I live in a baseball town, and yesterday (I think) they announced the 2018 inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
As part of a Christmas gift, I wrote the following poem about my favorite baseball moment ever. It’s a true story.
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for Philip’s team that day
Down one run, bottom of the 9th, not much more time to play
When the first kid hit a single and the next one drove him in
The winning run stood on 3rd. Why, yes — they just might win!
Next the powerhouse was up, swinging with such might
But never once connecting — a strike-out was his plight.
The next batter puffed his chest out; he had it in the bag
Strike One! Strike Two! Strike Three! We watched his shoulders sag.
Their final hope now rested on a boy who never hit —
Philip straightened up as best he could, and whispered, “This is it.”
Inside his floppy uniform, his heart was beating fast.
His team-mates in the dugout sat with eyes downcast
They couldn’t bear to watch their hopes whiz by in swingless strikes
They packed their gloves in waiting bags, and eyed their waiting bikes.
Philip took some practice swings, and caught his Grampa’s eye
Grampa winked and nodded — and Philip knew he had to try
He stumbled to the pentagon that marked where he must swing
He looked up at the pitcher — and then he did this thing
That his grandfather had told him — Just a give a little wink
When you’re looking at the pitcher. He won’t know what to think.
So Philip winked, the pitcher threw, and Philip swung bat
And, by gum, he hit that ball in a satisfying whack.
It sailed over the infield. It sailed to center-right.
I wish that I could tell you that it sailed right out of sight.
It fell in outfield grass and the fielders scrambled to it
But the guy on base came safely home, and Philip’s whole team knew it
He had hit the winning run. He had saved the day.
He had winked right at the pitcher, and then hit the ball away.