June 5, 2023

Twas the night before Phillies spring training


Photo via r/baseball

Twas the night before Phillies spring training, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even the Phandemic Krew;
The jerseys were hung in the lockers with care,
In hopes that Opening Day soon would be there;
The players were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of a parade down Broad St. danced in their heads;
And Joe Girardi in his uniform, and P on his cap,
Had just settled our brains from a long winter’s nap,
When out on the field there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like Jimmy Rollins,
Tore threw the gates and opened the door.
The durt so fresh with the newly watered grass,
Gave a lustre of game day feelings,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a large green stomach and one large snout,
With a little old tongue so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be the Phillie Phanatic.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Harper! now, Realmuto! now Nola, and Gregorius!
On, Wheeler! on, Hoskins! on, Eflin, and Bradley!
To the top of the pitchers mound! to the batters box!
Now pitch away! hit away! play baseball away all!”
As leaves before the postseason fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mounts of dirt on the fields;
So up to the field the ground crew flew, to fix the situation
With the Phils full of players, and the Phanatic too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard outside the stadium
The cheering and shouting of Phillies fans,
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
In the stands fans came with a bound.
They were dressed all in red, from their head to their foot,
And their clothes were all clean with pinstripes and stars;
A bundle of airhorns they had in their hands,
And they looked like a group all just blowing their horns.
Their eyes—how they twinkled! their dimples, how merry!
Their cheeks were like roses, their nose like a cherry!
Their droll little mouths was drawn up like a bow,
And the horn in their hand was as loud as a siren;
The stump of a hat they had on their head;
It made the whole look;
The Phanatic had a broad snout and a large round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old mascot,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the pitching machines; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his snout,
And giving a nod, to the sea of fans he went to,
He disappeared in the crowd, to his team gave a whistle,
And away he went like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy spring training to all, and to all a good night!”

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