Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ogden Nash

My favorite poet, Odgen Nash, died exactly forty years ago today at the age of 68. Nash may not be the literary world's favorite poet, but he speaks to me. For instance, he penned this classic, the shortest poem ever: Candy is Dandy but Liquor is Quicker

Have seven words ever said more?

He also wrote this incredible poem called "Lineup for Yesterday." It was originally printed in the Sport Magazine in 1949, and it's about the greatest baseball players from the first half of the 20th century. Eight of these guys played or managed for the Cubs at one time or another in their career (Alexander, Bresnahan, Dean, Evers, Frisch, Hornsby, Newsom, and Foxx). Long live Ogden Nash.

A is for Alex
The great Alexander;
More Goose eggs he pitched
Than a popular gander.

B is for Bresnahan
Back of the plate;
The Cubs were his love,
and McGraw his hate.

C is for Cobb,
Who grew spikes and not corn,
And made all the basemen
Wish they weren't born.

D is for Dean,
The grammatical Diz,
When they asked, Who's the tops?
Said correctly, I is.

E is for Evers,
His jaw in advance;
Never afraid
To Tinker with Chance.

F is for Fordham
And Frankie and Frisch;
I wish he were back
With the Giants, I wish.

G is for Gehrig,
The Pride of the Stadium;
His record pure gold,
His courage, pure radium.

H is for Hornsby;
When pitching to Rog,
The pitcher would pitch,
Then the pitcher would dodge.

I is for Me,
Not a hard-hitting man,
But an outstanding all-time
Incurable fan.

J is for Johnson
The Big Train in his prime
Was so fast he could throw
Three strikes at a time.

K is for Keeler,
As fresh as green paint,
The fastest and mostest
To hit where they ain't.

L is for Lajoie
Whom Clevelanders love,
Napolean himself,
With glue in his glove.

M is for Matty,
Who carried a charm
In the form of an extra
brain in his arm.

N is for Newsom,
Bobo's favorite kin.
You ask how he's here,
He talked himself in.

O is for Ott
Of the restless right foot.
When he leaned on the pellet,
The pellet stayed put.

P is for Plank,
The arm of the A's;
When he tangled with Matty
Games lasted for days.

Q is for Don Quixote
Cornelius Mack;
Neither Yankees nor years
Can halt his attack.

R is for Ruth.
To tell you the truth,
There's just no more to be said,
Just R is for Ruth.

S is for Speaker,
Swift center-field tender,
When the ball saw him coming,
It yelled, "I surrender."

T is for Terry
The Giant from Memphis
Whose .400 average
You can't overemphis.

U would be 'Ubell
if Carl were a cockney;
We say Hubbell and Baseball
Like Football and Rockne.

V is for Vance
The Dodger's very own Dazzy;
None of his rivals
Could throw as fast as he.

W is for Wagner,
The bowlegged beauty;
Short was closed to all traffic
With Honus on duty.

X is the first
of two x's in Foxx
Who was right behind Ruth
with his powerful soxx.

Y is for Young
The magnificent Cy;
People battled against him,
But I never knew why.

Z is for Zenith
The summit of fame.
These men are up there.
These men are the game.

The 1918 World Series

Oh this won't be the last article written about it because of the historic upcoming series against the Red Sox, but I will say this: It's the first one that's appropriately sarcastic about the "thrown" World Series.

I didn't write it, but it's written pretty much exactly the way I would have written it.

(That's the official 1918 Cubs logo from 1918, by the way)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The 1918 World Series

With the upcoming Cubs-Red Sox series this weekend, be prepared to be hearing an awful lot about the 1918 World Series, and the possibility it was fixed.

The New York Times did a story about it this past weekend, and I suspect their version will be the best one out there. They don't have a horse in this race, so at the very least, it's unbiased.