The Summerville Star

Oh, the crackenest player that ever ripped seam
On a baseball was star of the Summerville team.
His name was Tom Moore--a name that ranked high
Among pitchers; for many an umpire's good eye
Would be crippled before any game was half done,
Just watching the curves of this son of a gun.
As for running the bases--now, that was a sight.
He'd sail round the bags like a streak of grey light.
And fielding? There wasn't his like in the land.
No drive was too hot to find rest in his hand.

Well the Summerville Grays and the Asherton Hounds
Were matched for a breath-chilling clash on our grounds.
But the day of the contest a spread of the track
Derailed the Hounds' train and they had to turn back.
The Grays, when they heard, didn't go to the park--
From batboy to captain they went for a lark;
Left only Tom Moore, on the bench all alone
With a murderous mob that was mad to the bone!
They'd come for a ball game, for the crack of the bat--
"And a ball game we'll have, you can gamble your hat!"

When the umpire aggrievedly tried to explain,
They shrieded and they shouted--he argued in vain.
"Play ball!" yelled the mob--they'd accept no excuse,
And they showered the ump both with rocks and abuse.
Then out stepped Tom Moore and the bleachers went wild,
As he doffed his gray cap, made a bow, calmly smiled:
I'm really a pitcher," he said. "Just the same,
You've paid your admission, so I'll play the game.
I'll be both of the teams, both the Gray caps and brown--
Then he strode to the box, on his brow a deep frown.

He picked up the ball and made signs through the air
At what would be the catcher if one had been there:
Tied himself in a knot, made a whale of a throw--
Then dashed for the plate like a dart from a bow!
He arrived at the rubber, (could hardly slow down),
Grabbed a bat, took a brace, changed his gray cap to brown,
And swung at the ball--swung a half-inch above!
He whirled, dropped his bat and picked up a glove,
Changed his brown cap to gray, and leaped back of the base.
There he caught his own curve with the utmost of grace.

So he played the whole game, just this one man alone--
First as Brown, then as Gray, he impartially shone.
He pitched every ball, he clouted or fanned;
He did all the fielding, each corner he manned.
But the game was so even (since both teams were himself)
That never a score could he lay on the shelf.
When the last of the ninth came the result was in doubt--
Score nothing to nothing--the fans were tired out
With yelling and shouting for this side and that.
'Twas the Browns in the field and Grays at the bat.

Good old Tom--he was dust from his head to his feet,
And he staggered a bit, and reeled with the heat.
But he gritted his teeth, and spit on his mit,
Then pounded the plate--he sure wanted a hit!
He fanned himself twice, and struck at two curves--
Then hit one a mile (the man had steel nerves!)
It sizzed through the air--'twas a beautiful fly--
And Tom sped to first in the bat of an eye,
Paused a second, changed caps in a flash--and then tore
Out to center--such speed never man saw before.

But ere he could reach it the ball came to ground.
He nabbed it with ease as it rose on the bound,
Then paused in his stride and threw like a flash.
What next? Change of caps, off for third in a dash!
He rounded the base and like lightning once more
Came streaking for home while the fans gave a roar.
"Slide, Tommy, slide!" Dust rose in a cloud
As the runner slid home at the call of the crowd.
But the horsehide came whistling—alas, Tom was late!
For he caught it and touched himself out at the plate!

--Author: LeRoy W. Snell
--Source: OCR scan of a copy of text typed on a manual typewriter by LeRoy Behling (with some minor corrections for OCR and typing errors and to clean up the formatting)