The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Monday and Orioles vs. Blue Jays


A Ballad of Baseball Burdens
By Franklin Pierce Adams

The burden of hard hitting. Slug away
Like Honus Wagner or like Tyrus Cobb.
Else fandom shouteth: “Who said you could play?
Back to the jasper league, you minor slob!”
Swat, hit, connect, line out, get on the job.
Else you shall feel the brunt of fandom’s ire
Biff, bang it, clout it, hit it on the knob—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.

The burden of good pitching. Curved or straight.
Or in or out, or haply up or down,
To puzzle him that standeth by the plate,
To lessen, so to speak, his bat-renoun:
Like Christy Mathewson or Miner Brown,
So pitch that every man can but admire
And offer you the freedom of the town—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.

The burden of loud cheering. O the sounds!
The tumult and the shouting from the throats
Of forty thousand at the Polo Grounds
Sitting, ay, standing sans their hats and coats.
A mighty cheer that possibly denotes
That Cub or Pirate fat is in the fire;
Or, as H. James would say, We’ve got their goats—
This is the end of every fan’s desire.

The burden of a pennant. O the hope,
The tenuous hope, the hope that’s half a fear,
The lengthy season and the boundless dope,
And the bromidic; “Wait until next year.”
O dread disgrace of trailing in the rear,
O Piece of Bunting, flying high and higher
That next October it shall flutter here:
This is the end of every fan’s desire.

Ah, Fans, let not the Quarry but the Chase
Be that to which most fondly we aspire!
For us not Stake, but Game; not Goal, but Race—
THIS is the end of every fan’s desire.

--------

We have had a very family- and sports-related Father's Day -- first Adam played tennis with my father, then we drove to Baltimore with my parents to meet Paul's parents for the Orioles-Blue Jays game which was fun despite the final score (the Nats lost by an equivalent score to the Cardinals), then World Cup updates while we had dinner and a bit on TV at Daniel's apartment, then the NBA championship game (yay Spurs)!

Somehow I got too much sun even though we were sitting in the shade and I had 85 sunblock on -- my face isn't red, but my chest and shoulders are -- so I will keep this short. I had very good chili over tater tots at the Hard Times Cafe in College Park before dropping Daniel off at his apartment, then we came home and made pina coladas while Adam went to hang out with a friend. Hope everyone who was celebrating had a nice Father's Day!














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