Pitchers and Catchers Report


She’ll be in the 5th row, along the first base line,

Eating popcorn on a warm spring night.

And they’ll be a moment when she stops

With the crack of a bat and watches the arc

Of the white ball sail off into the sky as if

It really could fly forever.

And a spring wind whispers,

Don’t let another moment slip away.

He’ll be in the dugout.

Jittery, electric trying so hard to just look bored and cool.

When it’s time, he reaches down.

The polished smooth shining handle of the bat,

Shuts out all sound.

Then the calm.

Like endless green fields waving in the shimmering winds.

And a spring wind whispers

Don’t let another moment slip away.

And at the top of the stands. The old man.

More like a shadow. Look hard or you will miss him.

Watching every inching shift and flow of every player in the field.

Sifting it through the seasons past, thinking

I would not trade a second

For the loving of the game.

Now I will watch.

And I will forever be down there on that field

But he still feels every stinging shot whomped over to third base,

Still sets his feet and rockets it to first.

He’s out!

Today right now this second

Is where it starts again.

And a spring wind whispers

Don’t let another moment slip away.

So she munches on that popcorn.

Watches him do his cool guy stroll to the plate

Wonders with her shining smile of spring

Just where this will go.

Wonders what her memories will be.

He squares off and faces down the pitcher.

The old man remembers it all

And keeps watch.

A green fields of coming summer moment,

Renewed.

Set against a raging, broken world that no one has forgotten.

The terror and torn dreams like shattered glass.

That bubble of fear as real as slashing street knife sirens.

But there is also this

Green fields of summer coming moment.

So, she smiles and tastes the salt in that popcorn.

He concentrates. Gets ready to swing.

And the old man watching knows

The spring wind whispering,

Don’t let another moment slip away.

2 Responses to “Pitchers and Catchers Report”

  1. Ted Schneider Says:

    Roger,

    Spring can’t be too far away when pitchers and catchers report. I am excited because college starts to gear up next week as well – the players call it “hell week” because everything ramps up – the coaches quickly see who has done proper off season conditioning and who has not. Even though my son is a freshman LHP he expects to get some starts based on Webster University losing a ot of seniors last year. He will experience the difference at the next level – it will not be high school ball. I will be the “old man” in the stands, hoping he does well and that he continues to enjoy the game and experience what only a select few get to experience. Life is definitely like a baseball game – I only wish we could be as optimistic as we are at the beginning of the season (or life) and have that same level of optimism carry throughout our lives.

  2. Paul Haider Says:

    Is there any possibility that the Cubs pitchers and catchers can get some extra time in spring training to prevent their slow start to the new season? It seems like the last time that the Cubs were actually ready after spring training had ended was when Dennis Eckersley was still a starting pitcher and Jody Davis was still our catcher.
    Paul Haider, Chicago

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