Change can be a double-edged sword, even in baseball.
My memories are my friends; they make the impossible
Possible. They allow the youth in me to recall the 1950’s,
When I could look forward to a fan-friendly era in the National Pastime,
Probably more favoring us students than the working adults
Who did their 9 to 5’s or night shifts. I loved daytime baseball,
As a player and most certainly as a fan — a Yankee fan
(And I ask forgiveness of those masses who despised the Yanks
And all their money in the years before free agency) — I relished
The 2-for-1, in the expected and fulfilling (from a fan’s
Point of view, if not a player’s) double-headers: every Sunday
(So it seemed) and many holidays. I loved looking forward to
The sweep, and even if I had to settle for the split it was okay
(Like kissing your sibling — not romantic but a heart-felt compromise).
I lived through those twin bills — watching, snacking, even
Getting up and imitating Mickey Mantle’s swing or an indignant
Argument with the home plate ump about a clearly unjust call.
Double-headers filled my special days, and with the Yanks of
That decade more often than not I was rewarded with a healthy
Portion of vicarious victory, as delicious as the snacks I gorged myself with.
And then the meteors hit the Earth and suddenly most of the
Dinosaurs died and what was left was barely a trace of what
Had been, with double-headers mostly used to make up games,
Often as infuriating day – night twin-admission contests,
At least to those of us who open our shared youthful memory,
And I cried — figuratively, naturally — and mourned the passing
Of a fragment of the American Dream that was taken from me.
No doubt the owners have made more money from the added single games
(TV, attendance, whatever) but to me what they gained in revenue
They lost in older fan appreciation. Good times flew away with those
Comforting ‘50’s double-headers, but I am grateful that
I can replay moments of those daytime delights in my memory.
I choose to memorialize them in my way rather than mourn
What was in those good days treasured times when
There was extra reason to celebrate Sundays, Memorial Day,
The Fourth of July and Labor Day in the purest of American ways.