Legendary baseball names atop the craggy stadium survived countless Great Lake snows.
Names riveted to, and etched in grainy, freckled stands peering down from the top deck perch
of the tired, Motor City ball field.
Silent rafters witnessed the athletic prowess of Cobb, Kaline, Cochrane, and Greenberg.
A grin plastered my face as I reflected on my lucky Ruthian clout that ricocheted off the 370 foot marker.
No doubt, the wings of my protective angel deposited my hit there.
Those same invisible divinities declined to tame my huffing or grease my creaky knees
while I lumbered around the bases, at tortoise speed
Exhausted, at least I inhaled baseball’s signature smells of leather gloves, turf, grass, and hot dogs.
The fuzzy faced rookie journalist, positioned to my left
resembled a reincarnated Satchel Paige, until he tossed the baseball.
Not a trace of darts, or dances in his hurls.
I heard that same scribe sing his solo,”Rizzuto, Gates, Mickey, they all played right here.”
I peeked over at the tuneless tenor, his melodic litany faded into the cool, silent breeze.
I reeled my curious eyes back into their sandy sockets,
and protected my baseball hot corner.
That first hit targeted me.
It seemed shot from a cannon as it skidded over coifed, mahogany dirt.
Fortunately, it swerved suddenly.
I dived like an Olympic swim racer.
I glared into the pit of my leather mitten and,
my mouth opened wider when I saw the baseball,
A snow cone look-alike settled in my glove.
“Major league, just like Aurelio,” screeched Manager Gates.
Three score men stooped, most sporting maternity-sized shirts,
billboarding name and number of their favorite, faded superstar on
their liniment lathered backs.
Most of these mirror-headed, milky-bearded dugout raconteurs,
lugged a duffel bag full of dreams and cheered at the shadow of
themselves in each camper.
Nightfall draped the field.
Still connected to cleats, I crackled onto the dusty baseball diamond one last time.
I squinted toward left field . . .
7:10 P.M. on the dream ballpark scoreboard.
Dream materialized. Dream ended.