The Third Base Coach Sign

The Third Base Coach Sign

I’m about to enter the box and take my stance,
when down to third I give it glance.
Our third base coach is about to sign,
to take one looking or bunt down the line.
He touches his cheek with a glancing swipe,
then at his cap, then his belt he swipes.
He slaps his chest then swipes his knees,
While the runner on first wonders “is that a sign for me?”
Now if this don’t beat all, … he stumbles back,
with his arms stretched out, holding his cap.
Then he gets up and runs around,
past the third base ump and heads for me at home.
Now he stands besides me as plain as could be,
“It’s a hit and run, son,” oh and by the way,
be careful around third, it’s loaded with bees!

That reminds me of a game where Allie Reynolds was pitching for the Yanks and Dick Wakefield was at bat for, I think the Red Sox. Suddenly the batter broke from the box, waving the bat wildly, and charged the mound, and everybody thought he was after the pitcher. Nope. The batter was after a swarm of gnats that had settled near the mound and had been flying back and forth, back and forth, and were disrupting the game! The umpire had to call time and send for an exterminator to corral the creatures and get them off the field so play could resume.
You have to watch out for those insects—gnats, bees, mosquitoes, wasps and such; they’re all over the place!

I wrote that poem shortly after a game where our third base coach was stung several times by some white faced hornets.

This stadium that we were at was just south of Albany. It was early in the evening and the lights were just coming on with the humming of the power boxes tuning up. After our second batter grounded out, the fans near the third base light pole started clearing out, making a hasty beat for the upper decks and the exit ramps. From the distance of our dugout we couldn’t see why.

It seems that a nest of white faced hornets made their home right next to, if not on, the transformer box- or whatever that box was called, and were disturbed by the vibrations when the lights came on.

Just our luck, our third base coach had terrific sense of humor and he was great baseball people. He was also a little on the portly side, with a sense of balance that just didn’t exist. So, when he started waving around like a Dutch windmill in a gale, most of us thought that … " there’s goes Earl, having a grand time all by his lonesome."

Fact was those hornets took Earl to task. Did nothing to bother the third base ump … just Earl.

Every time I see a nest of bees or hornets, I can help but think to myself…“it’s and run son, hit and run.”