Tag Archives: Baseball

Robinson Ran Against Walls, Never Broke

A Ken Burns documentary on Jackie Robinson gives me an excuse to run this short, powerful Lucille Clifton poem honoring the player who broke baseball’s color line.

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A Colossus Bestriding the World (Series)

Sports Saturday What a world series it was for San Francisco Giants pitcher Martin Bumgartner! On Sunday he threw 117 pitches for nine shutout innings to win game five and then on Wednesday he returned to throw another 68 pitches for five shutout innings to preserve a 3-2 lead in the deciding game seven. And […]

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KC Royals Storm into World Series

The way the Kansas City Royals upended conventional wisdom in making it to the World Series is not unlike the chaos caused by Ariel in “The Tempest” to restore another royal to power.

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Player vs. Player on a Simple Field

A poem to celebrate the baseball playoffs.

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Wonder in an Old Leather Mitt

Emilio DeGrazia’s poems about an old leather mitt is a wonderful meditation on aging.

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To Hear an Oriole Sing

I use an Emily Dickinson poem to root for my favorite baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles.

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The End of Every Fan’s Desire

Orioles manager Buck Showalter lived his childhood in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and brings to mind an old Franklin Adams baseball poem.

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Bat Waits for Ball to Mate

The start of the baseball season calls for this fine May Swenson poem.

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Beards Win Big–Melville Would Approve

Herman Melville would have approved of the Boston Red Sox and the beards.

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OMG, a Yankee-less Postseason!

Something feels wrong about no Yankee team in the postseason. Time to reminisce with a Marianne Moore poem.

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Poems on Mayweather, Manziel, Rivera

“The Daily Sports Poem” blog has poems that perfectly capture a wide range of sporting events.

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The Boys of Summer

Fitzgerald’s baseball poem captures the sounds and the textures of the game.

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Baseball Frees the Imagination

Baseball, like reading, encourages the imagination to soar.

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Take Me Out to the Lynch Mob

A baseball poem by William Carlos Williams captures well the two sides of a crowd.

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A Pitching Poem to Honor a Pitching Great

Gerald Hern distilled a manager’s dilemme to its essence in his poem about Spahn and Sain.

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Giants Stand Tall, Defy Ezra Pound

The San Francisco Giants would make their 1960’s forebears proud.

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Oh, Captain! Is Jeter’s Fearful Trip Done?

Seeing “the Captain” Derek Jeter break his ankle conjures up Whitman’s “captain” poem.

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Thinking beyond the Baseball Box

The film “Moneyball” helps explain this year’s extraordinary story of the Oakland Athletics.

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Midsummer Madness–Orioles Chasing First

In this topsy-turrvy baseball season, as in Midsummer Night’s Dream, all things are possible and the Baltimore Orioles are a game out of first.

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Stephen Strasburg as a Balzac Parable

The strange case of Stephen Strasburg–missing the playoffs if he exceeds his innings pitched limit–has parallels with the Balzac novel “The Magic Skin.”

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Cardinals’ Victory Invokes Mythos of Spring

St. Louis’s improbable World Series victory corresponds to the mythos of comedy as described by Northrup Frye. Comedy’s improbably reversals symbolize the escape of life from the clutches of winter.

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Novels and Baseball Fans, Fixated on Time

As I watched the amazing day of baseball last Wednesday, I found myself thinking (being the literature nerd that I am) that the English novel was invented to do justice to reality when it got this dramatic and complex.

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The Poetics of Base Stealing

Robert Francis’s poem “The Base Stealer” helps us appreciate the exquisite tensions between the base runner and the pitcher.

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A Poetic Game of Throw and Catch

In his poem, Robert Francis compares the interaction between poet and reader to two boys playing throw and catch.

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Roger Clemens, Greek Tragic Hero

Roger Clemens tried to bully his Congressional interrogators the way that Oedipus bullies witnesses. To say that he should have handled himself differently is to say that he should have been a different man.

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Memories of My Son, the Baseball Player

I hope I may be excused for revisiting a poem I have posted on before, along with some of my previous observations about it. It is a sports poem that brings to mind my oldest son, who died 11 years ago on this day. Dabney Stuart’s “Ties” is out of season—it’s about football—and Justin’s sport was baseball. Nevertheless I feel awash in sadness and sweet memory when I read it.

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Take Me Out to the Orgasmic Experience

In his poem, Scott Bates fastens on the fact that the baseball diamond and the outfield, in their intersection, resemble a mandorla. An almond-shaped figure of mythic significance, the mandorla has been seen to symbolize “the interactions and interdependence of opposing worlds and forces,” such as spirit and matter or heaven and earth.

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2010 Sports, Seen through Literature

Sports Saturday – 2010 in Review Since New Year’s Day falls on a “Sports Saturday” this year, I’ll take the occasion to review the year in sports through the vantage point of renewal. The first year of the new decade had a number of joyous firsts. It was a year when the city of New […]

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San Fran Giants Strike out Mighty Casey

Sports Saturday We are well into the World Series but I want to hearken back to game six of the National League championship series where the San Francisco Giants won the pennant. It was a game eerily reminiscent of that described in poetry’s greatest poem about baseball, Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat.” Baseball […]

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Walt Whitman, William Blake, and Baseball

Film Friday The World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants gives me an excuse for posting on what is, in my opinion, the greatest movie on baseball. Among the many virtues of Ron Shelton’s Bull Durham are its literary allusions and its literariness. Each year Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) chooses to […]

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Doc Halladay No Longer Blushing Unseen

  Sports Saturday The baseball postseason is off to an amazing start, what with Roy “Doc” Halladay pitching only the second no-hitter in playoff history to begin it. And it was his first game ever pitching in the postseason! The other no-hitter is enshrined in legend: Yankee Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World […]

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