Here are some World Series poems from my new book of baseball poetry, Orange Waves of Giants, which is available at Books, Inc. on Chestnut Street.
The Panda’s Game 1 Homers Speak
Verlander’s neck snaps looking at me!
His shocked face!
Goodbye into the hands of fans!
The Tigers’ pitching coach,
is barely back in the dugout,
after his chat with Verlander,
to decide the course
of this 2-0 pitch:
And I’m gone, high
and deep to left;
Sandoval flicks his bat away;
Verlander says, “Wow.”
Blasting off to center;
his game is crushed,
Zito Bests Verlander!
Man Bites Dog!
David Slays Goliath!
Vs. Cincinnati, Game 4: Hunter Pence, the Oracle
25 players, plus the injured,
gather round him;
Hunter Pence sez:
“I don’t want this to end!
Gotta see Panda crack another one!
Not ready to go home!
Don’t give a crap about playing golf!
Wanna see Bochy’s big head every day!
Wanna see Timmy’s hair grow longer!
Wanna see Romo close it out!
I gotta see Vogey’s big nostrils!
Are you guys ready?!
Are you ready?!
Keep it going!
Keep it going!
Keep it going!”
The speech ends in a shower of sunflower seeds,
and wrapped pieces of gum;
But does the rah-rah work?
Pagan leads off
with a homer;
the Giants win 8-3.
How’s that for working?
Cardinal pitcher Lance Lynn fields the comebacker – looking to be an easy double play –
his throw hits second base,
defying shortstop Pete Kozma,
bounding to the outfield,
Pence’s bat hits the ball,
cracking bat hits the ball,
disintegrating bat hits the ball;
the twisting ball bounces towards Kozma,
then twists away to centerfield,
as if kicked by Pelé past poor Pete Kozma;
three runs score.
Angel Pagan hits a one hopper,
down the third-base line,
Miguel Cabrera thunders over to it,
the ball hits the base, deflecting
into left field.
Let us recap:
1. Vs. St. Louis, Game 5, 4th inning: Throw hits base, run scores.
2. Vs. St. Louis, Game 7, 3rd inning: Bat hits ball three times, producing three runs.
3. World Series, Game 1, 3rd inning: Chopper down third hits base for single.
Visionary Mike Krukow,
from the minaret
of the Giants’ broadcast booth
will proclaim about the particles he senses.
Something hast changéd around here;
remember ’62 vs. the Yankees,
Willie McCovey blasting a liner into Richardson’s glove?
Remember ’03 vs. the Marlins,
Gold Glover José Cruz Jr. muffing an easy foul ball?
How about ’02,
Dusty replacing the hot hand of Russ Ortiz
with the numb, trembling hands of losers?
(Every time I remember that pitching change
a strand of hair pops gray).
An amazing wife,
a great boss,
a fantastic city:
make balls, and life
bounce and spin,
sweetly favoring us