Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Saturday, September 30, 2017

AFTER THE GAME IS OVER [Sa 9-30-17] A repeat from 2011

CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from A Place Of Winter For the Years of Winter…

            For most baseball fans, the season is over. No “post-season.” So I’m reposting this “poem” from the same date in 2011. The Cubs and their fans have gone on to much better times since I wrote this.
            I know this is doggerel instead of poetry, but good poetry is not the point.
There were other folks involved, of course, but since baseball poetry traditionally deals with male intergenerational bonding…

It was the major leagues, almost
The Pirates and the Cubs
But names that fit them best at most
Were the 1.75rates and the Flubs [1]

Hot dogs were twenty smackers
Ice cream was even more
When they saw the price of young Jack’s Crackers
Every chin dropped to the floor.

Each player made a million each
For working half a day
But every ball was out of reach
No one dared to shout “Say hey!” [2]

Every bat let out a sigh
When they saw who came to hit
None of their kind would have to die
Since every pitch was missed

Every pitch was wild as sin
The managers prayed for rain
Home plate doesn’t have to take you in [3]
There was no Spahn or Sain  [4]

But for a boy up in the bleachers
With a grandpa old as Never
Watching on the field those wretched creatures
It was the best day in Forever.


1] 1.75 is half of pi, if we accept pi as 3.14 without the “to infinity,” making half-rate Pirates 1.75rates. You can say “half-rates” in that line if the meter offends you.

2] The signature exultation of Willie Mays, for whom no ball was ever out of reach.

3] Poet Robert Frost said that “home is where they have to take you in.” Home plate is where they try to keep you out.

4] The battle cry of the 1948 National League Boston Braves, who became the Milwaukee Braves and later, and currently, the Atlanta Braves, was “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain,” reflecting the abilities of Hall of Fame lefthander Warren Spahn and his pitching rotation partner, Johnny Sain, compared to the rest of the rotation, who pitched best if rained out. Based on a poem by Boston Post sports editor Gerald Hern: “First we’ll use Spahn, and then we’ll use Sain, then an off day, followed by rain. Back will come Spahn, followed by Sain, and followed we hope by two days of rain.”

The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [And where it is 34 degrees F this morning.] We lived there 2007-2015, to be near the grandchildren and do things like take them to ball games.

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