On Baseball


The base:

a place of welcome respite along the glorious route of transit

 when home is behind you 'til home once again.

With each venture off base there is the aim, goal and plan:

the next bag to reach and then beyond

until back to where it all began.

Leave and stop off where there is time to rest

 'til you score the object of the quest.

Each beckons to you,

made of whatever materials offered in the venue.

Sandlots see torn cardboard pieces serving as the diamond’s pointy places.

At other times and spaces, bags or pillows will do.

On dirt field scratched boxes in the soil will serve as base and works of practical art.

Living room? Rocking chair for first, then sofa for second, roam on to third at the love seat 'til returning to the old shirt where the trip did start.

On the city street, front bumper of the Ford serves for first, then on to the manhole cover in the street, a place for defender and runner to meet. Fire pump as third will do great, til returning to the sewer that served as the plate.

There and back

and midst trip adventures to be sure:

leads to take and tag ups to make.

A good jump and then mad dash and slide are made with pick offs to evade.

On such a path of an uncertain journey,

on base is a nice place to be.





On which eyes must be fixed by all,

that orb which provides the game with half its name,

 held by the defense as in no other team game.

Of materials simple or mixed:  

spherical rock or cowhide and stitches,

bundle of yarn, rolled up sock,

 no matter of regulation or meeting specifications:

 to be held and caressed, tossed, hurled, thrown and caught nonetheless.

The object of pulverization by the offense

and of possession by the defense,

of dreams held in small hands under covers at bedtime

of desire caught fair or foul by fans in stands during game time.

Scuffed scratched or dirtied,

taken out of play in the majors,

hide half off, still of use in the sandlots.

At the same time its condition is not important at all while its importance is all,

 the ball!





For those who can fathom the beauty in the game,
there is surely is nothing lame
to say that baseball time is close to divine.

It starts when you get there and ends when you leave,   nothing more beautiful to conceive.

Start when you get to the field
and stop when to darkness you must yield.

Get under way out back much sooner than later,
to end when you get called in for dinner.

From the beginnings that rest in memories of sandlot plays,

then on to glorious major league majestic displays,
the rhythm and temper of the game,
though never quite the same,
feels quite right,
whether in day or night.

Start seasons when the season’s leaves spring out from branch and vine,

 then end when they’re falling as winter season comes calling.

It all seems so natural,

as if designed supernatural.



“You can learn a lot by watching” – Yogi Berra

With magic you see and cannot believe what you see.

With baseball you watch and you believe what you cannot see.

Baseball, like the magician or illusionist, can make it appear as if what has not happened has happened and what cannot be believed becomes believable.

Two people, maybe more, enter a place.

A field? A lot, park, ball field, bedroom, opening, clearing, street, living room.

One carries a bat.

A bat? A stick, pole, wooden bat, broom handle, aluminum bat, pillow, long object: that with which to offer at the ball,

 to swing through the air at hurled object- perhaps a ball.

Another carries a ball. A ball? A spherical object, a baseball, softball, rubber ball, tennis ball, a small pillow, rolled up sock, toilet roll: that which is thrown to the batter.

Batter? A person, friend, chum, parent, sibling, relation, rival: pal with bat-thing.

One with the bat reaches a point in the space where the miracle awaits.

The moment, more felt than chosen, arrives:

it happens. The act -as miracle -occurs !

The “bat” touches the ground.

Ground? The floor, the box, plate, pillow, earth: what is below them.

And in that touching all is transformed.

Now the moment become timeless and within time: a time without time at all. The heartbeat in which all the universe is converted with no measure for the time it took. But the world is different.

Now the space within which they are has “lines”,

as invisible as they are real, that jut out from the spot where “bat” touched “plate”. They move at right angles until they reach some object, a chair or sofa, a wall, a tree or row of hedges or,

failing that inopportune contact,

they move on- forever.

Now in the distance straightway and a bit to its left and right, there is some far off locale, the aimed for, the goal, the desideratum of all free swinging bat holding lovers of the event. The home run zone? Over the sofa, the wall, the fence, the third sewer cover, the truck, the far side of the street: where the ball is wished-dreamed and hoped and guided and poked-to go.

Now outside the lines: Foul territory? The wall, the sofa, the trees, the sidewalk, the pond, the dreaded water drain: where ball should not go. It is where those not part of the game must wait and watch: and where do-overs will result.

Now inside the lines is where the action is, the fun, the challenge, the play, the pure joy of being lost in engagement with the other and the thing itself, the game!

Onward until the moment of ending:

the feeling that it is over and then as ball and bat are stilled and taken into hands and as bodies turn to depart the magic revisits the space.

The field disappears.

They who have spent themselves in this place, this space,  leave the street, field, lot, living room as they found it.

Satisfied, for now, well played.



More than the assemblage of players who will rotate their postures

from defense to offense,

who will take up positions from home plate to the fences,

more than the lineup and pitching rotation,

more than the lead off and then some to the closer,

a spirit that is summoned when the assemblage takes the field

their tasks and dreams to pursue:

but not supernatural, instead, it is quite actual


When they come together,

in stadium, lot, field, yard or park in any form of weather,

in day or night, it is there  in clear sight:

the element beyond mere addition of nine on a field

to be seen when it is present, even more when absent,

a thing of beauty in a 3-6-3 or a 8-2 putout at the plate.


In coming together, in play after play, as if in a dream,

onlookers may say it is what it does seem:

they are playin' as a team!

December 10, 2013 at  ment-4398

The Play

Oft times better part of the day

waiting for that one play.
Then, it's "Hurray"
or "What do ya say!"
and seldom just the simple ,”OK”.


How more beautiful could it be than to admire the 3-6-3?

Perhaps a 5-4-3 clearing the sacks such a vision might be!

Or with runners on all,

just send a ball over the wall

with a loud crack of the bat

and I'll shout  "now how bout that?"


A 9-4-2 with a tag on the shoe

brings you up on your feet

at the sight of the feat

and out with a "how do you do!"

Show me a 2-6-3
and a "Well, I'll say, lookie there!"
exclaimed loud and clear.


So play after play on through the day,

never leaving room for dismay,

if you treasure the game not a one is lame.

But, there come those that make you exclaim,

midst the ebb and flow of the game,

breaking one for which no other rates the name:

the "play of the game".

March 30, 2014 at

Opening Day 2014

What a wonder!
This year it was in the Land Down Under.

Then again, it began.
Way out West came the first test.

Californians appear in the lead
Until the rest get up to speed.

April 1, 2014 at

Baseball Quickened?

Baseball’s “Pace of Game” committee
wants to make it more speedy.
But, in an effort to quicken the paces
what may be lost of the game’s subtle graces?

Baseball was once the game
that made the claim
it had no clock.
But, now it seems
there are several schemes
to attend to the tick-tock.

To appease the fans,
mostly not in the stands,
with ever shorter attention spans
there are several initiatives
by baseball executives
to pick up the pace:
one by keeping batters in their place
another still to consider
would discourage pitchers who dither.

Where will it end
to get fans to attend?
Perhaps, better baseball education
leads to better attention.

Another Season

 Changes in intentional walk may cause some to squawk

But worse things have happened our spirits to dampen

But the game? Still the same:

players to cheer and to jeer,

plays that earn fame and disdain,

managers’ strategies a muddle to befuddle.

While a nation, whose politics induces aggravation,

needs its pastime game in any version as welcome diversion.

 | April 5, 2017 at 11:45 am