“Frosty and the Babe,” by John Robert McFarlandPosted: September 22, 2014
Here’s a piece by John Robert McFarland, published in the Elysian Fields Quarterly, in which the Great Bambino steps up to the plate against a great pitcher, known only as “Frosty.” I have to admit, somewhat sheepishly, that the title initially made me expect Frosty the Snowman to take the mound, but that must just be the kid in me. I love the ambiguity of the baseball splitting in half — who knows what the call would be if this were to happen in real life?
The Bambino’s team was mighty,
Nine stories full of fame,
DiMaggio and Gehrig,
Masters of the game.
Lazzeri, Dickey, Berra,
Made pitchers weep at night.
Ruffing, Ford, and Hoyt,
They were a fearsome sight.
Yes, Babe’s team, it was mighty,
All members of the Hall,
But they’d never faced old Frosty,
That master of the ball.
Frosty heaved it with a sentence,
Frosty hurled it with a word,
When Frosty threw the horsehide,
It split lumber like a sword.
Frosty turned his back on walls,
Unlovable as sin,
Frosty turned and faced home plate,
Where they have to take you in.
He took the road less traveled,
As he stopped beside the wood,
Then he turned and faced the platter,
Where the Babe in splendor stood.
The Babe was rapt and ready,
He gave his hat a tip,
Three runners took their leads,
On the bat he took his grip.
Babe pointed to the outfield,
His finger to the sky,
Far beyond the fences,
To the clouds away up high.
Frosty rhymed the spheroid.
Babe took a mighty swing.
The ball was split in even halves,
It was an awesome thing.
Half soared beyond the fences,
Half fell into the mitt.
Half the ball was called a strike.
Half was a home run hit.
Babe trotted ’round the bases,
As half the ball kept climbin’.
Frosty dipped his pen to fans,
Tossed verse upon the diamond.
One a poet with the lumber,
One a poet with the phrase,
One his bat all full of thunder,
One his arm all full of grace.