Hod Eller

 

The pitch that I threw, called the shine ball

because I applied paraffin to the ball

to make it do what I wanted,

was one of the so-called freak deliveries

banned temporarily in 1920 and permanently in 1921

But apparently some deliveries are more freakish than others:
a limited number of spitballers were grandfathered,

allowed to continue throwing their pitch,

yet, even though paraffin is more sanitary than spit,

I was not, and that ended my career

What my career would have looked like

had I been allowed to keep throwing my pitch

no one of course can say for certain;

I'll just say I was a better pitcher than Grimes

before the banning of my pitch

 

 

 

Burleigh Grimes

 

Pugnacity, tenacity, and luck

is an unbeatable combination

I had done some boxing in my youth

and I brought the same spirit to the mound,

throwing baseballs instead of punches at batters' heads

(though I threw the occasional punch too)

Tenacity allowed me to pitch a lot of innings

and complete well over half my starts

And there was luck in being allowed 

to continue to throw the spitball

when many others were denied the opportunity

 

(These two poems are from a work-in-progress, Dugout Anthology, a Spoon River Anthology for baseball.)

 

Michael Ceraolo

 

Bio:  Michael Ceraolo is a 62-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had two full-length books (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press; 500 Cleveland Haiku, from Writing Knights Press) published, and has two more (Euclid Creek Book Two, from unbound content press; Lawyers, Guns, and Money, from Writing Knights Press) in the publication pipeline.