October 25, 2014

Two Poems for Spring and Spring Training

March 2, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

For the Blues A trail worn at the corner where the street and dyke meet leads down to a little league field. Willows shade the players as they play. As if the balls were lead or sodden, the shadows splash both pitchers in the heat of their brash bravado. Both teams scream at and taunt […]

Not With a Bang

October 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

It is over: Alan Craig squeezes the fly in his mitt and at the mound the Cardinals, the team from out of nowhere, (yes, the Cardiac Cardinals, and why hasn’t someone used this tag already?) pile on. They are the champions of baseball for 2011. I had thought that the Cardinals might win Game Seven.  […]

Nostalgia

December 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

(Here’s an old poem to keep the holiday kindling. 1989—Jeromy Burnitz was in right field for the Columbia, S.C. Mets that day.—GVH) Nostalgia The ball field in Columbia, Capital City Park, ramshackle but benign, with bleachers that sag like a hammock, squats in a now-abandoned neighborhood, all the better to foster fans to the stands […]

Strasburg-by-the-Sea

September 28, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Strasburg Was Here Part Four: Strasburg-by-the-Sea Saturday, September 25: Atlanta 5, Washington 0 We have reached the last week of the season, and because Major League Baseball has instituted the “Dull Card,” not much is happening. Never mind that the Phillies and the Braves, the Rays and the Yankees might have played out historically exciting […]

Follow the River

September 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Strasburg Was Here Installment Four Follow the River September 6, 2010: Harrisburg 6, Binghamton 5     “No, I shall never drink  my fill, for it is sweeter even than the water of the well that was muddied by the drops.” Lady Sarashina, As I Crossed a Bridge of  Dreams        There may be no victory […]

A ‘Strasburg Was Here’ Doubleheader

September 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Game One Friday, August 27, 2010 Syracuse, N.Y. “The greatest powers of the physical environment slam into the resilient forces of life, and nothing much happens.” E.O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life              It’s the first day of the New York State Fair, and I’ve dropped my sister off for a concert by her favorite […]

From the New York Collegiate Baseball League Championship

August 13, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

If it wasn’t in Elmira, I wouldn’t even go. But the final day before the boys head back to the dorms is staged here, in Elmira, at Dunn Field; and Dunn Field is the center of at least one known universe. This is where my father, presumably in 1956, almost missed his high school graduation to see […]

From the Eastern League All-Star Game

July 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Strasburg Was Here First Installment From the Eastern League All-Star Game “. . . They develop Argument in order to speak, they become unreal, unreal, life loses solidity, loses extent, baseball’s their game because baseball is not a game but an argument. . . .” George Oppen It’s ten minutes after Nate Spears flew out […]

Strasburg in Syracuse Start Six: The Windup

June 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s the fifth inning of Stephen Strasburg’s last minor league start. After Pedro Lopez flew out aimlessly to center, Strasburg himself reached out beyond the far side of the plate on an 0-2 count and slapped a ball back up the middle. Left fielder Boomer Whiting, a new call up for the Chiefs, then hit […]

Strasburg in Syracuse Start Five: Finding the Plate

June 3, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Rene Rivera: remember the name. It is now the answer to one of the most trivial of all trivia questions. For the first two innings at home tonight against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Stephen Strasburg had been showing consistent form—and getting away with it. The release point just a bit higher than and in front of […]

Strasburg in Syracuse Ninth Start: Getting Lost

May 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

His ninth start is a Monday late in May. I leave early in order to make friends with Syracuse. ‘Making friends with the city’ means getting good and lost on my way to a bookstore, and then driving in circles on three different routes from the bookstore to the ballpark. I see De Witt and […]

Strasburg in Syracuse Start Three: Dwarfing, the Sequel

May 22, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

“I was looking at your hands. They move when you’re asleep.” Emanuelle Riva, in Hiroshima, Mon Amour The game today is at Frontier Field, in Rochester, N.Y. I’m at home, hovering over the computer, an ear on the play-by-play as I call up rows and rows of statistics onto the monitor. But I can see […]

Strasburg in Syracuse: Start Two: Dwarfing, Part I

May 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Ballplayers, they say, are superstitious; which doesn’t mean that everyone else isn’t, too. After Saturday’s interruption at Alliance Bank Stadium, I simply do not have the heart to drive back to the scene five days later. Through no fault of its own, the park is now a cursed site for me. I am at my […]

Strasburg in Syracuse First Start: Game, Interrupted

May 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Dedicated to ‘Andres:’ Cesar Andres Corrales Moya Of Quito, Ecuador And his father Julio Corrales Leon (1962-2010) He has been promoted. I drive now out of the cluster of mountains in northern Pennsylvania through the long, glacially carved ridges and valleys of New York state. I pass through Elmira, where I spent much of my […]

Strasburg in Harrisburg: Start Four – An Ear to the Ground

April 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

His fourth start is on the road, in Reading. It’s a few miles too far for a comfortable day trip. This is just as well since the day of the scheduled start, Monday, April 26, a steady, soaking rain weighs the apple blossoms in my back yard and sends them snowing to the ground. These […]

Strasburg In Harrisburg: Education Day

April 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s Education Day at Metro Bank Park, and 10:30 a.m. when home plate umpire Joel Hospodka points at Stephen Strasburg and calls for the first pitch. ‘Education Day’ is an attempt to put a noble mask on ‘get-out-of-town’ day: both the Senators and the Reading Phillies need to travel, and what better way to leave […]

Strasburg In Harrisburg: “When You Hear the Moos, You Know What to Do”

April 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Yesterday I heard Stephen Strasburg throw eight pitches. By the time I realized I could listen to the game on the Internet and got myself connected, it was the top of the third inning in Harrisburg. Leading off the inning, New Britain Rock Cats’ catcher Alec Soto worked Strasburg to a three-two count, fouled a […]

Strasburg In Harrisburg: Altoona, April 11, 2010

April 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Who is he? He’s a right-handed pitcher, picked first in the nation by the Washington Nationals in the 2009 draft. We know as much. He grew up in Santee, California, under his parents Jim and Kathleen Swett, and went to West Hills High School there. He then attended San Diego State University as a public […]