EBBETS FIELD: THERE USED TO BE A BALLPARK *

Sinatra’s song “There Used to Be a Ballpark” invited me
to snatch crinkled photos of Ebbets Field from my   dresser drawer.
Carefully clasping jagged pictures of that sacred baseball site, I vowed to visit Brooklyn!
Once there, I strolled over toward a pile of discolored bricks embracing a wall.
I massaged my Lincoln-like beard and squinted with my slightly scarlet septuagenarian eyes,
I read the embedded sign.
On a wall that housed a parade of slumbering cars,
I stumbled across a small billboard indicating that the parking lot sat on the site of old Ebbets Field.
Later, a sob-stirring plaque proclaimed,
“Where the Dodgers made baseball history and Jackie Robinson changed America.”
Many moons ago, as a beardless Brooklynite,
I hopped onto trains with my pals and my big sis and headed toward Flatbush Avenue’s Ebbets Field.
I remember seeing my sister’s frown when I played tag on the train station’s platform.
I said, “Relax sis. These PF Flyers make me fly onto the train. “
Was that foreshadowing?
Minutes later, I witnessed human flight in the legendary Jackie Robinson’s leap.
My brows triangulated when that ballpark introduced me to my first blanket of green grass.
Unlike the royalty of Ebbets Field, my neighborhood public park brandished a cement surface
and my street’s empty lot sported an infield of sparking stones, and discarded tires.
My eyes widened as I observed  that major league ballpark’s manicured lush emerald  lawn,
its aromas of tempting foods and the excitement of a Major League Baseball
stage where I could almost reach out and touch the players.
Jackie Robinson’s speed, agility and engaging smile, Carl Furillo’s shotgun arm, and Gail Hodges’ first base stretch left my mouth agape and spellbound.
To cap all of my dreamlike vistas, I marveled at an elegant visiting ballplayer,
Joe DiMaggio, a Hemingway favorite praised in his Old Man and the Sea novel.
Reality awakened me from my reverie.
I peered down at old Ebbets Field’s resting place.
I stared aimlessly.
That ballpark remained buried in the pages of history.
My childhood heroes no longer performed their hardball ballet on that spot.
Holding back aggressive tears that flooded the shorelines of my eyes,
I realized that any traces of that ballpark remained  under bricks and cement.
Despite a dearth of relics,
Ebbets Field gave birth to a most wondrous era in sports history and shaped my life.
No need for tears, just silent reminiscent cheers as I ambled away, refusing to look back.