“A Baseball Ballad,” Author unknown

Just as fair warning: this poem is pretty depressing.  Published in the Brooklyn Eagle in 1883, it describes a player who has passed away.  But wow, whoever he was (real or imagined), he sounded like quite the ballplayer.


J. smith is dead. That fine young man
We ne’er shall see him more,
He was a member of our club
Since 1864.

His private virtues were immense,
His manner was free and bluff,
He wore a paper collar, and
Was never known to muff.

He rarely took a drink more strong
Then lemonade or pop ;
He hated drunkards, and was a
Magnificent shortstop.

His nose was Roman, and his eyes
Continually were peeled ;
He made a splended umpire, and
A beautiful left field.

His hair was red, and shingled close ;
Much sunburned was his face,
He never showered with more effect
Than on second base.

Being a man, he had his faults,
As likewise have we all ;
He felt a preference for the New
York regulation ball.

Though not a matrimonial man,
He dearly loved a match,
And, like his sisters, had but few
Superiors on the catch.

He had a noble mind, as eke
A very supple wrist ;
And when he pitched he gave the ball
His own peculiar twist.

Of politics and church affairs
He held restricted views ;
His feet were usually encased
In canvas, hob nailed shoes.

But he is gone. With ins and outs
Forever he is done ;
He broke his heart and hurt his spleen
In making a home run.

His body we have planted now,
His soul is in the sky ;
The angels reached from heaven down
And took him on the fly.

Leave a Reply