A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2007, vol 3 no 2

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Clyde Glandon

All My Old Baseball Cards Are Gone Too

My father and I go to an April game at Kansas City Municipal Stadium. It's a pretty day, with soft breezes. He and his business partners have box seats right behind the Visitors dugout. The re-built field used to be home to the Kansas City Blues. Mr. Becker, relaxed, wisecracking, shelling peanuts, tells us that the White Sox are "hitless wonders" this year.

In the lengthening afternoon, Chicago defeats KC 29 to 5.

Cletus Boyer, Art Ditmar, Bobby Shantz, Hector Lopez, Vic Power, Bob Cerv–and then Roger Maris–all get traded away. To the Yankees.

A new owner for the Athletics installs a cartoon-looking rabbit which pops up from underground near home plate. It provides a basket of new baseballs for the plate umpire, accompanied by a slide-whistle sound over the P.A. system. The A's now wear white calfskin shoes and look like softball players.

As I sit at the breakfast table I watch my mother lugging my father's big duffle bag through the kitchen door. "I guess your dad forgot this," she says. "I found it down by the curb." I was asleep when dad left hours before with Mr. Becker and Mr. Barrett for their long-planned fishing trip to Canada. "They're probably half way through Iowa by now."

With her back to us, she silently begins unpacking his clothing and gear. And the lunch she had made for him. My sister gets the hiccups and tries several rounds of holding her breath, but starts laughing and can't concentrate.

"Quit teasing your sister!" my mother says over her shoulder.

"Hey, what did I do?"

"Whatever you're doing, quit it, both of you."

My sister is red in the face and tries drinking water from the outside rim of her glass, having to tilt way over. She keeps giggling and water snorts through her nose . . .

fourth Yankee homer
going, gone, into the deep
September night

Note: According to the Baseball Encyclopedia, this game had the second most lopsided score in the Major Leagues in the 20th Century. The Hitless Wonders won the Series that year.