the chris speier bat from cooperstown

You’d had just enough change to pick it up at the Hall’s gift shop,

As you’d ate sparsely at the down-on-its luck diner

Where the bus had stopped halfway or so through the trip out

(Just as well, given the place’s obvious indifference

To culinary innovation and cleanliness), and you’d all but sprinted with it

From the cashier straight o the batting cage next door,

Inadvertently ending up in line for the machine which threw curveballs

(The kids ahead of you older, most likely high school players

Who made but weak contact with the pitches,

A dream dying a little with each weak tapper and foul-back),

And you went through a handful of futile swings

Before the final pitch came out of the machine,

Spinning oddly and refusing to break toward the plate,

Hitting you in the back with a dull, rubbery thud,

And your teacher (who had been in the Braves’ minor-league camp long ago,

Where he had faced Juan Pizarro—Son, his hook looked like

It was coming in from first base–chuckled softly

As he rubbed your back, saying It’s like I told you, kid;

This is a hard game.

 

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6 thoughts on “the chris speier bat from cooperstown

  1. I feel I’m missing part of the story, being unfamiliar with baseball, but I marvel at how well you capture a young boy’s enthusiasm, and disappointments as he gives his all to the game.

  2. I love trying to capture the magic of this moment, the down on your its luck diner. I just wanted more in the middle, but it held me and drew me in! I can see my brother having a chance with his dream…
    I think you should turn this into a short story or flash fiction!

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