The long slump

A baseball diamond from the right handed batters box.

It’s been 7 seasons since my last base hit.

It’s been awhile since this pitcher and I were on the same team.
We met on a team in its 5th year. Uniforms in black and white.
I was learning to play the outfield again, she was training in the bullpen.
She has the traits every good team wants: a strong work ethic, talent, leadership, a good teammate.

The team was a fool not to try to keep her.

Our teams faced each other in spring training, but it wasn’t the right time for an at bat.

A baseball diamond from the perspective of the pitcher.

At the July trade deadline, we would face off on the field.
I walked the plate, stepped in, and hit a line drive between 3rd and short.
The bat split in two as I hit the ball.
The shortstop made a spectacular play! Diving behind the 3rd baseman, snaring the ball in their outstretched glove quickly throwing off kilter to second base to start a double play.
I ran as hard as I could.

I was out by a mile.
As her team returned to the dugout between innings, we caught eye contact.
I tipped my cap. She smiled back.
I did everything right, and still failed. Baseball is a cruel mistress.
Sometimes the timing isn’t right.
The game ends as I sit in the dugout watching the other team celebrate a no hitter.
My team heads into the clubhouse.
I get up off the bench and walk to the clubhouse from the dugout.
I see her look over, smiling still. 

I laugh and give her a thumbs up as I leave the field for now.
I don’t know when I’ll see her next. Maybe next season.

It’s the last time this season. 

I worked harder than I ever did this season. I was prepared for this at bat. 

Coach pulls me aside. Says don’t worry about it. It’s a slump. She no-hit the whole team. You made contact and the bat broke. That’s baseball.

She’s on TV talking to reporters.
She’ll be a free agent again in the off season. I am too. 

We gotta do what best for each of us.

It’s hard not to talk to a friend when you want different things.

But I get it. I’ve been there before.
I’m happy for her, but it still hurts to be in a slump. 

I don’t mind being a free agent. 

I turn off the TV.
Maybe next year we will be team mates again.
Soon the slump will be over. 

I’d rather be the man in the stadium and fail greatly under the lights instead of a spectator.

I’m not watching from the sidelines anymore.

She’ll let me know when the next at bat is.

Me as a toddler. I have curly blond hair. My late grandmother holding me up at a baseball field in the stands.
Me as a toddler with my late grandmother. Miss you Grandma!

Songs of the post:

Say hey(the Willie Mays song) by the Treniers.

Brown eyed girl By Van Morrison.

Waiting in vain by Bob Marley

Let it be by The Beatles

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My last baseball poem didn’t get many views, and it deserves better. I admit the original title is not great:


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