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Chicagoetry: Mighty Santo At The Bat (The Cubs Will Shine In '69)

MIGHTY SANTO AT THE BAT (THE CUBS WILL SHINE IN '69)

The Outlook was quite brilliant for the Wrigley nine
that day,
my first Official Cubs game and I didn't have to pay.
The paperboys of Naperville were on their yearly
outing,
Ice cream, hot dogs, popcorn, fanatical screaming and
shouting.

Destined for the playoffs, the Cubs weren't frightened
of Atlanta,
our fearsome starting line-up felt the Pennant all but
granted.
The pure green field and outfield vines did shimmer in
the sun,
and we paperboys were confident the contest would be
won.

A Cub named Kenny Holtzman had been picked to take the
mound,
the best infield in baseball had him covered all
around.
Santo, Beckert, Kessinger, Ernie Banks there at first
base,
Randy Hundley in the catcher's gear as the outfield
took their place.

For long the game was scoreless, both teams stuck
between the lines,
with one Atlanta long-ball snatched by Williams from
the vines.
And then the time had come for Mighty Santo at the
bat,
two Cubs on the basepaths, the opportunity was FAT.

Atlanta's sorry pitcher threw what well he would rue
later,
to the very wrong Cub he served up a big, fat TATER.
The ballpark then exploded as they watched the soaring
goner,
The Cubs had grabbed the lead with Mighty Santo's
three-run homer.

The game continued onward 'til it's foregone
conclusion,
but the wild pandemonium left me muddled in confusion.
The Cubs and Kenny Holtzman beat the Braves and scored
a shut-out,
but the passion in the grandstands had me wallowing in
doubt.

I turned to Johnny Wetzel, paperboy extra-ordinaire,
and wondered why grown men threw one another in the
air.
Johnny turned to me like I was well out of my wits:
"Come on, J.J. Tindall, the Braves DIDN'T GET ANY
HITS!!!"

And so we paperboys got ourselves a lifetime's thrill,
and Holtzman and Ron Santo? Forget I never will!
O: the days before September when our playoff hopes
turned bitter,
I celebrate the day I learned the meaning of
"no-hitter."

-

J. J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He can reached at jjtindall@yahoo.com. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.



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Posted on March 25, 2008


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