Baseball Magazine

“Cobb Would Have Caught It,” by Robert Fitzgerald

By Precious Sanders @pdsanders99

My first thought upon seeing the title of this piece was, “As if Cobb really needed the ego boost?”  But I really love the imagery of this piece — I almost feel as though I was living in the moment.  This poem can be found in Robert Fitzgerald’s Spring Shade: Poems 1931-1970.

*

In sunburnt parks where Sundays lie,
Or the wide wastes beyond the cities,
Teams in gray deploy through sunlight.

Talk it up, boys, a little practice.

Coming in stubby and fast, the baseman
Gathers a grounder in fat green grass,
Picks it stinging and clipped as wit
Into the leather: a swinging step
Wings it deadeye down to first.
Smack. Oh, attaboy, attyoldboy.

Catcher reverses his cap, pulls down
Sweaty casque, and squats in the dust:
Pitcher rubs new ball on his pants,
Chewing, puts a jet behind him;
Nods past batter, taking his time.
Batter settles, tugs at his cap:
A spinning ball: step and swing to it,
Caught like a cheek before it ducks
By shivery hickory: socko, baby:
Cleats dig into dust. Outfielder,
On his way, looking over shoulder,
Makes it a triple. A long peg home.

Innings and afternoons. Fly lost in sunset.
Throwing arm gone bad. There’s your old ball game.
Cool reek of the field. Reek of companions.


“Cobb Would Have Caught It,” by Robert Fitzgerald
“Cobb Would Have Caught It,” by Robert Fitzgerald
“Cobb Would Have Caught It,” by Robert Fitzgerald
“Cobb Would Have Caught It,” by Robert Fitzgerald

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