‘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;
“Now, TRAPPERS! now, PROSPECTS! now, GIANTS and GULLS!
On, MAVERICKS! on DAWGS! On, CANNONS and BULLS!
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,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!