The Night Before

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ballpark

Not a creature was stirring, the diamond was all dark;

The stirrups were hung by the lockers with care,

In hopes that baseball soon would be there;

The bat boys and girls were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of home runs danced in their heads;

And coach in his neck gaiter, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out of the dugout there arose such a batter,

Who sprang from the on-deck circle with records to shatter.

Away to the bullpen I flew with a glove,

And picked up a baseball ready to shove.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a trio of outfielders, a foursome of infielders and a catcher in full gear,

With a little old manager, from a California town,

I knew in a moment it must be Ray Brown.

More rapid than Rickey Henderson his players they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by team name;



To the top of the dugout steps! To the top of the centre-field wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As heavy pitches thrown by Mike Soroka fly,

When they meet with a bat, on the ground they will lie,

So out to the bases, the infielders they flew,

With a mitt full of stitched balls, and bubble gum too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard from left field

The thwack of a glove being used as a shield.

As I warmed up, and was turning around,

Circling the bags, the runner came with a bound.

He was dressed all in pinstripes, from his head to his laces,

And his jersey was tarnished with pine tar as he sprinted the bases;

A bundle of dreams he had flung on his back,

And he looked like Mike Trout pulling away from the pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, but they were not hairy!

His wide-grinning mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And there was no doubt he was ready for The Show;

A wad of Dubble Bubble he held tight in his teeth,

And the bubble he blew encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a muscular belly,

That stood firm, when he prepared for his celly.

He was thick and strong, a right strapping young lad,

And I smiled when I saw him, not much, just a tad;

A wink of his eye and a swat of his bat,

Soon gave me a reason to tip my hat;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his task,

And filled all the boxscores; then took off his mask,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the leader board he rose;

He sprang to the outfield, to his team gave a whistle,

And delivered to home plate a strike with a missile.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove balls out of sight,



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