Wednesday, May 25, 2011

for Splitt

Today, Kansas City lost a local baseball legend when left-handed pitcher Paul Splittorff lost his battle to cancer. When I heard this news today, I found myself thinking about the days of my childhood, many of which were spent at the ball yard with my dad.  While I know that in recent years, Splittorff was synonymous with Royals broadcasting, I will always remember watching him on the pitching mound on hot summer afternoons.  When I was about 14, my dad took me to see the Smothers Brothers.  Another great Royals pitcher, Dan Quisenberry, was the opening act.  He recited Casey at the Bat and later, I found out that he, too, was a poet in his own right.  Someone wrote something earlier today about Quiz and Splitt hanging out again, and I thought it was only fitting to pull out Quisenberry's book of poetry, On Days Like This.  I thought this poem of Quiz's was a fitting tribute to Paul Splittorff today. Enjoy.

Old G(love)
mushy leather
burnt brown
light cracks
saddle creaks
your strings held up well
mine have too
we look trim enough
to still play

you protected me
Wilson A2000 XL
only glove I really liked
though I flirted with others
you were the one for me
I love your dark center
your womb
rich as Iowa soil
tight feel to my left hand
a worker’s glove
you brought slap shots
stinging in my palm
but I knew where they were
so I could grab them quick

now you look so small
do you shrink like old men
stiff and less flexible?
me too
we’re both on the shelf
but you still look nice
 and holding you
feels so right

* you can find Quisenberry's book here.

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