The Wizard and the Rookie

He holds in his hands so splendid and white,
a ball he holds dear, with all of his might.
A ball that’s so white end to end,
a ball soon to have mud rubbed into its skin.

His fingers and palms will find every stitch,
every bump to perfection, he’ll remember them with.
For this ball tells a tale of what it can do,
in the hands wizard, and his trickery to.

This ball will do magic, and its flight will be proof,
of the spells that this pitcher will cast as a spoof.
For this pitcher is no ordinary wizard, with spells of delight,
who delivers a ball with the speed of bright lights.

Yes, for this is the master, the ruler of mounds,
who looks down from his perch, surveying his ground.
A bag full magic called fastballs and curves,
a spell book he chants from, word after word.

And this day so many will give it a try,
to break the old master and blacken his sky.
To catch that round magic, and remove all his spells,
by using their bats, by hollering and yells,
I’ve beaten this wizard, they all want to chant,
but so many have failed, chance after chance.

But what is this, who seems coming up,
why he’s only a rookie, he’s barely a pup.
And look at him now, straddling his stance,
in the box he does stand, gripping hand over hand.

Now who does this rookie, think that he is,
to face this master, the wizard of wiz?
Does he not know how many that fallen,
trying to match his craft with that of the calling.
Well, he’ll soon know of sorrow and cry,
and the sadness that follows with watery eyes.

So the wizard from the mound winds up and delivers,
a pitch that floats through the air, then wanders and shivers.
And the ball seems to have a mind of its own,
as it rotates and glides all the way home.

But just then the catcher, who was about to admit,
that the master’s craft was just in his mitt,
but a crack of the bat, sounded solid and true,
and sent the master’s pitch right into the blue.

Up and up it rose defying the spells,
Up and up it when to the hollers and yells.

As the spell left the field, as it went out of sight,
around the bases the rookie did fly.
His foot touched all bases and while heading to home,
he looked at the wizard on the back of his dome.

But just then he notices a smile from the ole man,
a smile that started with a rise of his hand.
For the wizard acknowledged that rookie at bat,
with a nod of his head and a tip of his hat.

For that day this rookie, had matched all his might,
against a wizard of baseball, and a master of life.

Coach B.

I would call this one “The Tale of a Knuckleball That Didn’t Knuckle.” And we all know what happens to a knuckleball that won’t knuckle: it turns into a gopher ball, so called because the batter who hits it can “gopher” all four bases. No doubt this rookie was told to watch out for that pitch.
And Aaron Boone was no rookie. He was watching for Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball, and he got it on the first pitch, and BLAM, over the fence it went. So this would serve as a cautionary tale for pitchers who throw this thing. The knuckler can be a miserable pitch to hit—or it can be the easiest one to get hold of and blast it out of the ball park. So, even if it is your best pitch, don’t start off with it. Set the batter up, get him off balance, mess up his timing and his thinking, and then throw it. :wink: