Quote of the day

It [baseball] will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.

~Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman, July 1854 (Morgan Library & Museum/public domain)

“Edges,” by David Horowitz

Here’s a piece that was published alongside “Patient Hitter” in Resin from the Rain in April 2002.  Here we see the other side of the battle in the pitcher-hitter showdown.  The juxtaposition of these two poems reminds me of a Spanish poem my class read in high school, “El Matador,” by Rafael Alberti, which features a conversation between a matador and a bull.  I love the mind games and the stare-down atmosphere involved.


They expect a fireballer—
Someone stronger, taller
Than me. I nick edges, tantalize,
Induce flail and lunge and cries.
Curve, splitter, sinker, change—six
Different speeds and infinite tricks—
Screwball. Imbalance
Power. Shake off signs, rinse
My craft with resin, climb
The slope and break their rhythm,
No matter if the crowd is with them.
We’ll take their tappers and pop-ups any time.
And, yes, we need our team camaraderie
Or risk assault-and-battery.

“Patient Hitter,” by David Horowitz

Here’s a poem by David Horowitz, which was published in Resin from the Rain in April 2002.  I like how the speaker of the piece attempts to differentiate between himself and the pitcher — he speaks in a manner that indicates, or tries to create, a calmer state of mind than that of his opponent.


Yes, I can smack your knucklers and spitters,
Dodge your beanballs, and stroke
Your curves to right for hits. Good hitters
Learn patience, adjust. We watch you choke
And grimace, sweat. We simply hit
And win, as you knuckle, bean, and spit.

This day in baseball: Two hits twice

In a blowout against the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park on June 22, 1925, Max Carey of the Pittsburgh Pirates collected two hits in both the first and the eighth innings.  Collecting two hits in one inning twice in one game is a feat that would not be accomplished again until 1975, when Rennie Stennett, also with the Pirates, would do so in the first and fifth innings.  Carey’s performance helped the Pirates on their way to a 24-6 victory.

Library of Congress
Library of Congress

Quote of the day

My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.

~Hank Aaron

Washington Post
Washington Post

Foot pitcher

I’ve had a few posts lately talking about switch pitchers, which is, without a doubt, a difficult skill to develop.  But what about pitching with one’s feet?  That’s exactly what Tom Willis did on Monday, when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at AT&T Park.

Born without arms, Willis has learned to function by relying on his feet.  And, as we can see, he’s learned to do quite a bit that way.  Not only did his toss make it to the catcher on the fly, it also appears to be a strike.

As it turns out, this wasn’t Tom Willis’s first go at this kind of thing.  On May 27, 2008, he had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Padres game.  Looks like he’s been putting in some work on his location since then.