“Baseball,” by Tim Montano

The author of this piece states that he wrote the poem when he was in third grade.  I have to say, he was much more talented as a third grader than I was — and a better ballplayer, based on the events he describes in this tale.

*

Spring is the time that baseball starts,
It is in our minds, it is in our hearts,
The score is tied, 3 to 3,
It is the bottom of the 9th,
And it is up to me,
The coach gives the signal,
It is ok to swing,
I swing the bat and I hear a bing,
Oh gee, Oh no, it is a pop fly,
Way up in the sky,
I feel sick like I am going to die,
As I round second and almost to third,
The center fielder drops it because he is a nerd,
I slide home, look up,
“Safe” I hear the umpire say,
The Tigers have won the game today,
After the game the guys lift me up on their shoulders but I won’t fall,

Because today I feel 10 feet tall!


“365,” by Jack Buck

This poem feels very appropriate right about now, with Christmas less than two weeks away and snow in the forecast across the country this weekend.  The video below appears to have been a project someone created for school, but it’s fun to listen to the piece, in addition to reading it.

*

When someone asks you your favorite sport
And you answer Baseball in a blink
There are certain qualities you must possess
And you’re more attached than you think.
In the frozen grip of winter
I’m sure you’ll agree with me
Not a day goes by without someone
Talking baseball to some degree.
The calendar flips on New Year’s Day
The Super Bowl comes and it goes
Get the other sports out of the way
The green grass and the fever grows.
It’s time to pack a bag and take a trip
To Arizona or the Sunshine State
Perhaps you can’t go, but there’s the radio
So you listen-you root-you wait.
They start the campaign, pomp and pageantry reign
You claim the pennant on Opening Day

From April till fall
You follow the bouncing white ball
Your team is set to go all the way.
They fall short of the series
You have a case of the “wearies”
And need as break from the game
But when Christmas bells jingle
You feel that old tingle
And you’re ready for more of the same.
It will be hot dogs for dinner
Six months of heaven, a winner
Yes, Baseball has always been it.
You would amaze all your friends
If they knew to what ends
You’d go for a little old hit.
The best times you’re had
Have been with your Mom and your Dad
And a bat and a ball and a glove.

From the first time you played
Till the last time you prayed
It’s been a simple matter of love.


“Baseball,” by Whit Howland

I came across this piece last night, and I love the sensory details it provides, even in such a concise poem.  The author is right — sometimes all it takes are a few words to have an impact.

*

even for
the non aficionado

when you say
such trite things as

step up to the plate

knock it out of the park

they can still feel
the solid oak of the bat

smell the oiled
leather of the glove

and hear the crack

as the ball soars
higher into the sky

past the cheap seats
and beyond

and I wonder

how could I
have dismissed

these words
and turns of phrases

so raw
golden
sweet and bardic


“Out of the Game,” by Michael Ceraolo

Here’s another great poem by Michael Ceraolo.  According to the author, this is just one part of what will be a larger collection of work, forthcoming!

*

This is a story of baseball:
most here played,
                           though
not all played in the majors;
others of us were involved in the game
in different peripheral ways
Some of us achieved fame
Some achieved shame
Some were between the two extremes
Few of us are remembered nowadays
Some of us stayed in the game in other ways
after our playing days were over,
                                                 and
all of us are out of the game now,
permanently,
                    yet here
we are able to have one more say

“Baseball (day/night doubleheader),” by Bruce Harris

I enjoy the juxtaposition of old vs. new baseball in this piece.  I do think that baseball today has more redeeming qualities that it often gets credit for, but I can also understand the nostalgia for how things used to be.

*

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.


“Baseball,” by John W. Knight

I haven’t been able to confirm whether the man who wrote this poem is the same John W. Knight as this guy, but it seems like it might be a strong possibility, no?  Regardless, it’s an enjoyable piece.

*

The game was tied in the bottom of nine
A runner on third and two out
In the dead still air a mosquito’s whine
Was all you could hear, then a shout

“Do something Ben, murder the ball,
For crying out loud get a hit.”
Ben strode to the plate to answer the call
The now restless fans knew this was it

He dug in his right foot then positioned his left
And tapped the plate twice with his bat
Then he pulled it back slowly as to measure its heft
And tensed his whole frame like a cat

The pitcher glared in, the Ump hunkered down
Then the ball on its way like a shot
Ben pulled the trigger, his body unwound
And the ball hit the bat with a “Thock”

This is the sum that the game’s all about
This instant is not just a dream
The split second physics, a hit or an out?
Each player and fan poised to scream


2013 Boston Red Sox poem

After the Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series, Dick Flavin, known as the poet laureate for the Red Sox, released this poem written in their honor.  I love this guy’s energy and sense of humor.  It’s a lot of fun to listen to him read it.