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Sandlot Baseball – My Father’s Reminders (a poem)

June 22, 2010

After a telephone call to my father on Sunday, I thought back to Little League days. Although he didn’t come to many games, because he always seemed to be working, he’d want to know how I did at the plate. He was pleased the times I’d tell him I went 3 for 4 with a triple or 2 for 3 with a homerun. He’d frown and shake his head, though, when I’d give him the dreaded 0 for 5 reports. He’d say something like, “Well, did you swing like you meant it?” Or, “Did you make up for it in the field?”

My Father’s Reminders is a poem I wrote years ago for a creative writing class. It’s what is known as a pantoum poem in which the second and fourth lines in each quatrain are repeated as the first and third lines of the following quatrain.

His reminders have stayed with me throughout my life. I guess you could say they’ve kept me in the game…

My Father’s Reminders

by Rich Kenney

_

Enjoy your at-bats, too soon we retire

Be confident; take rips like you mean it

When it’s three and two, you swing if it’s close

Hesitation is an easy out

_

Be confident; take rips like you mean it

My father’s advice survives the decades

Hesitation is an easy out

His whispers endure like extra innings

_

My father’s advice survives the decades

Adjust to the curves, too many bail out

His whispers endure like extra innings

Don’t flinch at the brush backs, show them some nerve

_

Adjust to the curves, too many bail out

Examine your foes, their intensity

Don’t flinch at the brush backs, show them some nerve

Anticipate change, off-speed trickery

_

Examine your foes, their intensity

Turn it up a notch, make an impression

Anticipate change, off-speed trickery

Ignite the rally, stir up the bullpens

_

Turn it up a notch, make an impression

When up-coming-in remember these words

Ignite the rally, stir up the bullpens

I can still hear my father’s reminders

_

When up-coming-in remember these words

When it’s three and two, you swing if it’s close

I can still hear my father’s reminders

Enjoy your at-bats, too soon we retire

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2 Comments
  1. Rich, You are quite the poet. I am unfamiliar with the specific technique you used in your poem, but you handle it the way Keith Hernandez used to handle ground balls: effortlessly and with noticeable grace. Nice job, Bill

  2. Thanks, Bill. I like the Keith Hernandez simile…
    Rich

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