
      like the house by the side of the road.

      Double plays will still be two for the price of one,
      homers will still be loooong gone,
      and fans will still be holding onto their beers
      during those tense ninth innings.

      But, like a ground-rule double
      he hopped the fence and left the park.
      Ernie Harwell is gone,
      and no one will ever tell us that way again.


      Bio of Poet: Ed Werstein of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan who grew up south of the Motor City. His work has appeared in Verse Wisconsin and Vampyr Verses.


      Star Fielder

      By Janet Kamnikar

      A slender crescent moon
      lay on its back last night
      low in the evening-blue sky,
      while tacked high above it,
      a single star shone forth,
      the sky’s own diamond solitaire.
      If that star should fall, I thought,
      the moon, like a flashy center fielder,
      would make a basket catch
      and capture every drop of light.

      Bio of Poet: Janet Kamnikar lives in Fort Collins, Colorado and recently published a baseball poem about her father in plains song review (Univ. of Nebraska). She and her husband take in Cubs games every spring in Mesa, AZ.



      Fastball from My Dad

      By Geoff M. Pope

      Back in the '50s, my father
      played minor league baseball
      with the Philadelphia Phillies.

      Bruce B. Pope was a lefty, and he hurt me,
      hurt my hand bad when I was almost 11 -
      after I blurted out something like, “Dad,
      throw me one of your real fastballs, will ya?”

      I watched his hesitation and the familiar but slightly
      different windup this time; it was more pronounced,
      just more dramatic, I thought. Then the pitch –
      and my barely seeing it fly into my mitt.
      I can still hear the hit, the violent Pop!

      I tried hard not to cry when I caught it then dropped it.
      I started bawling across the front yard, the palm
      of my left hand stinging then throbbing,
      the glove left on the ground…

      me thinking something broken
      and blurry like I will nev-er
      question the pow-er
      of my fath-er
      a-gain.

      Bio of Poet: Geoff M. Pope lives in the Seattle area, 16 miles from Safeco Field. His book of poems is titled The Word in Question.


      Baseball Poem of the Month: March 2010 

      Baseball (day/night doubleheader)
       
      by Bruce Harris

      first game

      Complete games were routine for some,
          watched by hats and ties through fragrant cigar smoke.
      Great Scott - home run derby - M&Ms - Maypo (hold the juice).
      Baseball is Topps and a nickel is king.
      September's done. Eight teams dream of afternoon October fun.

      night cap

      Save this. DH that. Pitch count. Everyone looks like a catcher now.
      Corporate heads sit and talk while starting pitchers transact business with the bullpen.
      Only birds get flipped.
      Jokers and wild cards blow on hands. Stars under stars
           while witches and ghosts and goblins play.

      Bio of Poet:  Bruce Harris played high school baseball before the appearance of aluminum bats, the DH, and lights at Wrigley Field. He lives in Scotch Plains, NJ..


      Baseball Poem of the Month: February 2010

      Progeny
       
      by John Lambremont, Sr.

      Age-old Southern faces,
      tight-lipped and grim,
      in their batting helmets,
      their chins tucked in,
      raise their steel barrels
      and dig in again.
       
      Remnants of their ancestry,
      descendants of their kin,
      that stared down steel barrels
      and charged again,
      knowing that their chances
      to survive were slim.
       
      The batteries of the enemy
      are usually going to win.

      Bio of Poet: A graduate of Louisiana State University with a B.A. in English-Creative Writing, John Lambremont, Sr. is a widely-published, Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. The author of Whiskey, Whimsy, & Rhymes, he lives in Baton Rouge, LA.


      Baseball Poem of the Month: January 2010

      Railroads and Baseball
       
      by Dudley Laufman

      That time there in Warner, New Hampshire,
      game between Bradford and Warner,
      someone clouted a drive across the railroad tracks
      just in front of the afternoon run
      of the Concord to Claremont commuter.
      Ump made it a ground rule double.

      I think I told you this one,
      Arlington - Waltham.
      Spy Ponder hits one over the tracks
      in front of the 6:15 to Lexington,
      Watch City outfielder scoots through the underpass,
      comes back waving the ball,
      wants a ground rule double,
      ump says home run.
      Yeah, I told you that one.

      But get this.
      I don't know if this is true or not,
      but it makes a good story.
      The Red Sox are enroute Boston-Providence
      for an exhibition game in Pawtucket.
      Train passes through Sharon or
      some little town like that.
      Train whistles along the edge of the ball field,
      sandlot game, mix of grubby uniforms,
      and someone lines one towards the train.
      Ted Williams is standing out on the back platform,
      reaches out, snags the ball, and keeps it.
      Train rumbles on to Pawtucket,
      Williams clutching their only ball.

      Next day (the Sox stay over),
      train headed back to Beantown.
      The boys are out on the field
      (they found another ball).
      The Kid is out on the platform again,
      and he throws the ball back,
      autographed by all the Bosox.

      Bio of Poet: Dudley Laufman is the author of four volumes of poetry and the recipient of the GOVERNOR's AWARD IN THE ARTS Lifetime Achievement Folk Heritage Award for 2001. He lives in Canterbury, NH.


      Baseball Poem of the Month: December 2009

      A Boy of Doubtful Grace

      by Bruce D. Herman

      You go cheap, you get cheap.
      Take my first baseball glove - please!
      Oh, it's long gone, lumping its way to the
      center of the earth.
      It's about the time of the "Say Hey!" guy's
      wonder glove.
      At eight, my only catch was measles.
      The same year I peeled my first orange.
      In softball pickup games, chosen last, I roamed
      right field with a dog. The dog retrieved
      the balls I missed.
      When I asked for a baseball glove my dad went cheap.
      I think he paid for it in pesoes.
      Mom called my gift Quasimodo. It was that misshapened.
      All fat with batten, Quasimodo was unbendable,
      with a dimple for a pocket, with ill-strung hapless
      webbing.
      Girls thought I was cute. Feeling sorry for me,
      they taught me how to throw.
      Girls thought I was cute, and that's how I got
      through the baseball season.


      Bio of Poet: Bruce D. Herman is a retiree living in Brooklyn Center, MN. His poems have appeared in numerous periodicals, including "ArtWord Quarterly," "Mobius," and "Vintage Northwest."
       

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