Me and Oscar Wilde at a Ballgame

We sit along the third base line as the late summer afternoon puts another quarter in the jukebox of a melodious sky whose lyrics rhyme with every kind of forever after kind of place. And Oscar, he minds to the third baseman, who’s being rather possessive of the mussed up bag he’s responsible for guarding.

“The chap is of a mind to take that thing you call a base home with him, it would seem . . .”

“It’s why they refer to third base as the ‘Hot corner’. Because if you’re looking for the most suspenseful of locales on a diamond? It’s as good a place to start as any,” I explain.

Seven innings down and I’ve explained a lot of the nuts and bolts of a typical game to the old boy. He digests every morsel of information before spitting out literary devices in return, so the bargain? It’s fantastic as far as I’m concerned.

“Why does the fellow on the mound behave in such a fastidious manner? Is it not considered poor etiquette to deny the batter his involvement with this baseball?”

“Involvement with this baseball . . I don’t think Ted Williams could have said it any better than that, my man. Well see, it’s like this. The pitcher is attempting to talk that baseball into doing his bidding. But the batter, he is well aware of the liberties he might be able to take with the very same ball. So the pitcher holds on, as if holding to a lover he fears might quit him,”

“I see. So . . chess with a sidearm?”

“Oh God, Oscar. I can’t imagine Vin Scully could paint a baseball portrait any better!” I say.

“Here, here!” He replies as we clink our plastic cups full of a brand new round of merry.

“And there are how many stanzas to this parade again? . . Nine?” He asks,

“Officially, yes. But unofficially, the game could last forever. There is no clock, there is no time limit. I’m going to lend you a book . .it’s called The Iowa Baseball Confederacy. The author, W.P. Kinsella . . he will educate you as to why the game is like no other game ever invented. Because if both teams are tied after nine innings have been played . . they keep on playing until someone breaks the seal. Home team always batting last . . .”

“Ah, it’s very much like when I penned The Importance of Being Earnest. There were indeed moments that stretched into days and weeks and yes, months . . where I believed the very core of the sun would meet its end before I might conclude! And as it were, I produced several books out of that one . . before business was attended to and the pages were snipped into a more agreeable fashion, as it were . .” Oscar says.

“Because the words are like a baseball game, huh? They have no real end to them. The precarious little buggers,” I say.

“So, assuming this contest does not outlast the sun? Might you have a place for me to settle in, where I may commence with a postlude on the day’s events? It is my solemn wish to share these moments with strangers whose divinity can be found at the bottom of a well apportioned glass!”

“There is a place, across the bridge in fact. Full of firemen whose ancestry goes back to when these streets were navigated by horse drawn carriages. Romantic like that,” I smile.

“Are they the sort to appreciate a good story?” Oscar asks.

“As long as the tap is singing and the company understands the fine art of colorful language . . yes. But I must warn you, they are rascals, the whole lot of them,” I warn him good naturedly.

“I do love a good rascal,”

We toast as the inning ends on a double play, cut clean from the geometrical nursery rhyme of Tinkers to Evers to Chance. And the sun splashes down in one final vertical thrust before bidding adieu.

The visitor’s half of the ninth inning begins with the home team having things well in hand, by a 6-2 score. But with one man out, a rally gets to stepping and the next thing we know it’s 6-4 with two men out, but the bases loaded. And now the buzz of the crowd folds into a single, collective hush as their best hitter steps to the plate with all manner of bad intentions as far as that baseball is concerned.

And now the windup . . and now the pitch . . .

52 thoughts on “Me and Oscar Wilde at a Ballgame

  1. “CRACK. Will it stay fair or start that agonizing drift toward the mother of all hellish places just left of the third baseline. Well, I guess we won’t know, Pilgrim. This was an excellent marriage of classic literary genius with contemporary literary genius. Now the only constant in the genius category happens to be you. Well done and VERY entertaining. Maybe you out to take a number of different people to the ballgame. You can put the whole thing on your expense account and we would all love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. B,

    Mark said: Beautiful
    John: said Genius
    Eilene said: Clever and entertaining
    Pam said: Great fun!
    Frank… well, we’ll see what he says, won’t we?

    As for me? I say all of the above and then some. You take the idea of a story – even if it didn’t exist at 4:00 pm and swirl your magical “pen” around the page.

    This wonderful post is enough to make the most diehard baseball hater want to go to a game with you.

    I can’t say anything in a manner befitting your prose except to say, I love this, B. This is what you do so well.

    Thank you,

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      You done filled in those gaps quite well, now didn’t you?

      No, I didn’t imagine I was writing bupkis today. I was meh about the prospects, because that’s how I felt about it. Meh. And then something just sparked. Happens.

      I don’t trust a baseball hater. It’s one thing if you don’t love it, or if it’s not quite your cup of tea. But to hate the game? Hmmm, that just doesn’t make sense.

      You’re lovely, and thank you for the sweetness. Very, very much appreciated as you well know. 😉

      No, thank YOU.

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I tried to.

        I hear you. I heard you. And then I come back from gallivanting and find this. When you spark, something happens, all right.

        I think your love of the game is contagious. I always enjoy going to a game way more than watching on on TV. On TV, I’m more meh? What’s the point. Ironically, I love baseball movies, you don’t. Go figure.

        You know I can’t help but give you what I can. I think I very well do know. 😉

        MWAH!

        Liked by 1 person

        • You done did.

          Maybe it’s Ken Burns fault in this instance. Or at least some of it is, because I swear he has me watching a day long series . . . yet again.

          Isn’t that funny? I mean, I do have a few that I love, but for the most part I think the baseball movies are so phony looking. The dudes don’t even know how to throw the ball over hand in most of em. But Costner, he looked the part.

          You very well do, you do.

          MUAH!!

          Like

  3. Beautifully done – besides, you are the only one who could ever link Oscar Wilde and baseball! …. and the pitch …. a line shot over the second basemen’s head … one run scores … O’Neill cleanly fields the ball … a play at the plate … Got ’em … Yankees win, Yankees win, Daaaaaaaa Yankeees win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you RW! Yes, I didn’t know WHERE to go with a post, and then I came upon a piece about Oscar Wilde and there it was . . the idea.

      Yeah, I didn’t really flesh it out as much as I might have. But hey, maybe there will be another game?

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.