April 3, 2011

Babes Ghost

By Jerry Vilhotti

Zeus would tolerate no nonsense from any gods this game as he had the first few thousand after they discovered this thing playing itself out on Gaea's earth promising each and everyone of them that he would do a Prometheus on the miscreant who dared break his concentration but instead of one vulture eating his or her replenished liver once a day he - The Supreme Ruler who had beaned his father the mighty Cronus when he wasn't looking - would have Edgar Allan Poe's twenty-four hook-nosed birds eating a new liver every long tortuous hour.
He was so intent watching this contest between a young lefty who had a father like he who declared war on all sixteen year old males approaching manhood against a pitcher who was also destined to be ranked among the gods of the game - named Walter Johnson.
Even though Zeus agreed with Poseidon that the nickname Red Sox had no real meaning wishing instead they had taken the name Yankees, he nevertheless was going for the Beantowners for the sole reason their cocky youngster called "Babe" had captured his liking with all the moxie he displayed on and off the field.

"No bull! I don't want anyone playing with the pentagon guy's brain making him forget what's a strike and what's a ball. And Hermes I don't want you tripping runners because you bet against their team nor Athena, my aegis carrier, giving managers the idea to run and hit with the bases loaded like you did to Popeye!"

With no fooling around, the game was indeed a classic as Zeus watched closely the contest going on between pitcher and batter. He jumped excitedly whenever a high and tight fast ball was thrown knowing the next pitch, almost for sure, was going to be a curve that often had a batter falling backward out of his little box and sometimes out of his spikes.
He could see much of himself in this Babe; in the boy that would father the man he would become. His feats would follow him all the way to the house he would build in The Bronx where he would eat thirty hot-dogs while washing them down with ten golden beers speckled with partially chewed materials and then go out onto the field to hit prodigious home runs way over where his tomb stone would one day stand.

The game ended with only one run being scored, due to the "dead ball" , with the Babe hitting the sac-fly for the win.

Zeus hoped strongly that the earthlings would not make earth a dead ball and when he found out the Beantowners had sent his Babe to New York - he became an anti Boston fanatic vowing the Red Sox would never again win another world serious. It was Zeus who encouraged a bald man for the Cardinals to scamper home from first after lulling the defense into thinking such a thing could not be done. It was he who fashioned the great stretch drives between the Yankees and Red Sox and delighted when the Yankees beat them out and it was he who struck in the last half of the ninth inning when the Red Sox had all but defeated the Mets. He convinced the Boston manager not to put in an uninjured reserve first baseman for defensive purposes who just happened to have good use of both legs and it was he who had the two outs made and the third batter have two strikes on him before allowing him to hit a pop up with eyes to fall unmolested just beyond two outstretched gloves; made a base on balls happen by having the pitcher lose his control and an umpire forget what constituted a strike zone; a wild pitch that he made slip out of sweaty fingers to advance the runners into scoring position and then allowed the polluted sky to fall by having a little snaky grounder - that looked so harmless - slither its way through the legs of the first base man, who found it difficult to bend, and make its way to shallow right field just far enough to score the tying and winning runs!

Zeus didn't even have to show up the next day for the seventh game for the hex was sure to remain for he was the Zeus man and would never forget what "they" had done to The Babe .... END


Jerry submitted this to the old version of THE READER, and several more in the same vain after that. I always enjoy his work and posted several more of his works when he was kind enough to send them my way.

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