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The Only Game I Lost

December 15, 2008 by · No comments

Chris Mattingly

Photo: thebusybrain

By14, I had exceeded the accolades
Of Satchel Paige, Nolan Ryan
& Dizzy Dean combined.
I had a pitch
Like a ball dropping
Off a table into a hole
In the bat. & I threw so hard
Folks heard the catcher’s mitt pop
100 miles away.
I walked so easily through the game
My uniform never got dirty.
On the mound
I was a foot taller
Than the tallest on the field,
My father the coach.
It’s true he was once great too.
City legend said the little gold man
On every baseball trophy
Was modeled after his swing.
& though he was old,
he still had it.
He was the coach
Who charged the field
To greet a player after a great play.
He was the coach
Who dived down onto the dirt
When he wanted you to slide,
So his uniform was dirtier
Than any of our starting nine.
One day, after the game was over
& the other players had gone home,
My dad hobbled with sports worn knees
Up to home plate.
Squatting, he held out an open bare hand
& told me to rock & fire.
I aimed to break his hand,
To knock his fingers off.
If my fastball was rifle shot,
If my fastball was white blaze of leather,
It turned to smoke & vanished
In his hands time & time again
Until I was sore, beaten.

Categories: Frontpage · poetry


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