He carried the bat like a cross,
heavy balsamic wood
the tool of the trade
keeper of the livelihood
and you could tell by the way
he checked his swing
he wasn't one to be messed with.
Like Shane he came to town alone,
unlettered, without fancy men
or body guards
public relations operatives
or press secretaries.
He looked the rugged individualist
as if carrying the burden that all men
must go to the plate alone.
He of tall socks and tall timber
was cool as a young Lou Brock
strong as an old Frank Howard,
the village smithy from the Lehigh Valley
playing outfield for the IronPigs.
The pitcher writhes after
ball meets bat: igniting, soaring,
carrying beyond the bounds of respectability
over the 405 sign,
a sure sign of authenticity.
"He’s got a lot of potential,” This is a good time for him to take off as far as making the major leagues. With the talent he’s got, there’s no reason he can’t play in the big leagues.” – Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, March 6, 2007. More here.