Christina Green’s Rhymes and Reasons


It’s spring in Tucson Arizona. Many years from now. The morning brought a fierce quick rain that made raging rivers of the roads. When it cleared, the green grass sparkle of the minor league baseball park set off against the scattered white puffs of remaining clouds in the bold blue Arizona sky was like a shared common smile.

The game would go on in an hour as planned. But the small park was already jammed. Out on the small hills that surrounded the field, oceans of people sat on blankets sat happily drenched from the morning rain. An electric wave of excitement, so strong you could almost see it, would sporadically drift through the crowd in the hills and in the stadium seats. What was about to happen had already happened 3 times before. It wasn’t new. But this might be, it could be, the last time. Unless of course there were four more years.

What they were all waiting for happened before every baseball game. It was called batting practice. There were always those few who came out to watch. Especially here in Arizona, in the spring, when everything began again.

But there was no other batting practice like this one. Because this was the one where the President of the United States came out to take batting practice.

It started the first year of this President’s administration. Because this president had been a professional baseball player. A baseball fan would describe the president’s career as: hit for average, a wizard on the base paths, but known mostly for having this uncanny ability to do whatever it takes to win.

And the love of the game never stops. So just because there was a career change and the baseball player became president, why did that mean batting practice should stop? Where was the rhyme or reason there?

So once a year, in the spring, for each year of this administration, there was that trip to Tucson. For spring training. To take batting practice one more time.

And that time was right now. This second. The president, even at age 52 looking strong. Strolling up to the plate. Head down. Thinking the rhymes and reasons of American dreamers. The crowd roar like ancient echoes of jubilation ringing out on to the desert, making everything that breathed start smiling. The president.

Standing at the plate alone. The baseball bat ready.

On her shoulder.

The older folks remembering the striking sight of what she would look like dancing off first base after having just smacked a hard ground ball to any given place on the field as long as no one else was standing there. Remembering her first career in baseball. Before the politics. The eldest in the crowd with a fleeting memory of when there were no women in baseball. A memory that vanished faster than the rain.

No room for memories with the president standing there at the plate ready to take her pitch.

Then the pitches started coming and she started hitting. Each time she connected, the arc of the white ball against the sky, the essential reminder of the heart of the game: that here is a game that has no borders. You propel that tiny white ball up into the sky and it can go forever and a day.

The pitches kept coming. The president kept hitting.

Up in the announcer’s booth, the national television audience heard the broadcaster say things like, “Well, Chuck, it looks like the President still has that swing!”

When it was almost time to stop, the crowd chant starting to boom, “ONE MORE! ONE MORE!” The president, her smile like the Arizona sun, held up one finger, signaling “one more,” and she swung.

And when that bat, hit that ball, there was instant silence. The sound alone told the story. Across the crowd, into the homes and cars and computers of the uncountable people listening and watching, everyone knew it, this hit would sail. It would go far. Really far.

And it did. Propelled up into the sky as if cradled by an angel it zoomed up over the heads of all of those folks watching from the hill, past every single solitary spectator on the hill till it plopped down next to a puddle left over from the morning rain. And a little girl, who’s name also happened to be Christina, jumped down off her Uncle’s shoulders, and ran with all her might, and grabbed that ball, holding it up in triumph to the Arizona sun.

To seek the wisdom of the children,

And the graceful way of flowers in the wind.

Though the cities start to crumble

And the towers fall around us

The sun is slowly fading

And it’s colder than the sea

It is written

From the desert to the mountain they shall lead us

By the hands and by the hearts

They will comfort you and me.

In their innocence and trusting.

They will teach us to be free.

From “Rhymes and Reasons”

John Denver


In honor of Christina Green. Granddaughter of Dallas Green. Former General Manager of the Chicago Cubs.

2 Responses to “Christina Green’s Rhymes and Reasons”

  1. Gwen Says:

    Thank you for writing during a time when it is difficult to write. Creating is the only real way of responding to this tragedy.

  2. Paul Haider Says:

    I knew that Christina was born on September 11, 2001, but I had no idea that she was the granddaughter of Dallas Green. There is no rhyme or reason to the way in which she died so tragically.

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