Lament For The Knuckleballers

Casey is a great name for a baseball player, coach or, as it turns out, even a baseball poet.  Here’s something for all you baseball fans and anyone who feels a kinship with the unusual.  It comes to us from Casey Fuller of San Antonio, Texas.

Lament For The Knuckleballers

They began to die off. Fastball,
slider, cutter, curve—from both sides,
all decent hitters in The Show
could get wood on anything
near the plate and keep the count
going. Even the change-up began
to rise in miles per hour and every
pitch began to look the same,
swaying in one of two directions
at the same speed. Everything
at eye level, of course, was gone.
Even the three and four batter,
following the empirical rule of
Metrics, began to languidly slap
the outside stuff to the opposite side
so the shift no longer worked and
there was only the designated hitter
to grumble about over fifteen dollar
beers. Mirrors matched up in America,
reflecting bad inside of bad, and
everything soulful was glossed over,
ganged up on, faked-news-ed, or gone.
No one knew what was happening.
Numbers began to let out a thick
stench covering the game in a filmy,
putrid yellow-green. Up in heaven,
clouded quite differently, almost
cracking his em-dash mouth with a smile,
Ted Williams elbowed Tony Gwynn
and said: Hell Tone, even you could hit
400 now. Joe Niekro died. Phil Niekro
died. Charlie Hough wouldn’t talk.
Tim Wakefield, as legend has it,
wobbled off into a French village,
happy to pay high taxes, and was never
heard from again. Only the lowly
assistant managers, with real piss
and vinegar coursing through their
Don-Zimmerman like veins had
an idea. And only one or two of them
wished they had a non-athlete up
on the hill, lofting up improbable
59 mile an hour monarch butterflies,
waiting to see if the catcher, outfitted
in an oversized first baseman mitt,
could snag the goddamn thing, because
once upon a time, anything could
happen in the greatest thing America
ever invented, and so much was so

  Casey Fuller
   San Antonio, Texas

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