Ode to the Pitching Coach

I don’t remember how it started one day,
when someone asked me to help and to stay.
How to grip and throw the ball,
how to stand, stride down the mound but never fall.
How to pitch so deliberate and with might,
for games during the day or games during the night.

So again and again I would pick and choose,
my words of guidance, my pointers and mood.
Slowing but surely his form would take place,
with deliberate moves of his style and grace.
“You’re getting it son”, I’d say to him,
as acknowledgement came to his face with a grin.

A rookie was taking shape before my eyes,
a young man with a future as big as the sky.

On to the bullpen I took him one day,
as I look and him with these words I did say.

Now listen to me rookie, listen to what I say.
You’re going to make this place your home,
this place of clay and rubber on this dome.
You’ve got to focus on your work out there,
Among booing fans and angry stares.
And that batter up there will definitely test,
your fastball, slider and your very best.
A mind of steel and caring not,
of anything else that’s laying about.
Your only job is to control this game,
with every pitch and let none be in vain.
And when you think that this job is a sinch,
you’re only good as your very last pitch.

You’ll get better and better, like a well versed song,
It’s my job you know, to bring you along.
Then someday you’ll be called up as it were,
to the next level where things start to stir.

You’ll be passed on to another coach,
Just guard yourself to bragging and boasts.
That man will build upon your time,
he’ll show you some things much like mine.
They’ll be more polished and refined,
how to work in and out,
how to work on a batter without questions or doubt.

I’ll keep in touch of your progress, silently out of sight,
as you master this craft and this path of your life.
Then someday the word will come down – I know,
that you’re headed to the “bigs” you’re headed to the show.

I was only a small part of his success and his life,
ony a small part, but I take great delight.
Neither fanfare or applause do I need after all that,
But, it would be nice if I only got a tip of the cap.


Terrific post, Coach B.—and here’s that tip of the cap, and more. I will never forget the experiences I had with my pitching coach, many moons ago—how he took me in hand and worked with me and helped me become a better pitcher than I had been. Thank you—and I still say you really have to write that book!