New Poem: Hamilton v. Baltimore

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers tied a major league record by hitting four home runs in one game on Tuesday night, statistically one of the rarest feats in baseball. It happens about once per decade, on average.

Painful to think that this guy nearly forfeited his entire career to drug addiction, and that even today, after all his success, he still struggles to stay clean. This poem is a nod to his personal turnaround and how it can inspire turnarounds in all of us.


Hamilton v. Baltimore
by Ed DeCaria

Oriole fans curse and stammer over Hamilton’s first knock. Orange turns black

as he raps his second to opposite field within an hour. He and Elvis circle the mound
like vultures, while catcalls burn through Arrieta’s ears from four hundred feet.

Baltimore’s still breathing after six when another H-bomb crushes
any comeback hopes. This guy is a specimen. I knew he could hit,
but damn – three in one game? Wieters will never be this good.

Eighth inning now. Stadium nerves shift side-to-side to stay loose. All eyes
lock in on No. 32. He digs a hole, down two quick strikes, then strokes a
long line drive ——– deep ——– dead center ——– NUMBER FOUR!!! Camden erupts
into a standing “Ohhhh!” and every homer heart skips a beat in salute of history.


© Copyright 2012, Ed DeCaria. All rights reserved.

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  • Suz Blackaby

    Home run, Ed. Nice one!

  • Maggie De Vore

    Wish I coulda been there!!

  • Jeanne Poland

    Dear Ed:
    Thanks for taking me out to the ballgame.
    I was 16 years old again (55 years ago)
    lying on my stomach
    watching the black and white TV.

    History being made
    Poem being mimed;
    Batting being timed
    Game being played.
    (from tkt to Ed to Hamilton)

    Jeanne Poland

  • Ann Jacobus

    Thanks for this poem, the baseball history and the personal story behind it. Very cool that it all emanates from a single crack of a ball on the bat.

  • Ed DeCaria

    Thanks, everyone. Glad you enjoyed it. This was a different sort of poem for me in terms of what I’ve exhibited on TKT so far.

    Suz, I actually thought quite a bit about your MMPoetry work while writing this poem, specifically your poems using fossilized and pusillanimous. You have a deft ability to control pace and rhythm while at the same time letting short little bursts of internal rhyme or other poetic devices dance around within your verse. It was impressive, and quite memorable.

    Jeanne: Is that a Tinker to Evers to Chance reference???

  • laurasalas

    I’m so not a baseball fan, so this was like reading a poem in another language. But I was still able to get the mood, and I adored the ending.

    I was at the Minnesota Twins game last night. There were plenty of “Ohhhh!”s, but not in a good way!

    • Ed DeCaria

      Thanks, Laura. I did drop a bunch of baseball names in there, but I did so intentionally, refering to certain players the way an Oriole fan would in each setting.

      Twins Thursday night game — yeah, I imagine not fun for a Minnesota fan. Jason Marquis is possibly the least interesting pitcher to watch in baseball. Bland, weak stuff, just … blah.

  • Robyn Hood Black

    I don’t watch a lot of baseball either, but you set an intriguing scene (trap?) with some lovely writing – so I had to hang on to see how it turned out! Score.

  • Greg Pincus

    What I love most of all in this poem is that you capture the fact that baseball fans can still cheer for the sport, even if it’s an opposing player who delivers the memorable performance. That’s an authenticity thang that made the whole poem sing for me….

    • Ed DeCaria

      Exactly. I think that baseball fans have a sense of those special moments when it doesn’t matter if “your” team wins or loses — you just witnessed something incredible and you cannot help but open yourself to the moment.

  • Mary Lee

    Have you read THE ART OF FIELDING? I’m listening to it right now. I just got to the part where Henry ties but does not surpass a (real? fictional?) record for errorless games. Connected nicely to your poem.

    • Ed DeCaria

      I’ve not, but intend to. Seems that it’s actually gotten mixed reviews (well, very positive overall, but some criticisms).

      Glad you enjoyed the poem.

  • Irene Latham

    Do I see a baseball collection in your future?? Yes, yes I do. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ed DeCaria

      Yes, yes you do …

  • Dom D

    Is there a certain widely-read publication covering the sport that will be publishing this soon? :)

    • Ed DeCaria

      Peut-être …

  • Catherine Johnson

    That was really fun, Ed!