"And it's root, root, root for the Home team
If they don't win it's a shame
For it's one, two, three strikes you're out. . . in the old ballll gaaame!"
By ~ Absolutely*Kate, for my Dad
It's that time of year. National pastime time of year. The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. The RBI records and the mighty memories of just how many Lou Brocks it took to trade for a Willie Stargell (two if you were close to Pittsburgh). "Cold Beeeeeer Heah!" Hot Dogs and CrackerJacks. Boy oh boy, man oh man I couldn't wait for Aprils to give me my good ol' summertimes, could you?
I remember it like yesterday. Hell, it was yesterday. They brought me up for the Big Dance, the Big Show ~ The Majors. Some Joe shook my shoulders awake on my damn lumpy Gold Bond mattress to tell me. I mumbled, "Hey thanks ~ " and before I could think fast on my feet and spout out somethin' suave an' all -- before I was even up and on my feet, the guy from McCrackey's office was out the door. That was it. Then a blur. A flight and a taxi. Warmups with the boys giving me a double dealin' of the once over. I'm in pinstripes now. Me. A Yankee. Oh Ma, Oh Pa, look at me now. I ain't a busher no more.
What's that? Was I scared? Shakin' in my cleats? Hell no. I'd been priming for this since Pop tossed me my first rawhide at four out back by the burning barrel and sidemouthed, "Two hands Paulie. Keep two hands on the ball when it gets to your glove. No hot shot showboat ever got anywhere worth buying a ticket for. You got that?" Pops was tough. Pops was right. That's why I'm standin' here waitin' to go in at the bottom of the thoid, under the lights tonight. So NO ~ I ain't noivous. I gots me a plan. Wee Willie Keeler's plan. "I keep my eyes clear and I hit 'em where they ain't." Son-of-a-gun batted .432 back in '97 ~ That's 1897 and Gramps told Pops stories over and over about "being consistent, but more than that being clever where they ain't thunk of it yet". Hey, I can be consistent. I can pre-think clever. And I can rally when it's late in the 7th and God Bless America has already been Kate Smithed. Oh yeah, I can really rally.
This rookie wasn't gonna rhubarb either. Sharp eyes and genial gaze and a soft modest "Yes sir, no sir," just like Pops always said. "Give 'em respect Boy and they'll give you your chance. What you do with your chance is all up to you. But once you know you got yourself and your chance there, it's a whole new ballgame already."
That's me, Paul Edward Chance and it's my chance tonight. We're playin' the Sox. Damn! We're playin' the Sox. I'm edgin' well clad toes on the grass that some fella's Allis Chalmers buzzed in The House That Ruth Built. Shortstop with an eye for the DP. On deck with no fears for fadeaways or screwballs. I was makin' Pops proud tonight. I'm his chance at poppin' those buttons when stickin' out his chest and thumbin' on in, " 'At's my boy!" Oh yeah this Chance was givin' Pops his chance. He'd done so much for all eight of us kids. Coal mines. Steel mills. Same grey battered lunch pail sat on the back of the kitchen counter for the same sandwich, dill pickle, apple or pear and on Fridays, a piece of whatever Ma's pie was. Consistent. And clever - if you consider what that woman could do in crimpin' a crust.
There's a southpaw on the mound tonight. I'll keep my eyes clear. Don't wanta be a bonehead. Pop's in the stands. He brought Uncle Al and Uncle Joe and Uncle Tom and Uncle Bob and I think Uncle Chuck is bringin' Uncle Bill as soon as he gets off shift. Oh man, I don't wanta be a bonehead. Nopesiree.
"KID! You're up!"
Hey, I gotta bat now. I gotta keep my eyes clear. I can't be no bonehead. Too many people expectin' too much from how this Chance comes to the plate. I'll tell you about it next inning. But I won't be no bonehead. You can take that to the bank.
T BE C NTINUED
AT THE BALL PARK
(c) 2010 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate
Visual mood selection ala WisDoc and JustKelly
Absolutely*Kate believes in believers and a good time at bat. Aiming for the fence? Oh yeah baby ~ she's all for that. She figgers you hang 'round with winners you're gettin' in the record books yourself. Talent always tells. Folks she hears tell are writers and lovers and dreamers of schemes. Schemes with themes that round third and bring it all home. Watch for how she brings around 33 mighty authors in the phenomenon of Harbinger*33. Watch for how she raises curtains here AT THE BIJOU for grandslam writers' tryouts or encores. Talent always tales.
And Kate likes to turn on the spotlight when it does. Absolutely.
She gets that from her Dad and can sense her Mom smile 'cause she said that.