Saturday, June 26, 2010

Milwaukee County Stadium, August 10, 1990

I actually have the score book. I watched the game on TV and scored as it went. I do this often. This is a game that the Rangers won 11-3 over the Milwaukee Brewers. It also happened to be Nolan Ryan's 300th career win. Here's the box score. And here's the poem this score book page inspired.

Milwaukee County Stadium, July 31, 1990

It’s gone now, that stadium,
like so many others, pulled down, plowed
Naught but a memory,
like all these players here
in my scorebook, the famous,
obscure, and solid,
guys gone long since
into a world beyond baseball,
where it’s deathly quiet all the time.
This page plays no favorites.
Hall of Famers like Yount and the relentless Ryan.
Plus Baines, Petralli, Gatner. Gamers all,
suspended forever in scorebook scribbles
like a high pop fly
seemingly painted on a canvass sky.
Yet here arrayed in pencil and pen,
neat as a baseline in the top of the first,
blood quickens youthful muscles:
players run and hit, clean their cleats,
spit in the dust on deck.
Bats crack, balls slam into mitts,
crowds roar at impossible feats.
Here these boys light up the page
with reds and greens—hits and walks—
like pinball caroms off walls
binging into the right center crannies,
hitter churning to third,
standing up,
clapping his gloved hands
in triumphant glee,
a little puff of dust swirling
some moments
on an infield breeze.
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