The journey up to see the Show
Through downtown streets and alleyways
Were clogged, congested, crawling slow,
Especially on baseball days.

The droves of people filing in
Through turnstiles to the stadium
Expected that their team would win
No matter where they’d journeyed from.

The jerseys, caps, inflated bats,
The souvenir programs they sold,
The recollections of the stats,
Remembrances of players old.

The bright announcer welcomed all
Unto that spectacle of fun
And promised a good game to call
Regardless who had lost or won.

Each play described with expert’s eye
And always with a tale to tell.
From first pitch till it was good-bye,
A saddened whoop or rousing yell.

A feast for human senses there,
A stadium of smells and sights,
The one occurrence all would share
As “Play ball!” echoed through those nights.

The crunch of peanuts, Crackerjack,
The yeasty smell from cups of beer,
The zinging pitch, the batter’s crack,
The hooting boo and joyous cheer.

The peanut man who tossed his bags
Some fifty feet and never missed.
The vendor with his pennant flags,
And foam finger with clinched up fist.

The beachballs bouncing all around,
The fans who tried to start a wave,
And “C’mon, ump!”, a common sound,
When strikes were missed by closest shave.

The seventh inning stretching time
With “Take Me Out” the song all sung.
Young boys their heroes tried to mime
In batting stances, pitches flung.

But on the field, players played.
They hit and ran, they slid and threw,
The coaches hoped the plans they’d made
Would be accomplished by their crew.

That hanging curve that got the “K”,
That ump who shouted loud a strike,
Dejected batter walked away
As some fans yelled, “Go take a hike!”

That single and a stolen base,
That double-play or routine fly,
That fielder made a line drive chase,
That sign to give a squeeze-bunt try.

And then that roar of thousands strong
From that homerun that cleared the fence.
The team ran out, a cheering throng,
That great walk-off experience.

Today the team rejoiced its win.
Tomorrow they might play inept.
For fans, no matter, it has been
A memory forever kept.

(Photo by Steshka Willems)