This comes from the files of seventh grade Aleyna Rentz, age 12, a baseball poet in the tradition of Ernest Thayer (well, kind of). Before she became a Moonglasses editor, Rentz spent her summers yelling at Atlanta Braves pitchers while they practiced in the bullpen. Sometimes they indulged her and yelled back. They shouldn’t have, for those small gestures of friendliness contributed to the creation of this poem.
The Baseball Game I Wouldn’t Forget
Pulling into the parking lot, which was once the Atlanta-Fulton Field,
With a view of the gleaming gold capitol building right through your own windshield.
You step out of your car and gaze at Turner Field’s huge walls,
Hoping maybe this time, you’ll catch a foul ball.
Making your way through Tooner Field, you give Homer a pat on the back,
And buy some Cracker Jacks at the concession stand; baseball’s favorite snack.
Lucky you, your seats are great! They’re right next to the bull pen,
You see John Smoltz and shout “hey;” he shoots back a grin.
You’re all excited and pumped for the game; it’s Nationals vs. Braves,
First inning; it’s a hit! And Chipper Jones is safe!
Mark Teixeira hits a single and so does Jeff Francouer,
Then Johnson’s foul ball is caught by a kid; too bad it’s not yours!
Next to bat is your favorite player, that’s Brian McCann,
The bases are loaded and BANG! He hits a grand slam!
Next to bat is the Nationals, you don’t think Lannon will do well,
John Smoltz pitches him three fastballs; “Strikeout!” the fans all yell.
By the second inning, the score is four to none,
You are pretty sure that by the end the Braves will have won.
But your theory is put to the test when Langerhans hits a home run,
Followed by Estrada’s triple; now the game has really begun!
The Nationals start scoring, by the bottom of the fifth they’re winning,
But they’re neck-and-neck with the Braves by the suspenseful ninth inning!
It’s now the top of the ninth, and the score is nine to nine,
Jurrjens’ up to bat, but his average has been on the decline.
The first pitch is thrown, but sadly it’s just a strike,
You’re sure the ending of the game won’t be one you’ll like.
Jurrjens walks away from home with his head hung low,
He has struck out, but the game’s still on the go.
At the bottom of the ninth, Perez pitches with a mighty arm,
The Nationals score no runs and the game still goes on.
At the top of the tenth, the Braves are batting again,
the first three players score singles, and Chipper’s up- ready to win.
The bases are loaded again, and the best MLB hitter is ready,
The first two pitches are strikes, but Chipper’s focus is steady.
The last pitch is thrown, and Chipper murders the ball,
The players run around the bases, looks like they’ve won after all!
You suddenly notice the ball coming towards you, so you quickly grab you mit,
but instead of going into your glove, in the middle of your forehead it hit!
You wake up minutes later to see navy caps huddled over your head,
It’s the whole team, making sure you’re okay- and not dead!
You get up while Bobby Cox apologizes over and over,
And out the corner of your eye you sight Chipper pull out a pen shaped like Homer.
He grabs up the ball that made you slump down onto the ground,
And then he writes, “Sorry I hit you! Love, Chipper Jones, your pal.”
Then he puts it snugly into you glove you still have on,
It makes you ooze with joy, even though you were nearly been killed with that ball!
Out of the games you had been to, that was one you’d never forget,
But you’re still not sure if buying that ticket was something to regret!
Aleyna Rentz peaked in high school when she was a contributing blogger for a popular website that, for dignity’s sake, will not be named. Since then, her writing career has declined considerably, and she can be found wistfully sending short stories to The New Yorker slush pile. Things seem to be turning around for her, though: her creative nonfiction and fiction have recently appeared in Black Fox Literary, Sanctuary, and Deep South Magazine. She frequently threatens to drop out of school on Twitter at @aleyna_rentz.