A classic—long before we were ever introduced to the new—in one hand
And a pale blue, battered Braves cap in the other
Three great-grands snuggled at your feet
Gathered ‘round the television set deep in its wooden console
Like the squatty catcher huddled in back of the dugout.
“This young man—Murphy—he’s fast and strong.
Maybe we’ll see some action this year.”
By the time I was old enough to remember,
The spring in your step had changed to fall
Still, your spirit was always April’s opening day
With fields of smooth, fresh green turf
And the familiar scent of worn leather.
When winter began her ninth inning rally,
Eyes that could no longer focus turned to ears
And we all listened for the crack of the bat.
Now they’re wearing navy and their bats are red, hot.
This year could be the year, we all would hope and pray.
But September came and went. In disappointment,
From fleeting post-season ‘til opening day,
We were waiting batters agonizingly anticipating the first pitch.
Then, mid-season ninety-four, you stole home quietly.
Dad recalls you could put away nine classics in a day
And that was when a cola was a cola and your stomach, iron.
As for the team you rooted for since their days in Milwaukee—
They won the series one year too late in ninety-five.