– An ABC of Baseball Immortals of My Youth
with apologies to Ogden Nash
A is for Aaron, indomitable Hank.
More home runs he hit, than the beer-bellied Yank.
B is for Banks. Not for money or fame,
Said, “let’s play two!” for the love of the game.
C, Campanella, wherever bums roam,
Campy’s forever guarding their home.
D is for Duke, Sir Edwin Snider,
A Giant killer and a Yankee fighter.
E is for Matthews. I give you my word,
None were there better, or Braver on third.
F is for Ford. Not one of the mighty,
Just a little winner was Whitey.
G is for God, Who, for all of His might,
Is lucky to have Clemente in right.
H is for Howard. Got a pitch he could drill,
And Frank hit the ball over Capital Hill.
I is for me, not a hard-hitting man,
But an all-time incurable Ogden Nash fan.
J is for Jackie, Black baseball machine,
More daring a Dodger the world’s never seen.
K is for Koufax. Threw batters a curve;
Then threw them a fastball. Well, that’s what they heard.
L is for Larson. The perfect game.
No runs and no hits and a lifetime of fame.
M is for Musial, Mays, Mantle and Maris.
Rog hit 61 and was kinda embarrassed.
N is for Nellie, not the old nag,
But the sky little Fox of the second base bag.
O is Oliva, who hit with a grin.
The pitchers were lucky, he wasn’t really a Twin.
P is for Podres, who heard the Bronx cheer,
Then in ‘55 said, this is next year.
Q for the quotes we got from old Casey:
Witty, wise and a little spacey.
R is for Roberts, ’twas sure sign of spring,
When the Phillies flew in on Robin’s right wing.
S is for Spahn, who got a big kick
By throwing the curve and swinging the stick.
T is for Thompson. Giant flag unfurled,
He fired the shot heard round the world.
U is for Ueuker, of dubious fame.
It’s not how he played, but he talked a good game.
V is for Versalles, no second banana.
He ran all the way from the port of Havana.
W is Williams, The Splendid Splinter,
Made pitchers wish summer was winter.
X is for the spot where DiMaggio signed
A 100 G deal, the first of its kind.
Y is for Yogi, New York, New York
Sent Berra to bat and popped the cork.
Z is for Zimmer, a gamer was Don,
Took one for the team with no helmet on.