(With apologies to Theodore Roethke)
The whiskey on Pete Browning’s breath
Could make a lesser bat shatter,
But the wisdom of Bud Hillerich
Fashioned me from sterner matter.
We romped and rambled through the league,
Browning earning record salaries,
Until a childhood ear infection
Brought Louisville’s slugger to his knees.
The hand that gripped my handle
Held a bottle just as well:
“Can’t hit the ball ’til I hit the bottle!”
Chimed Pete, just before he fell.
You beat back the recurring pains
With every batting crown you won,
Waltzing ‘bout the bases ’til
They locked the sanatorium.