Early autumn 1964, engulfed in mosquito netting and
Conscious of too large roaches roaming and crawling,
With my transistor radio leaning against my right ear
Tuned to what was termed Armed Forces Radio
And ahead a full day of teaching English to charming and
Enthusiastic secondary students whose love of football
(Read that as soccer) matched my adoration of baseball,
I forced myself to stay awake and fight the time zone challenge.
My hometown Yankees would be playing St. Louis and,
Being in a land sans television, I determined that I was so
Fortunate that I could hear and root for The Mick, my
Childhood hero (sadly on his downward slide) as well as
Whitey Ford — with Yogi as the manager. I was used to
Reading books to make myself relaxed-sleepy in that bed, but
There would be little sleep as this seesaw of a Series
Went on through seven games. I fought the periodic static
And envisioned the batters and the pitchers, the fielders
And the runners, while I felt comfort in the history of victories
Providing background, New York winning the title in
1949 through 1954 as well as 1956, ’58, ’61 and ’62.
I knew that sleep would be my real opponent as I waited
For the first pitch to be thrown those weeknights
As the Series approached the climax, but
I was determined. My students would not suffer losses;
I was 23 and full of energy and adrenaline. They would
Get all of me in those wood-slate-glass classrooms later
In the day . . . but this was still our National Pastime
In its prime and it deserved no less than loyalty and
My commitment. (Hadn’t I in 1960 dropped Bio 101
So that I could watch the Series’ final game — and cry when
Terry’s pitch hit Mazeroski’s bat for a Pittsburgh sudden death?)
Sure, my students at Schlenker Secondary might have
Noticed the closing of my eyes sporadically but they
Never noticed the sadness on my face until that Thursday
Mid-October, after the final Cardinal victory, a day
I brushed the netting from my bed and dragged myself
To represent my country proudly as a Peace Corps Volunteer
Despite the breaking of my heart, the crackling heartbeats
Echoing that sad day in the fall of 1960 — but I was blessed
With ignorance at that time, unaware that my team would not
Appear in another Series game for a dozen years.
Sometimes in life you make a trade such as excitement
For good rest and in the moment it seems to be the
Right choice but in unimpassioned hindsight, being ruled
By overwhelming emotions does not lead to glorious victory