Freddy Flypogger’s Baseball

The last in a trio of Freddy-inspired postings, this was originally shared in November, 2012, and links to the immediate previous.

Baseball

I played third base
pitched once
and hit a home run that
won me a dollar.

Little League stuff
sure
but a fleeting hero
in maroon uniform
planting roots.

mitt2 003
Most American boys will have their hat and glove, perhaps more-so from when I was a kid? I don’t really know. This was a European rooting, living in and playing ball in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1965-66, going to school at an American base there – the Paul Revere Village. My team was the Orioles.

I was never particularly sporty as a youngster and teenager. The poem tells of my athletic transience [and it is my ‘first’ baseball poem, written quite a few years ago]. When I moved to England in 1967 and attended a secondary modern in Ipswich, the Head of PE rubbed his hands, literally, at the prospect of my joining the school’s basketball team, reckoning he’d just inherited an indigenous all-star player. I don’t think I’d ever played before, and was crap. He never liked me after that.

It wasn’t until much later that I got a little more active. I ran a marathon in 1983. At the school where I taught, I helped to run a Monday night youth club for many, many years. One of the PE teachers who took on the overall running, a semi-pro footballer, loved basketball and got me involved. There I was an adult and getting all excited about learning from him and playing and enjoying. I loved those Monday nights.

A double lesson in irony: playing baseball in Germany and learning basketball in England.

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