‘Twas the Fall of ’48, this bard could hardly wait –
Boston versus Cleveland, a one-game playoff date.
Dead even after playing one hundred fifty-four …
Dad tried to get us tickets, but alas! There were no more!
Deep disappointment! Heavy sorrow was the price!
And when the Indians prevailed, tears not once, but twice.
So began my introduction to America’s national game –
And to my boyhood idol, Ted Williams was his name.
They called him Teddy Ballgame, the Splinter and the Kid.
For No. 9 the BoSox fans were, in a word, rabid.
Hit .406 in ’41 – the last time that was done.
For average and for power, no peer, none near, no one.
The year of ’57 was special for this bard.
Completed camp at Devens and headed for the “The Yard.”
Sat in Fenway’s bleachers hoping Ted would launch a shot –
Didn’t disappointment me, five rows down he marked the spot.
His feats transcended baseball, in other spheres he shone –
For five years served our nation, made our enemies atone!
Saw combat in Korea – John Glenn flew on his wing.
Shot down! Survived the crash! And so too did “the swing.”
On return a hero’s welcome though not all pitchers felt the same.
Homered off Jack Fisher – last at bat – his final game.
Teddy Ballgame’s gone now, left this field 5 July –
The greatest natural hitter with the best damned batting eye.
Epilogue! Ted Willimas died on 5 July 2001.
He was a lifetime .344 hitter with 521 home runs.
He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Semper Fi!