Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Eternal Baseball

A   L   O   H   A !
Take Me Out To The Ballgame by Billy Murray & Haydn Quartet on Grooveshark

Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia 1955
 Prelinger Archives

Dad took me to a game here 
when I was very little.
It looked like a gritty factory from outside,
inside was cement, brick, and exposed girders.
But the emerald green of the field
took my breath away!
Surely it is one memory sight
that I will see again
at the end.


 "A hot dog at the ballgame
beats roast beef 
at the Ritz."

Humphrey Bogart







Philadelphia 1892
" Baseball is almost 
the only orderly thing 
in a very unorderly world.
 If you get three strikes, 
even the best lawyer in the world 
can't get you off. "

Bill Veeck









Out at Home 1905
" Ideally, the umpire should 
combine the integrity of a 
Supreme Court judge, 
the physical agility of an acrobat, 
the endurance of Job 
and the imperturbability of Buddha. "

The Villains in Blue," 
Time magazine, 25 August 1961









Philadelphia Athletics & Boston Red stockings
1875
" This is a game to be savored, 
not gulped. 
There's time to discuss 
everything 
between pitches
 or between innings. "

Bill Veeck







" No game in the world 
is as tidy and 
dramatically neat
 as baseball, with cause 
and effect, 
crime and punishment, 
motive and result, 
so cleanly defined. " 

Paul Gallico













" What is both surprising and delightful 
is that spectators are allowed, and even 
expected, to join in 
the vocal part of the game.... 
There is no reason why the 
field should not try to put the batsman 
off his stroke at the critical moment by 
neatly timed disparagements 
of his wife's fidelity
 and his mother's 
respectability. "

George Bernard Shaw













" I see great things in baseball. 
It's our game — the American game. 
It will take 
our people out-of-doors, 
fill them with oxygen, 
give them a larger physical 
stoicism. . .
and be a blessing to us. "

Walt Whitman











" Baseball is the only sport I know
 that when you're on offense, 
the other team controls the ball. "

Ken Harrelson, 
Sports Illustrated, 6 September 1976




Poets are like baseball pitchers. 
Both have their moments. 
The intervals are 
the tough things. "

Robert Frost


" Say this much for 
big league baseball -
 it is beyond question 
the greatest conversation piece 
ever invented in America. "

Bruce Catton












" Baseball is an allegorical play 
about America, a poetic, 
complex, and subtle play 
of courage, fear, good luck, 
mistakes, patience about fate, 
and sober self-esteem. "

Saul Steinberg








" It breaks your heart. 
It is designed to break your heart. 
The game begins in spring, 
when everything else begins again, 
and it blossoms in the summer, 
filling the afternoons and evenings,
 and then as soon as the chill rains come, 
it stops and leaves you 
to face the fall alone. "

A. Bartlett Giamatti, 
"The Green Fields of the Mind," 
Yale Alumni Magazine, 
November 1977

[]

Baseball is
a predictable series
of unpredictable events.

The pace is majestic
yet peppered with quick action
and reflexes,
like explosions in a 
precise piston
driving motion forward
towards "Home"
Just like the automobile,
and invented in the same era.

Time to absorb the 
ever-changing situation 
is built into the structure
of the game.
Each inning is full of promise.

Guests go to bat first,
but that sportsmanlike rule
means the home team hosts
have the "last say."

Decision of the umpires
is instant and final,
Satisfying in it's finality.
There ARE no unending arguments
on the diamond field.

Baseball is a mental,
even a psychic, game.
Everyone knows
how many Strikes,
how many Outs remain
before the teams
change roles again.
Before exultation
or "next time."

Powerful strive-alries,
exertions to the final 
ounce or farthest reach,
But the staunchest enemies
are both just teams
of baseball players,
of cities and regions
alike. 
Wearing the same caps,
uniforms and cleats,
just in different colors
but playing by 
the same rules
like Life is supposed to be:
Playing-field level,
Each player having 
a chance at bat.

A baseball game
is like a life
with chances to try again.

Private courage plays out
in public display.

Springtime promise,
endless Summer afternoons,
thrilling action under the lights.

The companionable silence
of those closest to us,
as well as those 
we've lost
[but will always remember]

Wreathed in Ballpark buzz,
smells of popcorn, and peanuts,
and beer.
Being part of something bigger,
older 
than your own private benefit;
every neighbor your fellow fan,
the best kind of civic pride
and patriotism,
The game you grew up with.

And for the length of the game
we sit among the generations,
remembering other games,
other Summer days
gone past.

You've been outdoors,
away from work and worries
for a time.
Ar least for the 
length of the game.

Baseball is timeless,
pure as numbers
human as a thrill.

Play Ball!

Dedicated to Dad,
and to Jim Labig

[///]

Inventor of Baseball

Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr.
 (April 17, 1820 – July 12, 1892)

is buried here in Honolulu!
Read about him HERE



The Eternal Sound of the Ball Park:
Take Me Out To The Ballgame by Bruce Springsteen on Grooveshark


23 comments:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

You gave a wonderful tribute to baseball, America's sport!

Brian Miller said...

i love baseball....when we lived in florida we used to go to spring training and i took my youngest to so many games....we still go but now its minor leagues...

aloha from va

TexWisGirl said...

i have enjoyed watching pro baseball and eating that wonderful hot dog w/ onions, too. :)

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Looooove the vintage photos and posters Cloudia.

Karen S. said...

Let's play ball! Last night in the pouring rain, eager little just turned 6, Danny met his new baseball coach and got his new cap and T-shirt! Perfect tribute to one of our oldest and favored sports!

Charles Gramlich said...

I've never been to a major league baseball game. Been to the lower league and it's probably similar.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

My favorite baseball team is not making me happy.

So here's a birdie from New Zealand!
~

LOLfromPasa said...

How about that! Love the quotes and photos...nicely put together!!!!

Cloudia said...

Thanks, Team Mates!

Hilary said...

Cloudia, I don't even like baseball.. or most sports but I do love what you wrote here. It would seem that you've captured a spirit - one that typically eludes me about sports. Well done.

RedPat said...

I love baseball too and can still remember my first time walking into a MLB stadium and seeing all the green grass!

Willow said...

What a fabulous tribute .
I was feeling a bit nostalgic ~ humming take me out to the ball game and remembering excitement as a kid.
Thank you.

Elephant's Child said...

Drat you Cloudia. I am not a fan of ball sports and now you have me wondering what I missed out on.

William Kendall said...

Great post, Cloudia! Baseball's one of those sports I can thoroughly enjoy, follow, and understand- I don't get golf, football, or basketball at all. And yes, it can break your heart. If you're a Cubs fan, it's been breaking your heart, your parents hearts, your grandparents hearts...

Ileana said...

Love the first stadium pic and story behind it. My father was a great player in Cuba once upon a time. He still shares stories with me.

magiceye said...

We have cricket in India that is followed with the same enthusiasm and fervour!

Namaste /\ from Mumbai
Aloha!!

Adam said...

I played in my youth for many years

Cloudia said...

Thanks Very Much!

Kay said...

I'm not a baseball fan, but I sure did enjoy the times we went to Wrigley Field with the kids. I think I've only seen the Cubs win once.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

This post almost made me love baseball. While I've never been a fan, your words made me appreciate the game as an image of life.
Congrats on your POTW. Wow! Two in one week!

TexWisGirl said...

came back to say congrats on your POTW!

Kerry said...

Who knew there were that many fantastic quotes about baseball? (Though I wonder if George Bernard Shaw wasn't referring to a cricket batsman?) These were so clever and fun to read.

Slamdunk said...

Excellent Cloudia. I have always enjoyed baseball for many of the reasons that you vividly describe. My kids don't mind go to a game now and then, but they don't really get the game. They are a product of modern sports--got to have action now.

Congrats on your Post of the Week.