...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

September 27, 2006

Wednesday is Poetry Day

annika has forgotten Poetry Day. Obviously, she's too distraught about the midget Angus Young being beaten by cancer-survivor Kylie Minogue in her latest poll. Sorry, annika, but a great back door will beat a midget in short pants any day.

Anyway. Poetry Day. Today's pick is inspired by my upcoming trip (like, in 30 minutes) to RFK to catch the Nats play the Phillies in some night action from the cheap seats, one section behind the right-field foul pole. Only one ball has come that way during a game: a monster home run by Daryle Ward (before he was traded to Atlanta) that hit the small wall right in front of my seat (sec 552 row 1 seat 3, on my 20-game plan), the day before I was supposed to go to a game. You can still see the smudge, if you know where to look.

Hard to think night baseball is still kinda recent. One hundred years ago...well, I wouldn't be seeing a game in late September. And it wouldn't be an NL game, and it would be between the Nationals and the Phillies.

And it for damn sure wouldn't have a 7:05PM start. Purists always say the original is best, and sometimes they're right (NO DL!), but...night baseball is cool. If you're ever in Washington, take a trip to the Phillips Collection and check out Night Baseball by Marjorie Phillips. It's kinda hidden away, but well worth the search.

(BTW, that's the Senators playing the Yankees, with DiMaggio at the plate.)

Funny sport, baseball. Start talking about one thing and you're suddenly drifting off as memories pile one on top of the other, at least until you hear that utterly distinct crack! and the crowd stands up and you're really focused on the ball's path and that sonovabitch is gone!

crack! Poetry Day. I found this poem one day and it struck me as how night baseball used to be, 100 years ago, only without the chlorine. Jonathan Holden published it in 1972.

How To Play Night Baseball

A pasture is best, freshly
mown so that by the time a grounder's
plowed through all that chewed, spit-out
grass to reach you, the ball
will be bruised with green kisses. Start
in the evening. Come
with a bad sunburn and smelling of chlorine,
water still crackling in your ears.
Play until the ball is khaki-
a movable piece of the twilight-
the girls' bare arms in the bleachers are pale,
and heat lightning jumps in the west. Play
until you can only see pop-ups,
and routine grounders get lost in
the sweet grass for extra bases.

Posted by Victor, Sep. 27, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Poetry


That was fresh! Great pick.

and gooo Nats!!!

Posted by: annika on Sep. 27, 2006


I really like this poem. Very evocative of a game, a time and feelings I know very well.

I played uniformed ball from 5-12 grade. I spent many summer days swimming in the chlorine pool, sun soaked, ears clogged, donning my wool blend uniform at 5pm hopping on my schwinn riding across town, cleats across my shoulders, to a freshly mowed and limed, mecury vapor lighted field. Strange how time puts a brilliant shine on memories of events that at the time were far from brilliant, and dulls others to extinction.


Posted by: strawman on Sep. 27, 2006


Not Annie, then who?

Posted by: strawman on Sep. 27, 2006

I can't believe they just tied it! Go Nats! = Go Dodgers!

Posted by: Scof on Sep. 27, 2006

dammit. We left after 11 innings, heard the Nats load the bases w/ two down as the car pulled in front, the Nats pulled within one as I was getting rat medicine ready, then Schneider GDPd to end the game.

Posted by: Victor on Sep. 27, 2006