“Former Ballplayer Known for Glasses”
– newspaper headline May 19, 1989

Specs Torporcer died like he lived – with his glasses on.
Seven years third to short to second to first
like a botched run-down, scratching .279
doesn’t get you into Cooperstown
just a Times obit and a lead-off moniker
stuck to your cleats like sandlot dog shit.
Deep in the order : the pennants – minor league but a winner –
manager Triple-A just a dime away from the bigs
and his last at-bat an autobiography, a real book with words
when half the palookas X’ed their paychecks for beer and a good time.

Hours in the batting cage, grounder after grounder
till his hands were red as raw chuck,
sliding home verb after verb – what did he get?
“the first major league baseball player other than a pitcher
to wear eyeglasses on the playing field.”

Who said it’s your game to win or lose,
that you make your fate
with a good arm and soft hands?
The box score lies.
They don’t all look like frozen ropes in the morning.
Old four-eyes bad-hopped for life.