Sunday, April 29, 2012

Take Me Out To the Ballgame

It's not the way I remember it back then when we got to Ebbets Field at 10 for Sunday double-headers riding the F train then GG local and transfer to the el all for a nickel with Jackie, Campy and Newk gods mingled among us then bleacher seats fifty cents seven hours no back to lean on when we knew players without programs both teams even the umps man inside the scoreboard darting around pushing out numbers quietly no blasts no replays no cameras zooming no jerseys on our back white shirts ties even we could smell cigar smoke hot dogs peanut shells the mowed grass this was Flatbush Brooklyn with no bushes and no brooks

Now in Chavez Ravine with increments of green San Gabriel’s distant grey rolling as pastoral as it gets crickets drowned by amplified noise non-stop L.E.D. ads here then gone and back again to the game starts with bombastic anthem what so proudly we hail to the home of the free-agency for next year’s fat contract blessed by Irving Berlin’s stretch in the bottom of the 7th Americana home sweet home runs by God almighty thank you Jeez the jeers the cheers high fives Friday fireworks bursting the night sky higher than a pop flying peanuts at six bucks a throw washed down by ten dollar beer white with ocean foam waves in the stands ring the stadium

Scully still part bard his voice captions the field with more than stats upon stats everything and nothing has changed brush-backs signs by cap & chin spit and scratch nose-to-nose with umps still the unaccountable streaks and slumps as if it matters and somehow it does while millionaire boys of spring, summer and fall with surgically repaired arms congenitally endowed raised on Olympus to keep the continuum of Hermes / Hercules / Hero stay Spartan stay large stay loose stay stoic as the 44,812 go wild as a Greek chorus can go

What inning of life this is we don’t know maybe we’ll get picked off third and be gone or thrown out stretching maybe caught in a rundown going on for years or be the pitcher yanked after a slow trot to the mound or just finished with a walk-off hit no double-headers anymore let the ground crew rake wet and smooth the infield earth so defined such symmetry the order that exists no where else Euclidian precision the rhyme of ninety feet an order promised so we thought that is nowhere

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