Twas The Night Before Baseball

Twas the night before baseball, when all through the house Not a player was stirring, not even Mike Trout The bats were hung in the clubhouse with care In hopes that baseball soon would be there

The fans were nestled all snug in their beds While visions of home runs danced in their heads And Goodell in his kerchief, and Brady in his cap Had just settled their brains for a long summer nap

When out on the diamond there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the ballpark, I flew like a flash, Tore open the gates and made a mad dash

The moon on the breast of the new-painted logo, Gave a lustre of midday to figures below, When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a pitcher, and men for the outfield and infield

With a bold arm so lively and strong, I knew in a moment he must be deGrom. More rapid than eagles his pitches they flew, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Mookie! now, Xander! now Lindor and Votto! On, Chapman! on, Gallo! on, Judge and Stanton! To the top of the short porch! over the green wall! Now hit away! hit away! hit that ball!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When the bat meets with a ball, mount to the sky; So up to the plate the batters they flew With arms full of bats, and deGrom too—

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the dugout The prancing and swinging of one Michael Trout. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, On to the mound, deGrom came with a bound.

He was dressed in Mets black, from his head to his shoes, And his clothes were adorned with orange and blue ; A rosin bag he carried to the mound, And he looked like a peddler opening a small pack.

His eyes — how they stared! his jaw was set In a duel of pitchers, on him, I would bet His hand was clenched around the white and red ball And I knew one by one, the batters would fall

The well-oiled glove he held tight in his fist, The frost from his breath encircled his head like a wreath; He had on his game face, no sign of quarantine belly To shake when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was tall and lean, a ticking time bomb, And I laughed when I saw him, knowing what was to come; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave batters to know they had much to dread;

deGrom spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, He struck out all the batters; then turned with a jerk, And then very quickly, without making a sound, He gave a slight nod, and walked off the mound.

He sprang to the clubhouse, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight— “Happy Opening Day Eve to all, and to all a good night!”

RC Collins is the longtime Poet Laureate for The 15 Net. Born and raised in Marblehead, MA, he now follows the teams closely from afar with his wife and children in Lakewood, CO.

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