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Jul '11 27

Old World Pastime – What If There Were No Baseball?

Old World Pastime Comments Off on Old World Pastime – What If There Were No Baseball?

John Miller, a Belgian-American journalist, and a player/coach for the Brussels Kangaroos, is in his fourth year of writing Old World Pastime, a take on baseball as lived in 21th century Europe.

So, after following the Tour de France, I was assigned to cover the shootings in Norway. That’s put me in a somber mood, prompting me to pose the following question:

I’ve decided to wonder
Cuz it’s worth a ponder
What would be this world
If without baseball it twirled?

No baseball in Canada, Jamaica or Cuba
No baseball in the U-S-A
No baseball in Belgium, no baseball in Italy
No baseball in Japan, sadly

No playing catch, no T-Ball
No coach pitch, just nothing, y’all
No Big leagues, no Little League
No legion, no summer, no leagues at all

A sad, muddy fog
For starters, nobody would have invented the hot dog
No Say Hey Kid, No Cal or Derek
A world with no grass infield, that’s a wreck

No baseball means no spring training
No long-toss, not stadium meandering
No bullpens, no World Series game seven
No Wrigley, no Camden, no Fenway heaven

Without the diamonds
I’d have fewer friends
Grayer memories
A lot less stories

No pinch-hitters or that big homerun
No set-up man, no closer, no high hard one
Killing these words, that’s something scary
What would happen to the cliché vocabulary?

Without Cartwright’s game
My childhood: nothing the same
Could I have loved soccer or hoops
So much? My life goes oops

God, my childhood!
No newspaper clippings, no board games, nothing worth it, nothing good
No baseball on the radio or online
No waking up at 4 with the game on the line

Gut God’s game
And kill infields and outfield and the Hall of Fame
Gone are on-deck hitters and no-hitters
Sliders and screwballs and knuckles and spitters

Rid the world of hardball
Is to rain a free fall
A long, lunging nothingness
What you’d call a mess

No practice on grass in the early morning
The lack of batting cages we’d be mourning
A universe with no dugout banter
What would I discuss, moi, ranter?

What no baseball would mean
If this you can glean
To go with the empty winter,
An empty summer

What do you think would happen if there were no baseball? Email me at oldworldpastime@gmail.com

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