Baseball Magazine

“Backyard,” by Rochelle Nameroff

By Precious Sanders @pdsanders99

This piece by Rochelle Nameroff was first published in 1990 in the collection Into the Temple of Baseball.  It reminds me a lot of playing ball, really just sports in general, in the backyard with my brothers as a kid.  My oldest brother is twelve years older than me, and he was (still is) quite the sports fanatic.  Thus, he took it upon himself to pass on to his younger siblings (and now on to his two sons) whatever knowledge he could about the different sports and how to play them well.

*

For Larry
“There are two theories on hitting the knuckleball.
Unfortunately, neither of them works.”

It was all so serious
as he taught me,
digging the knees together:

a deliberate hunkering,
the back & forth wiggle
shifting the weight.

It screws yr behind in the ground he said.
Protection I guess
or the secrecy of boys.

He called it
The Stan Musial Crouch,
& man how I practiced

getting it right to unwind
breathless exquisite & deadly.
The permission to love

without going crazy.
& o big brother,
how much I remember.


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