Thursday, March 31, 2011

Guest Post: Ed Markowski - Blue Collar Baseball

Forbes Field, circa 1900-1910, courtesy the Library of Congress

Back about a month or so ago, Ed Markowski sent me the following email that I asked his permission to reprint as a blog post.  He kindly granted the same, and so it was decided that this lovely piece of baseball-iana should appear on opening day, 2011.  Here it is in all its glory.

Hope you enjoy it.



Loved the Pirates of the late 50 ' s to the late 70 ' s
from Harvey Haddix & Smokey Burgess to Roberto
Willie & Manny Sanguillen to Doc Ellis Dave Cash
& Kent Tekulve hands down my favorite National
League team & had they played Detroit in the WS
would have had a hard time rooting for the Tigers.

When I think of it can ' t help but wonder about the
blue collar connection between Detroit Pittsburgh Chicago ,
my grandfather & father ' s union activities & my loyalty
to the Tigers , Pirates , White Sox & Cubs . Oh , i liked
the Giants of Marichal , Mc Covey , & Mays well e nuff ,
but never as much as the lunch bucket teams .

& Don , go figure , on June 12th , 1970 , the only game ,
complete game , shut out , and no hitter ever thrown by
a pitcher tripping on acid while thrown in California ,
was thrown by Pittsburgh ' Dock Ellis . At that time ,
my heroes had already changed from Kaline , Clemente ,
Matty Alou , Ernie Banks , Ron Santo , and Bob Gibson ,
to Rennie Davis , Grace Slick , E Cleaver , Tom Hayden ,
The Dead , and The Doors .

So you know Don , when Dock tossed all them zeros
in some crazy way the lesson I learned was that it 's
entirely possible & wise to keep one foot in both worlds ,
I realized that it was perfectly ok to have Bob Gibson
& Bob Dylan as heroes ..... Our minds are vast and endless ,
& there ' s room enough at the inn for everybody .

Well ok , when Cor , Pizzarelli , & I were doing the
radio interview with Jimmy Roselli at Chautauqua I
recited .............


and told Jimmy , " alot of the auto plants had baseball
diamonds on the plant property & they sponsored teams.
Well , I was working on the assembly line and I knew
my childhood dream was over when I looked out that
window on my lunch break & realized that the side of
the window I was on was the side of the window I
would stay on for the rest of my life .

After we did the readings , we went to this bar down
the road & off Chautauqua ' s property .

I sat next to Cor and asked ......

" Why didn ' t you send factory windows for the baseball
anthology ?

I said ......
" Because I wrote the piece two nights back in room 16
the Super Eight in Mentor , Ohio while I was eating a
ballpark frank & sipping a coke that my wife and I got
at a seven - eleven "

Cor said ......
" Factory Windows would ' ve been the best in the book . "

I said ........
" Cor , I wrote baseball for ten years , you know , it ' s
an old rabbit I can still yank out of the hat every now ,
then , and there in room 16 . "


zero zero after nine the blonde in seat 7 ignoring us both

Dog days     a white butterfly       knuckleballs  its  way  to  nowhere


playing their games
on the sly...
pale blue butterflies
translated by David G. Lanoue


Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature.  Here's how.

Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 96 songs
Hear 'em all at once on the the LitRock Jukebox

1 comment:

tom said...

Grew up with the Tigers and backyard baseball. All summer we played the game - home run derby in Bill's backyard, rubber ball baseball on the cement parking lot of Roma Hall and when we could - the baseball lot at Memorial Field. At night we would watch softball. I did my home work in the spring and fall with the radio tuned to any baseball game I could find. For a while I wrote some baseball poems - Spitball and what became Elysian Fields were kind enough to publish a few of them.
Never tried haiku - even with baseball being a good kigo for summer. Enjoyed this ed - (Norm Cash was my favorite)