That Darn Curve Ball


#1

This pitch that I got, a curve ball it’s called,
and of all of my pitches, it’s the best of them all.
And when it’s working, like a magical spell,
not a batter could touch it, nor could they tell,
when it will dip, curve or just float them by,
this beautiful thing, this curve ball of mine.

But when its not working, it just hangs in the air,
just to good to be true, as a batter would stare.
As his hands would twist and wring at the bat,
waiting for the ball to hall-off and smack…

Now as soon as I release it I could tell right away,
that darn ball is gone, its gone for the day.
A fickle ole pitch with a mind of its own,
that fickle ole pitch that took me years to hone.

If can grip it just right, along on the seams,
or maybe across, with my thumb underneath.
And then there’s my arm, when positioned just so,
poised up and back just prior to throw.

Now I’ll release this pitch with my palm to the side,
bringing it down and across my right side,
then down and across my numbered chest,
hoping the ball will do all the rest.

And there it goes, with a beautiful arch,
sailing towards home so gentle and smart.
I open my eyes and to see such a sight,
“I’ve nailed it” I say, with all my delight.

My catcher waits there for the pitch to arrive,
but he shaking his head, - I’m stunned and surprised.
For he knows it’s a floater, its an obvious fact,
as the batter rears back, and connects with his bat!

I’m pulled off the mound, replaced just again,
I’m sent to the dugout, and sit at the end.
I guess my days are number, I think to myself,
I’ll just be a memory, a thing on a shelf.
I’ve just realize my season is done,
this job that I have with fun in the sun.

I realize it now, as I rest and I sit,
after all, that the darn curve ball, was a my best pitch!

Coach B.


#2

Oh, wow! I can imagine that you will be sympathized with by every pitcher whose curve ball wasn’t working for him. But, in hindsight, you must know that if that problematical pitch isn’t working for you on any particular day you should send it to the showers and go with your othet stuff. This was precisely what Jim Brosnan, a very good relief pitcher for Cincinnati in the 60s, was trying to tell Jay Hook about his fast ball.
I remember something that Ed Lopat was telling me one day, when we were discussing strategic pitching. He said that there would be days when a particular pitch was misbehaving, and the time to find out about it was when warming up before the start of a game. He told me that when I was warming up to throw all my pitches, everything I had in my repertoire, to see how they were working, and that if any one pitch wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do the thing to do was stick it back on the shelf, so to speak, and concentrate on what was working. The curve ball is the pitch most likely to go off track like that; fortunately, this was not my best pitch, even though it was the one that came attached to my sidearm delivery, and I did indeed have other pitches to throw—a lot of them.
I don’t know whether you remember him, but Vic Raschi was another of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation. He didn’t even have a curve ball, what they called “Aunt Susie” in those days. He had a blazing fast ball—almost as fast as the one Allie Reynolds had—an even more menacing slider, and a very good changeup, and he won 21 games three seasons running, and in one of those years he led the American League in strikeouts. So he didn’t even need that problem pitch.
Ah, memories… :slight_smile: :baseballpitcher: