Sunday, July 10, 2011

Poetry in Baseball

posted by Melissa


Levi in the dugout.
Today was the last day of our baseball season.  We hurriedly drove our rental car down to Renton to watch Levi and his All-Star team, the Senators, make one more attempt at winning. We were up against the Eastlake Jettas.  The first few innings were tight, but we were up by 4 by the end of the third.  6-2.

Then, I don't know what happened, but I guess I should have guessed because it usually does fall apart.  We started giving up runs.  First just a few, and then before I knew it, we were down 13-6.   The spirit was dwindling, and let me tell you, we are a spirit filled bunch of Senator's parents.

It was the top of the 5th (they only play 6 innings, but because of time we were going to have to stop at 5) and we were up to bat.  We needed 6 runs, at least, to tie it.  We rallied, and heroically, the Senator's started hitting and scoring.  Run after run were stepping their cleats onto home plate.  We even had a few scores but stealing home.

Then, we were down by one, two outs, and the our batter had hit at least 5 foul balls (read: 2 strikes, over and over again.)  The parents were feeling the stress, I was going to text Jamie (who was not able to come because of work) but I couldn't because I was trembling from the excitement.

Nico, who was at bat, hit one again; but this time not a pop up over the backstop, it travelled out just past the first base, right near the line.  And it landed just inside the foul line!  It was fair!  Our runner on third came in to tie the game and every parent on the bleachers stood up and cheered!  The kids were hugging each other in the dugout and I don't know if I ever felt a joy like that at a baseball game.

It turns out that because of the rules of the tournament, we had to end the inning at two outs; since we had scored the limit of 7 runs.  I thought, and so did a lot of other mothers in the stands, that in the last inning you were allowed to score as many runs as you could.  But, since it was the last inning due to time limitations, and not the *sixth* inning; the 7 run rule still applied.

G*d F*&king damnit.  The other team scored one run in the bottom of the fifth and we lost.  They had one out, and it was a high fly ball to left field.  Even if our player had caught it, he wouldn't have got the third base runner out at home after he tagged up.

And so goes Seattle Pony Mustang baseball.  But the good news is that we all got to gather at a teammates house and had a pizza party, ending on the high of a near come from behind win.  And not a possible trampling by another really good team.

That is 9 year old baseball.  And I love it!  I did recite my poem a few times today, and feel pleased that I remember it.  I am still unsure about trying to memorize the whole thing.  Or should I choose something else for the big recitation?  We'll see.

For now, I leave you with a Baseball poem:



Tao in the Yankee Stadium Bleachers
BY JOHN UPDIKE

Distance brings proportion. From here
the populated tiers
as much as players seem part of the show:
a constructed stage beast, three folds of Dante’s rose,
or a Chinese military hat
cunningly chased with bodies.
“Falling from his chariot, a drunk man is unhurt
because his soul is intact. Not knowing his fall,
he is unastonished, he is invulnerable.”
So, too, the “pure man”—“pure”
in the sense of undisturbed water.

“It is not necessary to seek out
a wasteland, swamp, or thicket.”
The opposing pitcher’s pertinent hesitations,
the sky, this meadow, Mantle’s thick baked neck,
the old men who in the changing rosters see
a personal mutability,
green slats, wet stone are all to me
as when an emperor commands
a performance with a gesture of his eyes.

“No king on his throne has the joy of the dead,”
the skull told Chuang-tzu.
The thought of death is peppermint to you
when games begin with patriotic song
and a democratic sun beats broadly down.
The Inner Journey seems unjudgeably long
when small boys purchase cups of ice
and, distant as a paradise,
experts, passionate and deft,
hold motionless while Berra flies to left.

Go Senators!
-Melissa

3 comments:

Matt said...

Sometimes you win,
Sometimes you lose,
And sometimes it rains.

Melissa said...

All true words, Matt. All true. Especially here in Seattle. I am wondering if you have any stats on those predictions?

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