When I was young these were magic
kingdoms where heroes – Ernie Banks,
Clemente, Yaz, Marichal –
roamed the fields and owned the mounds
of Wrigley, Forbes , Fenway,
Candlestick, iconic coliseums
with names to savor.
Other teams’ homes I recognized:
the realms of Mantle and Maris,
Jim Bunning and Al Kaline,
Koufax and Drysdale.
Yankee Stadium, Tiger Field,
Dodger Stadium. Even
those parks not team- or mascot-named,
I knew by their geography –
Three Rivers, Riverfront, the Astrodome –
linked in my mind to time and place.
Rights to a ballpark’s name are sold now
to a jumble of corporate acronyms,
to banks and pet food superstores
and insurance firms
with no clear ties to team nor city,
no names that mights roll off
a fan’s enchanted tongue.