“Hey Batter Batter,” Trent Tomlinson

The theme of this tune’s lyrics is really more of a bar fight song than it is a baseball song, but one individual in the comments of the video mentioned they used to blare this during baseball practice. I can certainly see how this would get a team pumped up, and I’m sure many teams have listened to this during their pre-game warmups as well.


How Hans Became an American, by Elinor Nauen

This poem by Elinor Nauen is a bit longer, but well worth the read. It demonstrates how closely baseball gets associated with Americanism, even to those outside the nation’s borders. I especially love the line, “He goes home because he has nowhere else to go.”

*

I’ve been sitting at my desk a lot
staring at my father.
It’s a picture taken in summer
a few months before he died.
He’s looking at me
with a wry and knowing
–did he know?–
expression. He looks like a man
who needs a private joke
to get a proper snapshot.
He’s looking straight at me, even as I sit
in a cold May, a little too tired,
the Yanks getting beat 4-1 in the 5th
by Oakland out on the coast,
a lackluster they’ll-never-catch-up game
Rasmussen not getting shellacked
just doesn’t have anything
and neither do the hitters.
Gone native in his Arizona retirement
Dad is wearing a bolo tie and looks shrunken, frail.
I liked to kiss him on the top of his bony head
in the desert mornings.

He took all of us to a game only once, my first, I was ten,
Charlie was eight, Lindsay was twelve
and the baby was left home.
We drove all the way from South Dakota
up to Minneapolis
to see the Twins play the Yankees
(my team).
Daddy was a refugee from Nazi Germany
and Mom was English.
They were grownups
who’d never seen a game either. They went
because he was the father of Americans
and I was a little baseball fanatic.

Mom sat quietly for about twenty minutes
fanning herself with a straw sunhat and beaming
then asked, when does the game begin?
Look down there, we said.
It was already the second inning
but I still don’t think she spotted it.
I think she was waiting for the play by play.
The familiar radio sounds
so different in the ballpark.

Daddy wore plaid shorts over his white skinny legs
and puffed a cigar.
He began to like baseball
when he found someone
who knew less about it than he did.
He explained it all to Mom
mostly according to his own logic–
He had an accountant’s sense of symmetry
and the diamond pleased him–
the implication of infinity.
The profusion of numbers and their richness
impressed him…
and it was a damn nice summer day.
I think now of those bleachers
old Metropolitan stadium full of stolid Scandinavians
who never corrected him–
that would have spoiled their fun.
Mom would ask: Where’s that chap running off to now?
And Dad would explain:
He goes home because he has nowhere else to go…

My brother and I spent most of the time under the stands
scrapping with baby Twinkies–
Twins fans who didn’t take to our rooting for the enemy.
Charlie thinks he remembers a game-winning
Bobby Richardson grand slam.
I only recall the Yanks winning in the 10th
and the incredibly intense luxury of that lagniappe inning.

Daddy stuck with baseball too.
Like the voting
that made him proudest as a naturalized citizen
he quietly exulted
at being able to talk to his kids
about what they liked to talk about
which was sports. What pleasure
it gave him
to be able to call
(those Sunday calls!–this later
after we’d all left home)
and say, “So, Mattingly’s still leading the league”
or “I see where the Yankees aren’t doing to well.” …

But tonight there’s an amazing comeback
another 10th-inning heroic to call home about
(“I see where the Yankees are going great guns”)
thought it’s a few second basemen later
and the serene and splendid Willie Randolph
who pulls it out for the team.


Rap battle: Babe Ruth vs. Lance Armstrong

Here’s a weird little video whose existence I find rather mind-boggling. This is from a series called Epic Rap Battles of History, created by a couple guys who call themselves Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD. In this particular video, the creators dress up as Lance Armstrong and Babe Ruth. Armstrong comes under fire for the doping scandal, and Babe Ruth for his lifestyle in general. Pitting an endurance cyclist against a baseball slugger seems a lot to me like comparing apples to oranges, but it makes for an interesting, even entertaining, video all the same.


“Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” workout remix

Here’s an interesting twist on the old classic, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” I like to listen to music during my indoor workouts, but I’m pretty split on this one. It’s catchy, no doubt. But the traditionalist in me is less excited about this version. Maybe if I listen to it enough, it’ll grow on me.


“Little League Strikeouts Ain’t Pretty,” by Robert L. Harrison

To be fair, a strikeout at any level is rarely pretty — at least, if you’re the batter. This piece by Robert Harrison was published in January 2013.

*

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


Fundamentals

That must’ve been a loooooong winter.

fundamentals comic


Concessions

One of the benefits of not being able to attend ballgames in person definitely comes in the form of money saved on concessions.

in-the-bleachers-comic

Steve Moore


“Jackie Robinson…an American Hero,” by Stanley Cooper

Chadwick Boseman Jackie Robinson

Chadwick Boseman (left) and Jackie Robinson (Movie Stills)

In honor of Major League Baseball’s celebration of Jackie Robinson yesterday, and in memory of Chadwick Boseman, who passed away yesterday and who had played Robinson in the movie 42, here’s a short piece I found about Robinson and his role in baseball and in society.

*

He never asked to be a hero
For him, playing ball would be just fine
Potentially his chance was less than zero
To overcome that black-white racist line

Unlike Duke, Dimag and Mickey
Jackie entered through back doors
The stage was set by Mr. Rickey
For Robinson to fight that Civil War

Sports, they say, mirrors society
So, they should have hung their heads in shame
For what was then America’s propriety
Brought prejudice to every game

The Brooklyn Bums, at long last, found salvation
When Robinson’s talents were revealed
With the awesome double-play combination
Reese and Jackie brought to Ebbetts Field

Stealing fan’s hearts with baseball fire
Displaying skills in every way
Robinson played with such desire
Stealing bases most every day

They could never expect from him the expected
He turned the most racist hate to love
And finally he was most respected
Respect that came from more than bat and glove

For Jackie, baseball was more than just a game
He opened doors for Campy, Mays and others
Number 42, now in the Hall of Fame
Proved men of all colors could play in life as brothers

He never asked to be a hero!


Hotdogs On The Run, by Pat Adams

Here’s a fun little limerick for your reading enjoyment. I, for one, am appreciative of the laugh this morning. Personally, I’ve always rooted for Ketchup in the Hot Dog Derby. Relish is my least favorite (to this day, I despise anything pickled), but somehow Relish seems to win a lot of the time. Ick!

*

With Baseball hotdogs on the run
Caught up in, excitement and fun
Watch where you go
Before you know
You might slip and fall on your bun!

See the source image

Batting practice observation

Oh, man, that burns.