Grey chose Penn,
over other baseball offers,
to be a dentist. In the top of the sixth
against Riverton, he was sent out
to pitch, become a minor hero.
He was lonely; brawled;
shot West Philly pool;
cringed at his cheap rooms
on Market Street, at having to work
in a college restaurant,
usher for football games.
Lounged in the library –
not to study but read Stevenson, Kipling;
write Romantic poetry.
Yet he loved America’s Frontier.
But one day past Valentine’s
was what he lived for – Baseball Practice –
until Disaster struck him out.
Cy Young forced pitcher’s mound moved,
and Pearl Zane Grey’s curveball died.
Then Penn suddenly made players pass exams
in every course to remain on teams.
In his last game, against UVA,
he hit a home run,
won for the Quakers, was hero of the day.
Zane had a life-long love affair
with baseball (and fishing).
He wrote baseball articles, stories;
played; attended pro games.
He never lost his drive to be a hero,
to give his heroes a code of manliness,
half-learned from those games at Penn.