A Legend's Last At Bat


A Legend's Last At Bat

Welcome back from the commercial break
  all you baseball fans.
Here we are in the bottom of the ninth,
  now the kid Murphy's on the mound.
It's packed here at the park tonight,
  no one's left the stands.
The score is now 4 to 3,
  there's a man on first and 2 down.

This series has been quite a battle,
  it all comes down to this.
Both these teams are hard to rattle,
  they've each been here before.
A seventh game of a World Series
  truly can't be missed.
The players for both teams are standing,
  this is a situation dreams are made for.

Coming to bat for the home team
  is the veteran Vern Cahill.
Of course everyone knows him as Big Daddy,
  he's had an illustrious career.
He's pinch hitting for the pitcher O'Leary
  who had a great night on the hill.
Cahill's career has been in decline
  I'd say, for the past 2 or 3 years.

Big Daddy used to be quite a player
  back in his youthful prime.
He had power, finesse and blazing speed,
  and an arm like a gun at times.
Most folks consider him Hall of Fame bound,
  the all 'round best in his time.
This guy could hit 'em long my friend,
  he was truly one of a kind.

I feel sad for the big fella now,
  this may be the last chance he gets.
A career average of over 300
  600 dingers and 3000 hits,
Now he's just a shadow of himself,
  no longer a dominating threat.
This could be his last season.
  This could be his final at bat.

This kid Murphy is quite a young fireballer,
  as he steps on to the stage.
This year's number one closer,
  with 10 wins and 49 saves.
He's sure matured this season,
  he's very cool for his age.
I'm not sure I'd want to be him right now,
  I remember my jitters at this stage.

Cahill places one foot near the box,
  looks around, leans his bat on his hip,
Murphy puts his right foot on the rubber,
  drys his fingers so the ball doesn't slip.
Daddy tugs at his sleeves, spits in both hands,
  and rubs them for an added grip.
Murphy bends over,  checks the runner,
  eyes his catcher, gives his hat a slight tip.

As Cahill steps into the batter's box
  he digs in like a focused bull.
He eyes Murphy, waves his bat with one hand,
  across the plate 3 times full.
This routine is Daddy's calling card,
  it's his traditional ritual.
The umpire holds up his right hand
  and purposely looks down toward both foul poles.

He gives Murphy the go ahead sign
  than shouts that familiar "Play Ball!".
Big Daddy now crouches slightly,
  bends his war worn knees.
He stares straight ahead at the pitcher,
  as he looks for an initial fastball.
Murphy, now ready, stands up straight,
  rocks back with a slight hesitant freeze.

With hands together, he peeks at the runner,
  steps forward to deliver his first pitch.
His offering has a sideways rotation,
  arcs slightly, then bends with a twist,
Cahill sort of braces himself,
  of course he often sees pitches like this.
Daddy cocks his bat back, just a little,
  then steps forward, not expecting to miss.

A mighty swoosh is heard by the catcher,
  as Vern errantly swings at the curve,
The umpire throws his right index finger up
  and hollers out "strike one!"
Cahill looked like he got fooled by the kid,
  he eyes him like he had some kind of nerve,
Murphy turns to pick up his rosin bag,
  the ump signals the count oh and one.

Murphy now has the upper-hand,
  I wonder what next sign he'll get?
Cahill settles in once again,
  he gives his britches a hitch,
Murphy shakes off one sign, then another,
  then eyes the catcher's mitt.
He rocks and throws his fireball
  as straight as it can possibly get.

Cahill swings as hard as he can,
  "Whack!" the ball orbits into flight.
A hush immediately comes over the crowd,
  as the whole stadium's in awe at the sight.
The umpire throws away his mask
  and watches the high flying kite.
It sails right down the right field line
  starts curtailing more to the right.

The ump waves his hands like he's directing a plane
  "Foul" he vehemently calls.
Well my friends, Vern made his point,
  he almost ended it all,
He walks back to the box, tugs at his sleeve,
  then bends down to pick up his bat.
Murphy, now shook, steps back on the mound,
  takes a breath and adjusts his hat.

The crowd's now into it, the tension's tight,
  the whole stadium's at a buzz,
All camera's are focused on Daddy and Murph,
  they're being cheered now by teammates too.
I tell you what, this sure is exiting,
  the air is as thick as it ever was.
Both men take their places, get ready again,
  while the umpire flashes oh and two.

Once again, Cahill digs in,
  trying to anticipate Murphy's next pitch.
The young pitcher, now, not quite as cool,
  paws the rubber with his right cleat.
Daddy cocks his bat behind his head,
  his right elbow gives a slight twitch.
Murphy now seems ready to throw,
  as he steadies himself on both feet.

All the world is watching these two,
  this is what Baseball's all about.
Win or lose, both men deserve
  the respect of the novice and devout. 
Each can make their historic mark,
  one with triumph and one without.
Let the record books show the battle, 
  of minds that was this evening's bout.

Murphy's body's again in motion,
  this could be the deciding pitch.
He rocks back then delivers an awesome slider,
  that breaks down and slides masterfully left.
Cahill loosens his body, rares back once again,
  then uncorks a well timed swing.
Simultaneously his bat hits the ball,
  as if in slow motion Big Daddy connects.

All heads turn at once in unison,
  watching the ball's rainbowed flight.
It heads towards the bleachers, deep in center,
  then angles a bit to the right.
At first there seems to be slight confusion,
  as the ball disappears out of sight. 
And then a murmur of silent commotion,
  crescents majestically into the night.

Waves of cheers start to rise,
  throughout the jubilant crowd,
As Daddy begins to circle the pads,
  people start to chant out loud.
He looks all around at the delirious fans,
  he feels complete and humbly proud.
He touches home plate, embraces the moment
  then is mobbed as emotions abound.

What a magical ending to a storied career,
  This is one for grandchildren chat.
An aged old pro, along in his years,
  pulled a rabbit out of his hat.
On a cool Fall night, in his quiet hometown,
  In a series he could have just sat.
A hero emerged in the bottom of the ninth,
  A legend born in his final at bat.

Copyright © October 2009
Kevin Mooney

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bandit1192 commented on A Legend's Last At Bat


Loved it kmooney, and yes I am a baseball fan. Read The Warrior Of Old. This brought back every exciting moment I have ever experienced while playing the game. Well done, TS

mdpoetgirl commented on A Legend's Last At Bat


Great poem, though a little too long for my taste. Poems this long usually lose me halfway through, but it was great storytelling nevertheless. Definitely a great one for baseball lovers, and your talent still shines through!

knight4696 commented on A Legend's Last At Bat


You are incredible!!! This is such a great inspirational poem. The storyline is fantastic. The suspense is so tangible I could taste it! Where on earth you come up with these is beyond me - But keep them coming!!! Your an unbelievably talented individual. I enjoyed this immensely! A definate 10!!! Saved to my faves!

cliftondurant commented on A Legend's Last At Bat


this was awesome kmooney very good poem it was like watching a movie it was good to the last drop smile thanks for sharing you are very talented

SavVySam commented on A Legend's Last At Bat


This should be read aloud by a baseball announcer! The building of suspense, excitement from the crowd and ultimately cheers would be contagious! Great story!

To have great poets there must be great audiences too.

Walt Whitman, American Poet (1819-1892)

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