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RedlegJake
02-26-2007, 06:48 PM
Imagine the street, in a Norwood neighborhood in the early forties. Boys are playing stickball , three, maybe four boys to a squad, with the use of ghostmen and "called" fields. The Reds are recent two time champs and the imagined World Series between the Reds and Indians isn't a stretch at all. Baseball is the king of sports, unchallenged in its primacy - nearly every boy with any athleticism at all imagines himself a baseball player - and the boys who aren't that gifted just imagine all the harder. It was these streets and these games, played until the sun went down and mom's were hollering for the boys to come in, that Charlie and Russ and Jackie Elledge honed their skills in. All of them remembered those games vividly all of their lives, and Charlie wrote this years later:

Our Stadium was thronged with folks:
Maples, poplars, elms and oaks,
All waving limbs and whistling boughs.
What we saw were cheering crowds!

Where homeplate was a paper plate
I'd take my hero's stance and wait
For taped up ball to hurtle in
Mighty Feller was the pitcher then!

Where Nicky waited with firstbase mitt
To try and rob me of my hit
A rock marked first, and every base -
Crosley Field we named this place!

Where the world series of the streets
Was played each day til time to eat,
And here I waited with broomstick bat -
This game to win with mighty whack!

My team was 'skins' and we were down
And dinner bells were soon to sound,
The sacks were jammed from first to third -
The cheering crowd was all I heard!

Billy Dell was on the mound,
The fastest Feller in our town!
He kicked his leg and spun and threw -
One more strike and I was through!

It seems a dream but I recall
I swung my stick and cracked that ball -
Around the bases the runners flew,
2 ghostmen and Stevie, too!

I stood to watch and savor glory,
The receding ball, a game of story
When around the corner came disaster
The game stayed tied forever after!

Returning home came Tommy's father,
He drove without a care or bother,
turning right in 'centerfield'
He caught my drive on his windshield!

The rules were clear and all agreed -
The ball was dead for Iron Steeds.
To think a Chevy caused our trouble -
My homer ruled a ground rule double!

TheBurn
02-26-2007, 06:52 PM
:clap: :beerme:

RedlegJake
02-26-2007, 09:35 PM
Sorry about the double post - not sure how thaqt happened. My father wrote other poems, too. Thought since he was honored in WoY's post that I'd include it. It was written after he began slowing down and was reminiscing about his years coaching youth:

Furnace Winds

Dust gathers itself in the furnace noon,
as twistlets whirl and dance like mating birds,

boys chase flying hats and recall that fans
aren't the only blowhards in Kansas.
Winds have hot air too, except cursing them

won't change the mind of the Umpire
who sent them, nothing for it but hunkering
down and squinting hard. Red eyelids

gritty, full of visions of light tunnels:
After images of the last thing seen
before the breath of Him halted the game.

Now the moment when each is a hero:
Eyes squeezed tight, seeing the ghost
of himself blown across the plate!

CE 1995

jojo
02-26-2007, 09:43 PM
This thread has made my day....

paintmered
02-26-2007, 11:15 PM
Thank you so much for posting these. I thought we had lost them for good.

:clap:

pedro
02-26-2007, 11:28 PM
Great stuff. thanks for sharing.

Ron Madden
02-27-2007, 05:25 AM
:notworthy :notworthy :notworthy

Thanks RedlegJake. :clap: :clap: :clap:

RFS62
02-27-2007, 06:44 AM
We miss your dad very much, Jake. Thanks for posting these poems.

RichRed
02-27-2007, 10:19 AM
It takes a lot to give me chills. Those poems did it. Thanks for sharing them.

gonelong
02-27-2007, 01:42 PM
I had the good sense to save these off for myself this time. I'm not about to let these gems disappear into cyberspace again.

Thank you.

GL