Playing Baseball Against Stormy Skies: A Poem

July 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm (Life, Nature, Poetry, Sports) (, , , )

I passed by a baseball field last night
A fierce thunderstorm was approaching from the west
The sky was dark and gray
The clouds resembled angry dragons
and angry towering giants.
A strong wind blew in from the west
and trees swayed strongly off the field

Yet the players continued to play their game
They ran around the bases in the strong cool breeze
The pitcher continued to pitch
and the catcher continued to catch
save when the hitter hit
and infielders and midfielders and outfielders
continued to move on the field

Judging from their faces, they looked so much more alive
than say if they had been playing baseball on a hot sunny day
The approaching storm cloud and the powerful cool breeze
kept things cool
so they were able to play the game with more intensity
and less lethargy
than if they had been playing in hot sun

Of course once the downpour and lightning hit
that probably wouldn’t have been so much fun
I did not stay to watch that outcome

I suppose the trick is to play the game against the storm clouds
and against the strong cool breeze
but to know when to come in out of the rain.

-A poem written by Christopher
Friday July 29th 2016

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If Baseball Had Been Around In Shakespeare’s Time

August 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm (Entertainment, Literature, Plays, Satire, Sports) (, , , , , , , )

If Baseball Had Been Around In Shakespeare’s Time

Here is a scenario of what it might have been like if baseball had been around in Shakespeare’s time and a baseball game had been performed within one of Shakespeare’s plays:

Scene: Sir John is up to bat.

The pitcher throws the ball.

Sir John hits the ball with his bat and sends it flying.

Umpire (calling out) : Foul ball.

Sir John (aghast) : Foul ball?

Umpire (nodding his head) : Indeed it t’is. Foul ball.

Sir John (protesting) : Why, I have never seen so fair a foul.

Umpire (taking off his mask) : Are you questioning my decision, sir?

Sir John (standing up to the umpire chin to chin) : Indeed I am, sir.

Umpire : Then thou art a knave and a fool, sir.

Sir John: What sayest thou? That I am a knave and a fool?

Umpire: Indeed I say it. I hast said it. And I will say it again. Thou art a knave and a fool, sir.

Sir John: Then verily I say unto you that thou art a pimple on my lady’s plump bottom, sir.

Umpire (foaming at the mouth) : What? A pimple on thy lady’s plump bottom? I demand that you withdraw that remark, sir.

Sir John: indeed I will not, sir.

Umpire: Ye shall not?

Sir John: Indeed I shall not.

Umpire: Then thou black-hearted snerd, thou leavest me no other choice but to throw you out and cast thee forth from the game.

Sir John : Then thou leavest me no other choice but to remove my trusty sword from my trusty sheath and slay thee.

(Sir John removes his sword from his sheath and stabs the umpire)

Umpire (crying out) : Oh, I am slain.

(falls to ground dead)

Voice of Shakespearian Baseball Announcer: It doth appear that last call was fatal to yon umpire’s career.

FINIS.

Body of dead umpire is carried in solemn procession off the field.

-A short play
written by Christopher
Wednesday August 6th
2014.

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I Once Met A Man Who Looked Like Orson Welles

July 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm (Inspiration, Short Story, Sports) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I Once Met A Man Who Looked Like Orson Welles

At a picnic many years ago, I once met a man who looked like Orson Welles.

Orson Welles as he looked later in life- bearded and heavyset.

At the table in front of him, he had a litre of wine and a glass.

The glass had both wine and ice in it.

Drinking wine with ice in it.

That struck me as something Orson Welles might do.

The man even sounded like Orson Welles as he talked.

He even laughed like Orson Welles laughed.

As Orson Welles had been long dead at the time I met this man, this would probably be the closest I’d get to meeting someone like Orson Welles I figured.

The man talked about growing up on a farm near Watson, Saskatchewan back during the Depression years of the 1930s.

He talked about the baseball team in the town of Watson.

About how his father was a big fan of baseball.

He loved the New York Yankees and he loved Watson’s baseball team.

Watson had a good team.

But they always lost to Regina in the league championships each year.

Plus the Watson baseball team did not really have a good set of uniforms being a small town of the Depression years.

Regina being Saskatchewan’s largest city had a great set of uniforms for their players.

And the man who looked like Orson Welles went on, “It was a night in August…”

Sadly I’ve forgotten the year he mentioned but it was an August night sometime in the late ’30s.

And Regina and Watson would probably be playing again in the League Championships at the end of the season judging from the amount of wins each team had.

So this August night the game between the two of them would probably serve as a preview of the League Championships.

And it seemed to be a harbinger of such judging from past years.

Because Watson always played well but Regina always ended up winning.

And the Regina players would always rub it in to the Watson players about their loss.

And they would always rub it in to the Watson players about their uniforms.

That particular August night after the Watson loss, ‘Orson Welles’ father heard one of the Regina players say to one of the Watson players, “Your playing is like your uniforms. Not quite up to par.”

‘Orson Welles’ father was livid.

But it just happened that fall that ‘Orson Welles’ father had a rare bumper crop for those years of the Depression.

And as a result, he had money coming in.

So he bought things needed for the home, the farm and the family.

And he still had money left over.

So he bought a whole fresh new set of uniforms for the Watson baseball team which he presented to them the week before the League Championship- which was once again between Watson and Regina.

Championship Day came.

And the Regina players’ eyes bulged out of their heads when they saw the Watson team’s uniforms.

The sight must have been too much for the Regina players to handle.

For that year they lost the League Championships to Watson.

After the game, one of the Watson players while holding the Championship Trophy went up to one of the Regina players (the one who had said, “Your playing is like your uniforms. Not quite up to par.”) and holding up the trophy and adjusting his spiffy looking jersey asked him, “How do you like our uniforms?”.

A story related by a voice like Orson Welles.

I shall always remember that story.

And I shall always remember that line spoken with an Orson Welles voice, “How do you like our uniforms?”.

-A short story
written by Christopher
Wednesday July 2nd
2014
based on an anecdote
told him many years ago
by a man who looked
like Orson Welles.

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Another Field of Dreams

August 29, 2011 at 8:20 pm (Short stories) (, , )

The sports announcer looked into the camera, “Well we know it’s just an exhibition game between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers today as it’s still the pre-season but today is a special occasion anyways and it’s all because of LA Dodgers #9 Jorge Fernandez the Dodgers’ legendary pitcher and legendary hitter…”

His co-host looked into the camera and continued the commentary, “Well we all know Jorge Ferdandez has had an absolutely phenomenal career in his 10 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers holding the record for most home runs in the team’s history and the record for most no-hitter wins as a pitching member of that team…”

His announcing partner Jed picked up the commentary, “But Jorge’s family life has been tragic not of course due to the intense love in their marriage between Jorge and his wife Juanita but due to the fact that their 8-year-old son Ricardo was born blind with a rare eye disease. But earlier this year, Jorge and Juanita received news that a visiting eye surgeon from China would be lecturing at the Loma Linda Children’s Hospital on a new treatment for the eye disease that little Ricardo had.”

Announcer Mark continued, “The surgeon Dr. Fong agreed to treat little Ricardo with the revolutionary new procedure and last week after several months of the treatment, Mr. and Mrs. Fernandez announced to the world that their son could now see…”

“So last night at a special dinner for team managers and coaches and players and their wives and members of the press and the general public,” Jed went on, “Jorge gave this short speech at the end of which there was not a dry eye in the house…”

The tape runs of Jorge Fernandez’s short speech, “Tomorrow some say is just an exhibition game. But tomorrow for me is the game I consider the most important of my career. For tomorrow’s game means more to me than winning the National League West pennant. Tomorrow’s game means more to me than winning the National League Championship. Tomorrow’s game even means more to me than winning a World Series. For tomorrow’s game is the first time that my beloved son Ricardo will get to see his daddy playing baseballl. ..”

“And what could be a more appropriate moment than to end the tape there,” Jed smiled, “for here comes Los Angeles Dodgers #9 Jorge Fernandez on to the field…”

Fans all over the stadium- those wearing regular clothes, those wearing Dodgers shirts and even those wearing Cubs shirts rose to give Fernandez a standing ovation.

On the stadium large screen, the tape played of Jorge Fernandez’s closing remarks of his short speech last night, “And I say to you, nothing… absolutely NOTHING is going to stop me from playing in that game for my son tomorrow…”

The crowd cheered as Fernandez threw the first pitch…

“Strike,” shouted the umpire.

The second pitch…

“Strike two…”

The third pitch…

“Strike 3,” the umpire shouted, “Out.”

The same went for the next 2 Cubs players.

Strike…

…. and

… out.

The Dodgers up to bat.

All the bases are loaded.

Jorge Fernandez comes up to bat…

WHACK!…

… a home run.

And so it continued through all 9 innings of the game…

… the Cubs come up to bat…

… the only words the umpire spoke during that entire time were “Strike” and “Out”…

… the Dodgers come up to bat…

… the words the stadium announcer spoke time after time… “The bases are loaded… Jorge Fernandez up to bat… home run…”

Whether it was top of the inning or bottom of the inning, Fernandez always came to center field and took a bow… whispering the words that were projected on to the large screen… I love you my darling Juanita… I love you my dear Ricardo…”

And after taking a bow, he would always run off the field to the locker room and then return to play.

When the game was over…

… the Dodgers had won by an unbelievable score…

Jorge Fernandez had pitched another no-hitter in his career…

… and most phenomenal of all…

… had scored 9 home runs in a single game…

Fernandez ignored being hugged by his fellow players and waved off handshakes or pats on the back…

He ran to center field again… “I love you, Juanita… I love you, Ricardo… I will always be with you… Remember that…”

He then ran off the field…

… he almost seemed to vanish when he ran off…

… and vanish was a good word for it because the press, his fellow players and his coach couldn’t seem to find him in the locker room when they rushed in there after the disappearing Fernandez.

Up in his luxury box in the stadium, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers decided he’d better head down to the locker room and join in the celebrations with his most amazing player Jorge Fernandez…

The phone in the luxury box rang.

The General Manager picked it up.

It was Jorge Fernandez’s agent Paul Lennox.

“Mr. Wilson….” began Paul.

“Paul,” laughed Wilson, “are you here to renegotiate Jorge’s contract already?”.

“Renegotiate?” Paul stammered, “no, it’s been total chaos the past couple of hours. I thought you were probably wanting to know the reason Jorge didn’t show up to play this afternoon…”

“What do you mean didn’t show up to play?” Mr. Wilson laughed, “He totally showed up to play, you joker. Pitching a no-hitter and hitting 9 home runs in a single game.”

“But…” Paul’s voice sounded very strange, “Mr. Wilson, when Jorge and I left the hotel for the stadium, our car was totally sideswiped by a truck on the passenger side. Jorge was killed instantly…”

After a conversation that then proceeded for several minutes and it dawned on both Mr. Wilson and Mr. Lennox that neither man was joking, Mr. Wilson said,

“Paul, I’m going to use my best connections that I know of. A lid must be put on what could potentially be a controversy… of a supernatural magnitude… I’m going to call in a whole bunch of favours… see if we can change the time of death on the death certificate… the time of the accident on the accident report…”

And on it went.

Mr. Wilson the General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers finally put the phone down.

He sighed.

He wasn’t quite sure what had happened here this afternoon.

All he knew was that through some miracle, Jorge Fernandez had returned from the dead so his son could finally see him play baseball.

The head coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers knocked on the luxury box door and then opened it to tell the General Manager of the mysterious disappearance of Jorge Fernandez- baseball’s man of the hour.

As he opened the door and noticed the peculiar expression on the General Manager’s face, he quipped, “It looks like you’ve seen a ghost.”

The General Manager looked up at the Head Coach and replied,

“We’ve all seen a ghost.”

-A short story written by Christopher Van Helsling
Monday evening, August 29th 2011

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