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Thread: Brownie Parodies & Poetry

  1. #1
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    Brownie Parodies & Poetry

    The Ballad of Eddie Gaedel
    (sung to the tune of "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer")
    by Bill McCurdy, 1999.

    Bill Veeck, the Brownie owner,
    Wore some very shiny clothes!
    And if you saw his sport shirt,
    You would even say, "It glows!"

    All of the other owners,
    Used to laugh and call him names!
    They wouldn't let poor Bill Veeck,
    Join in any owner games!

    (chorus)
    Then one humid summer day,
    Bill Veeck had to - fidget!
    Got an idea that stirred his soul,
    He decided to sign a - midget!

    His name was Eddie Gae-del,
    He was only three feet tall!
    He never played much baseball,
    He was always just too small!

    (chorus)
    Then one day in Sportsman's Park,
    Eddie went to bat!
    Took four balls and walked to first,
    Then retired - just-like-that!

    Oh, how the purists hated,
    Adding little Eddie's name,
    To the big book of records,
    "Gaedel" bore a blush of shame!

    Now when you look up records,
    Look up Eddie's O.B.P.!
    It reads a cool One Thousand,
    Safe for all eternity.
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 06-04-2004 at 05:08 PM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

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    The Lost Hurrah: September 27, 1953

    The Lost Hurrah: September 27, 1953
    Chicago White Sox 2 - St. Louis Browns 1.


    (A respectful parody of "Casey At The Bat" by Ernest L. Thayer in application to the last game ever played by our beloved Browns.)

    by Bill McCurdy (1997)


    The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Brownie nine that day;
    They were moving from St. Louis - to a place quite far away,
    And all because Bill Veeck had said, "I can't afford to stay,"
    The team was playing their last game - in that fabled Brownie way.

    With hopes of winning buried deep - beneath all known dismay,
    The Brownies ate their cellar fate, but still charged out to play.
    In aim to halt a last hard loss - in a season dead since May,
    They sent Pillette out to the mound - to speak their final say.

    The White Sox were that last dance foe - at the former Sportsman's Park,
    And our pitcher pulsed the pallor of those few fans in the dark.
    To the dank and empty stands they came, - one final, futile time,
    To witness their dear Brownies reach - ignominy sublime.

    When Mickelson then knocked in Groth - for the first run of the game,
    It was to be the last Browns score, - from here to kingdom came.
    And all the hopes that fanned once more, - in that third inning spree,
    Were briefly blowing in the wind, - but lost eternally.

    For over seven innings then, - Dee bleached the White Sox out,
    And the Browns were up by one to oh, - when Rivera launched his clout.
    That homer tied the score at one, - and then the game ran on.
    Until eleven innings played, - the franchise was not gone.

    But Minnie's double won the game - for the lefty, Billy Pierce,
    And Dee picked up the last Browns loss; - one hundred times is fierce!
    And when Jim Dyck flew out to end - the Browns' last time at bat,
    The SL Browns were here no more, and that was that, - was that!

    Oh, somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright;
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
    And somewhere men are laughing, - and little children shout,
    But there's no joy in Sislerville, - the Brownies have pulled out.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

  3. #3
    This is some great work, Bill. Have you had them published yet?

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the kind words, Commish. I'm happy that you enjoyed them. To answer your question, - no, neither of these pieces have been submitted for publication elsewhere. They were simply things I wrote as a part of a seasonal greeting that I sent to former Browns players in years past. I may run across others in my files. If I do, I'll post them here.

    Somehow, a portion of "The Lost Hurrah" was reported with due credit to me in an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times last year. Bill Christine, a lifelong Browns fan, wrote an article on the 50th anniversary of the departure of the Browns from St. Louis in the LA Times on 9/27/03. I learned about it later from Mike Moran, one of our very active BFC members in Pasadena, California. That article now appears on another thread in this forum under the title, "Bill Christine's Reflections on 1953."

    I'd love to meet Bill Christine someday. His article just shows us how so many of us suffered the same pain separately over the years, - and some of us more than others. Growing up in St. Louis at the time of the Browns' move to Baltimore, fans like Bill Christine took the direct hit of a very large dose. - Read his fine and funny article. I think you will love Christine's letter of adolescent outrage to Bill Veeck over the trades of Virgil Trucks and Bob Elliott to the White Sox in 1953.

    Regarding Brownie parodies and poems, I'm hopeful that others also may have processed their own angst over the Browns in these ways, - and that they will contribute their own work here too. - There's always room for new things that any of you want to write now.

    If we could put enough stuff together, we could then see if Ronnie Joyner and Pepperpot Productions would like to help us publish "Songs From the Souls of Brownie Fans," with proceeds going to help keep the Browns Fan Club alive and kicking. Of course, we all have to recover from our Brownie fan mentality to make this thing happen. - If we get trapped by that old, but strong notion that anything we try isn't going to work anyway, we'll never do it. - We'll have to see how powerful that old belief is after fifty-one years of removal from its last application.

    Time will tell. - Meanwhile, - Go Browns!
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 06-10-2004 at 08:07 AM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

  5. #5
    That would be fantastic. Please let me know if there is any way in which I can help out.

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    In Memory of Al Papai

    God bless you, Al Papai,
    You really came through,
    It's time you got credit,
    That's long overdue.

    But being a Brown,
    We know where this goes,
    You've got as much chance,
    As a candle that blows.
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 10-30-2009 at 10:49 PM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

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    Summer Baseball (1969)

    Summer Baseball (1969) - but written about the Summer of 1950.

    Time was - when summer meant playing baseball on a vacant lot,
    Chasing a ragged brown horsehide - as it zoomed off a fungo bat,
    And soared majestically across the white heat of the morning sky,
    Only to be pursued relentlessly by a blue-jeaned boy,
    Who knew he would be there when the ball came down.

    From the crack of the bat - until the thump in his glove,
    The boy knew the baseball - like one knows the heart of an old friend.
    They had met so often on a vacant lot before.

    Texas leaguers, blue darters, live drives,
    Grass skinners, pop flies, or screamers:
    It made no difference at all to the boy.
    He knew that each pursuit would end securely
    In the web of his Rawlings Playmaker.

    But no thrill could surpass the loud crack of the bat,
    The siren that signaled to the boy of the far chase to come.
    It was the sure sound of the long ball, - C-R-A-C-K!
    And the boy would race on bare, calloused dirty feet
    To some deep point on the vacant lot.

    Then - somehow - as though guided by some inner radar,
    The boy would turn his head - and look skyward,
    And at the very moment the ball began its inevitable descent
    From that grand ride through the summer air.

    T-H-U-M-P! – The chase had ended in a rightful wedding of ball and glove!

    Simple innocence,
    But it was love,
    And it was free.

    And today the boy is a man who sits at a desk,
    Away from the summer clouds - and that vacant lot of long ago.
    But sometimes - even now - he peers through his office window,
    And he again feels the white heat of a mid-morning, August sky,
    And he wishes again - with all his soul - for one more chance,

    One more chance to race the wind,
    And to follow the flight of his old friend,

    Coming down,
    Coming home.
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 07-08-2004 at 11:49 AM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

  8. #8
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    The Pecan Park Eagle

    Homecoming, reunion, and connection have been a constant theme in my baseball poetry over the years. This one is special in my heart because it will always connect me to my son - my own kid baseball days - and to my undying romance with the idea of the game as a metaphor for eternal hope. It's also a poem that makes a little more sense with a quick background explanation of how it came about. - It wrote itself quickly - in a matter of minutes - and it was propelled by forces far beyond my ability to explain.

    How It Came To Be. During the Summers of 1950 and 1951 - I was a center fielder and pitcher for our east end Houston neighborhood team - The Pecan Park Eagles. - We weren't very good - but we never gave up. - It was in the second season of our existence that I started becoming a pretty good little pitcher with a winning record - but we still finished in last place. - That was the year I emotionally fused by over-identification into a Ned Garver and a St. Louis Browns fan.

    Over the many years that flew by after childhood - because of academia and work - I lost direct contact with the daily feel of baseball that I once inhaled like air with every summer day. - Then something happened to bring me home again. - Our only child - a boy named Neal - was born to us late in life.

    On a quiet - but beautiful 4th of July day in 1993 - 8 year old Neal invited me to go with him to a sandlot located at a nearby abandoned school yard to play some catch - and maybe get a good game of flies and rollers going. It was early in the day - and a nice easy walk from our house.

    I'll never forget that morning. - The sounds of popping leather - of a wooden bat hitting a baseball - and the sight of the clouds that drifted by across the summer sky - just as they had for me, so long ago - and the smell of leather and sweat - well, it all collided in my mind like a time warp - thrilling me to be with my son in this special way - and also taking me back in time to that era of my own kid identity as a member of the Pecan Park Eagles. - I've never had a day in my life that ever compared to that one - for pure elevation of the spirit to a level of union and joy with all that is beautiful about baseball - and life itself.

    On the walk home - something happened that continues to change my life to this very day. - As we were walking through a patch of weeds on the school yard - I looked down and saw what appeared to be an ancient baseball and I reached down into the brush to retrieve it.

    The thing wouldn't budge. It was moored into the surrrounding weeds. I got it out - but it wasn't the whole baseball - just the tattered cover of a ball that had now become a home for dirt, vegetation, and insects. - I shook the intruders out and continued walking with the precious symbol in my hand.

    "What are you going to do with that dirty old thing, Daddy?" Neal asked.

    "I have no idea, Son."

    And I didn't have a conscious idea - but that changed as soon as we got home. I sat down at the kitchen table - and "The Pecan Park Eagle" wrote itself through me in a matter of minutes - and here it is. ...

    The Pecan Park Eagle. Ode To An Old Baseball Cover I Found While
    Playing Catch with My 8 Year Old Son Neal In An Abandoned School Yard
    .


    Tattered friend, I found you again,
    Laying flat in a field of yesterday’s hope.
    Your resting place? An abandoned schoolyard.
    When parents move away, the children go too.

    How long have you been here,
    Strangling in the entanglement of your grassy grave,
    Bleaching your browness in the summer sun,
    Freezing your frailness in the ice of winter?

    How long, old friend, how long?

    Your magical essence exploded from you long ago.
    God only knows when.
    Perhaps, it was the result of one last grand slam.

    One last grand slam, a solitary cherishment,
    Now remembered only by the doer of that distant past deed.
    Only the executioner long remembers the little triumphs.
    The rest of the world never knows, or else, soon forgets.

    I recovered you today from your ancient tomb,
    From your place near the crunching sound of my footsteps.
    I pulled you from your enmeshment in the dying July grass,
    And I wanted to take you home with me.

    Oh, would that the warm winds of spring might call us,
    One more time, awakening our souls in green renewal
    To that visceral awareness of hope and possibility.

    To soar once more in spirit, like the Pecan Park eagle,
    High above the billowing clouds of a summer morning,
    In flight destiny - to all that is bright and beautiful.

    There is a special consolation in this melancholy reunion.
    Because you once held a larger world within you,
    I found a larger world in me.

    Come home with me, my friend,
    Come home.


    … Bill McCurdy, July 4, 1993.

    I still have that old baseball cover. If you want to see it - click onto this link. ...

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...66667176WJQezS

    If you care to see my photo of The Pecan Park Eagle - click onto this one. ...

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...49195186vDhxFe
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 07-24-2004 at 03:07 PM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

  9. #9
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    no apologies

    baseball souls

    I make no apologies for my *over-the-top* sentimentality for baseball. Yeah - it's broken my heart a few times - but it's never let me down in the way that really counts. - It's always there. - It never abandons. - All I have to do is call it to mind - and especially so - whenever I need sweet refuge from - shall we say - some of the more unpleasant aspects of life on this earth. - Baseball is always with me - and burrowed deep in my soul.

    I am not alone. - There is an army of us baseball souls out here - and many of us seem to live inside the histories of the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals - but - that being said - you also are sure to find us in far away regions like Houston, Brooklyn, Florida, Philadelphia, California, - and wherever else we stop doing whatever we are doing - alone or together - to simply meditate on the things that remind us of our bond with the game.

    How sweet it is.
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 07-24-2004 at 03:19 PM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

  10. #10
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    an emotional day

    I attended the funeral of Hal Epps today. Epps was one of my heroes in 1947 when he played center field for the Houston Buffs. I was only 9 years old at the time, but I used to go home and pretend to be him on the sandlot. I was no Hal Epps, but I did play center field when I grew older. Hal Epps and my memories of playing that joyful position were the inspiration for the poem I posted here earlier, the one I call "Summer Baseball."

    Rest in Peace, Prince Hal. I'll never forget you and all the things you taught me without ever knowing it.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

  11. #11
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    A Farewell To Hal Epps

    A Farewell To Hal Epps

    He ran like the wind,
    But not from challenge.

    He gave every game his all,
    Never holding back full effort.

    He understood the word "team" in baseball,
    And he took for granted that victory was the plural result of all-out effort.

    He never ran for office, nor politicized his own accomplishments,
    But Houston Buff fans once elected him "The Mayor of Center Field."

    When he left the game, he married and helped his wife raise a fine family,
    Because he was willing to be a loyal husband, hard worker, and real dad.

    His post-baseball career was down-to-earth and hard-going.
    He was a steelworker at Armco in Houston, and a man who went home at the end of the day.

    He stayed on the job til his children were raised and on their way.
    Then he settled quietly into retirement, avoiding anything that drew unwanted attention.

    The fans continued to write him weekly, with their stories and requests.
    He answered each letter as though he and the writer had been lifelong friends.

    Now it's done.

    He departed us five days ago, but he left America a better place
    By the whispering force and clear example of his character over time.

    Thank you for the 90 years you spent in our midst, Hal Epps.
    Money can't buy what you gave the world through a life lived well.

    8/30/04
    Last edited by Bill_McCurdy; 08-31-2004 at 05:03 AM.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

  12. #12
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    Post The Twelve Days of A Brownie Christmas: 1902-1953.

    The Twelve Days of A Brownie Christmas: 1902-1953.

    On the first day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Bobby Wallace in a pear tree.

    On the second day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the third day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the fourth day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Four years for the birds,
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the fifth day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Five late loss stings,
    Four years for the birds,
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the sixth day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Six geese named Goslin
    Five late loss stings,
    Four years for the birds,
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the seventh day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Seven swans named Sisler,
    Six geese named Goslin
    Five late loss stings,
    Four years for the birds,
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the eighth day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Eight fans at game time,
    Seven swans named Sisler,
    Six geese named Goslin
    Five late loss stings,
    Four years for the birds,
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the ninth day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Nine Yankees bashing,
    Eight fans at game time,
    Seven swans named Sisler,
    Six geese named Goslin
    Five late loss stings,
    Four years for the birds,
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the tenth day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Ten midgets batting,
    Nine Yankees bashing,
    Eight fans at game time,
    Seven swans named Sisler,
    Six geese named Goslin
    Five late loss stings,
    Four years for the birds,
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the eleventh day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Eleven Veecks a-wrecking,
    Ten midgets batting,
    Nine Yankees bashing,
    Eight fans at game time,
    Seven swans named Sisler,
    Six geese named Goslin
    Five late loss stings,
    Four years for the birds,
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.

    On the twelfth day of Christmas,
    our Brownies sent for free
    Twelve stakes in our hearts,
    Eleven Veecks a-wrecking,
    Ten midgets batting,
    Nine Yankees bashing,
    Eight fans at game time,
    Seven swans named Sisler,
    Six geese named Goslin
    Five late loss stings,
    Four years for the birds,
    Three cave ins,
    Two double plays,
    And the Wallace fellow in a pear tree.
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

  13. #13
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    Post Christmas Eve, 1953.

    Christmas Eve, 1953.

    Tis the night before Christmas,
    In St. Louis town.
    We still have our Cardinals,
    But nary a Brown.

    They're leaving St. Louie,
    They're Baltimore bound,
    They're taking false hope,
    To a more fertile ground.

    Oh, what shall we do,
    When Spring rolls around?
    Without our dear Brownies,
    Our hearts hug the ground.

    Our eyes fill with mist,
    As we stare at the snow,
    For on this fine Christmas,
    We're all doomed to know:

    The St. Louis Browns are simply no 'mo!

    Goodbye, Mr. Sievers! Goodbye, Lenhardt, too!
    Goodbye to the guys who played before you!
    Goodbye to our dreams of winning it all!
    But remain in our hearts, where Browns all walk tall!

    Merry Christmas, Brownies,
    And thanks for the memories.

    ... Bill McCurdy (1998)
    "Our fans never booed us. - They wouldn't dare. - We outnumbered 'em." ... Browns Pitcher Ned Garver.

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