4.04.2012

Opening Day


Baseball is back, and briefly, everything seems right in the world again. My favorite words on the subject of baseball’s return stem from the pen of American poet Donald Hall

The Old Game

The old game waits under the white,
Deeper than frozen grass.
Down at the frost line it waits 
To return when the birds return.
It starts to wake in the South, 
Where it’s never quite stopped. 
Where winter is a doze of hibernation,
The game wakes gradually,
Fathering vigor into itself.

As the days lengthen in late February 
And grow warmer, old muscles grow limber.
Young arms grow strong and wild,
Clogged vein systems, in veteran oak and left fielders both,
Unstop themselves,
Putting forth leaves and line drives in Florida’s March.
Migrating North with the swallows, 
Baseball and the grasses’ first green,
Enter Cleveland , Kansas City, Boston.



Aside: bonus points to anyone who can name the all-time great pictured above.

2 comments:

jrtowell 4/29/12, 4:19 PM  

Who is that in the picture? I give up. The pick looks a little old to be a Met, but I don't think the NY looks like a Yankee. So I'm torn. Tom Seaver?

Luke 5/2/12, 1:36 PM  

Jonathan,

Good observations about the NY on the sleeve. You were right on all three accounts:

(1) It does resemble the Mets’ NY
(2) It doesn’t look like the Yankees’ NY
(3) The picture is too old to be a Met

Before they moved out to San Francisco in the 50s, the Giants were in New York as well. They were complete powerhouses in the early 20th century, and one of the reasons was that Christy Mathewson (the guy in the picture) pitched for them, and won a total of 373 games in his career.

I think you could argue pretty easily that he's a top 5 all-time pitcher, and that he was the best pitcher (to that point) in baseball history until he was surpassed by Walter Johnson (who's career overlapped with his, but came slightly later).

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