”Little Frankie” Cammon played second like he’d been born just east of the base.
“Little Frankie” stood 6’-7” and packed 192 pounds of solid, ball stopping power.
Had he played for the Cubs it would have been ‘Cannon to Evers to Chance’.
He was Mr. Baseball, loved the game, except for the lights.
The lights did him in.
A high pop-up lost in the glare came down like a lead goose,
hitting Frankie dead-on, between the eyes.
After the funeral they began to say second base was cursed.
On the road double plays always worked and stand up doubles flowed.
It was a different story at home. Easy double play balls took odd hops,
runners hung at first or tried to stretch double to triples to avoid second base.
A headfirst slide into second broke John Mitchell’s collarbone.
Once healed, his fast ball lost ten-miles per hour at home games.
He was sent down to El Paso, A-ball. His career ended after losing 0-1 to Shreveport.
Later that night his car slid into a flooded arroyo. A second funeral.
Billy “the blaze” Bendell tripped at second during a home-run trot.
Two broken ribs punctured his lung.
At least he had an education, got a job coaching college ball in Nebraska.
It didn’t take long. The booze caught up to him. Another funeral.
Opening day, the next season, Eddie LeMasters brought down a line drive at second
and dove for the bag to double up Buddy Wilson coming back.
They met head-to-head, both missed the remainder of the season.
So it went. Players were nervous around second.
All knew tales of injuries, or botched simple plays, caused by the curse.
Finally finances took their toll, the franchise was sold and moved to Texas.
The field stood vacant and was finally developed as a park.
The city never understood why there were so many lawsuits concerning kids falling off the swings.
Old-timers knew why. The park went to ruin, becoming just a field again.
The town grew and prospered. Soon, one of those superstores opened on the land.
Someone remembered the ballpark
and they commemorated the spot with a brass home plate, at the entrance.
Nobody remembered the curse. But in the parking lot, at the end of row G,
one hundred twenty-seven feet, three and three/eights inches from the brass plaque,
was a dead tree in a dirt triangle, where nothing ever grew.