By Michael Ceraolo

 

Ty Cobb
 
I should have done more checking on Stump
before I accepted him as my ghostwriter
I understand the hatchet job he did on me
decades later in a biography
was even worse than the job he did on me
in my so-called autobiography
The basepaths and batter’s box were mine
and I fought anyone who tried to take them from me,
and I fought hard off the field too;
all my life I bet on myself and usually won
None of that made me a lunatic or a bigot
But that hasn’t stopped very many since my death
from labeling me and/or diagnosing me as such
Dutch Leonard
 
I didn’t mind incriminating myself
if doing so would help Cobb and Speaker
get what those two had coming to them,
though I’m sorry Woody had to be included
But the bastards got off almost scot-free
despite the fact that I showed the damning letters
I guess I was the only real winner:
I extorted twenty thousand from Ban Johnson
for my silence, and then didn’t remain silent
Tris Speaker
 
Leonard mentions letters,
but there were no letters from me
The only evidence against me was his word,
and we know what that’s worth
But I was no naif,
and if Leonard’s bogus charges stuck
I was prepared to take many down with me:
Ty and I had deposited some evidence
in a vault in a Cleveland bank for such a case
I’m glad we never had to use it,
and by now I’ve forgotten what it was
Smoky Joe Wood
 
I was a helluva pitcher til my shoulder went
Today it wouldn’t necessarily be so,
but back then it was the end of the line
Except that I had always been more than a pitcher,
and so Spoke pushed Mr. Dunn to acquire me,
hoping I could pitch again but knowing
I’d still be valuable if I couldn’t
I made it as an outfielder,
and we won another World Series together
So,
because of the kind of guy Spoke was,
and because of the kind of guy Dutch was,
it really pains me to admit this,
but Leonard was right about the game in ’19
I don’t think that should cancel all we accomplished

 

Michael Ceraolo is a 62-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had two full-length books (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press; 500 Cleveland Haiku, from Writing Knights Press) published, and has two more (Euclid Creek Book Two,from unbound content press; Lawyers, Guns, and Money, from Writing Knights Press) in the publication pipeline.

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