The Night Before Baseball
by Ted Rosenberry
‘Twas the night before baseball, when at Findlay and Race
Parade floats arrived to be put into place.
The jerseys were hung by the lockers with care
For Mr. Redlegs and Rosie Red soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
As visions of Cracker Jacks danced in their heads.
And Ma in here Reds shirt, and I my Reds cap
Had just settled down for a quick springtime nap.
When out on the field, there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to watch the first batter.
The start of the coverage, I wasn’t to miss
Turned on Fox Sports Ohio to see Thom and Chris.
The sun on the crest of the new sodded grass
Gave the promise of summer and a new rookie class.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But the Cincinnati Reds to a glorious cheer.
With a wily old coach, so strong and concise
I knew in a moment it was Bryan Price.
More rapid than eagles his players they came
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
“Now Tucker, now Scooter now Scotty and Billy!
On Adam, On Jose, Eugenio and Joey!
To the top of the order, Hit ‘em over the wall!
Now pitch away, field away, hit away all!”
As Hamilton when the pitch nears the plate
Steals second, the players would no longer wait.
So, out of the dugout the players they flew
With gloves in their hand, and the game balls too.
And then in the sunlight, I saw in the stands
The cheering of spectators, clapping their hands.
As I lifted my head hoping this game I’d like
Homer Bailey’s first pitch hit the zone for a strike.
They were dressed all in red, from their cleats to their shirts
And their clothes were all tarnished with grass stains and dirt.
A bundle of baseballs was ready for play
As the umpires gathered on that fine spring day.
The pitch, how it sped by! The next, how it sunk,
The change up moved slowly, though the curveball, it stunk.
The crack of the bat caused some ahs and some ooohs,
And the road team scored to a chorus of boos.
Marty painted the picture, describing each play,
Jeff filled in the rest, having fun all the way.
And with one last strike from Raisel, Marty said
At long last, “And this one belongs to the Reds.”
We sprung from our seats, to our team gave a yell
As they celebrated, they were overjoyed, I could tell.
So I say to you here, from now ‘til the fall,
“Happy Opening Day, it’s time to Play Ball!”