Starting Line-Up

Take Me Out To The Ball Game, Jack Norworth
Baseball Canto, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The Empty Baseball Field, George Swede
Joltin Joe DiMaggio, Alan Courtney and Ben Homer
Baseball, John Updike
Distant Thunder, Ed Markowski
Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?, Buddie Johnson
Changing Pitchers, Cor van den Heuvel
Casey at the Bat, Ernest Thayer
Farewell Speech, Lou Gherig (excerpts)
Pitcher, Robert Francis
I Love Mickey, Teresa Brewer
Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song), Dick Kleiner
Winter Reverie, Ed Markowski
There Used To Be a Ballpark, Joe Raposo
Game Over, Alan Pizzarelli
Talking Baseball, Terry Cashman

On The Bench

Base Stealer, Robert Francis
Leaning for the Sign, Alan Pizzarelli
The Crowd, William Carlos Williams
The Origin of Baseball, Kenneth Patchen
These Are The Saddest of Possible Words, Franklin Adams
Van Lingle Mungo, Dave Frishberg
Baseball and Writing, Marianne Moore
Will You Write The Poem, Baseball Bard
Long Summer Day, Chad Lee Robinson
Sign For My Father, Who Stressed The Bunt, David Bottoms
Analysis of Baseball, May Swenson
Tao in the Yankee Stadium Bleachers, John Updike
City of Tonawanda Softball Championship, Sarah Freligh
Last Day of School, Randy Brooks
Law Office Picnic, David Giacolone, softball


 
 
 

Take Me Out to The Ball Game
by Jack Norworth

Katie Casey was baseball mad,
Had the fever and had it bad;
Just to root for the home town crew,
Ev’ry sou
Katie blew.
On a Saturday, her young beau
Called to see if she’d like to go,
To see a show, but Miss Kate said “No,
I’ll tell you what you can do:”

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out,
At the old ball game.”

Katie Casey saw all the games,
Knew the players by their first names;
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along
Good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Katie Casey knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song:

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out,
At the old ball game.

 
 
 

Baseball Canto
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

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Empty Baseball Field
by George Swede

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Joltin Joe DiMaggio
by Alan Courtney and Ben Homer

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Baseball
by John Updike

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Distant Thunder
by Ed Markowski

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Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?
by Woodrow Buddy Johnson

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Changing Pitchers
by Cor van den Heuvel

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Casey at The Bat
Ernest Thayer

The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that -
We’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out.

 
 
 

Lou Gherig’s Farewell Speech (excerpts)
by Lou Gherig

For the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got.
Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

When you look around, wouldn’t you consider it a privilege to associate yourself
with such fine men as are standing in uniform in this ballpark today . . . .

When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat,
and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down
to the groundskeepers and the stadium ushers . . . . remember you with trophies -that’s
something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you
in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a
mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s
a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more
courage than you dreamed existed – that is the finest I know.

So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.

 
 
 

Pitcher
by Robert Francis

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I Love Mickey
by Theresa Brewer

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Say Hey, the Willie Mays Song
by Dick Kleiner

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Winter Reverie
by Ed Markowski

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There Used To Be a Ballpark
by Joe Raposo

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Game Over
by Alan Pizzarelli

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Talkin’ Baseball
by Terry Cashman

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