For those of you who have never read one of these before, here’s the deal: After the Mets lost to the Yankees in the 2000 Subway Series, I decided quite simply that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Why spend every frustrating October rooting against the greatest team in baseball when I can very easily root for them and share in their baseball majesty? They are a New York team, after all! Sadly, it appears my bad luck has carried over, as the Yankees have not won a single World Series ever since. But we’re gonna keep trying, folks! So, as I do just about every year at this time, I’ve written an epic poem of biblical proportions in praise of my beloved Yankees.
And now, without further ado, I present to you Part I of this year’s exciting edition of Yankee Tales:
THE CAPTAIN: A YANKEE TALE IN FIVE PARTS
PART ONE: IN THE BEGINNING
And lo! it hath been written,
Within Scripture’s sacred pages,
Handed down from ages past,
By prophets, holy men and sages,
That at the dawn of time,
From a wholly empty state,
The heavens and the earth,
The one true God did then create.
And from the void of darkness,
Did the Lord bring forth the light;
The light became the Day,
And the darkness He called Night.
Pronouncing this as good,
His mighty hand then quelled the seas,
And upon the new dry land,
He did call forth the grass and trees.
And o’er the ground and water,
He placed the stars amongst the sky,
Then filled the land with creatures,
To go forth and multiply.
Then finally, His Divinity,
Did grace us with His love,
As the multitude of angels,
Did gaze in awe from up above.
And there upon the earth,
In His own image did He make,
Man to till the land,
And o’er the beasts, dominion take,
Man to tame the clouds,
Man to reach the ocean floor,
Man, whom God would cherish,
And above all things adore.
Then with his work thus finished,
He took the seventh day to rest,
To gaze upon the beauty,
Of the world that He had blessed.
But little has been written,
Of the day that followed next;
The eighth day is omitted,
From the Bible’s sacred text.
And yet that lazy Monday,
Still has meaning for us all,
For on day number eight,
God did bequeath to us baseball.
Returning to the Kingdom,
God did greet His Seraphim,
Who sang a prayer of praise,
To the mighty Elohim,
And since their love was true,
And since the Lord, they did revere,
The Lord did grant each servant,
Their own earthly souvenir.
Timber from a sturdy oak,
He gave to Gabriel,
And rocks from mountains high,
Were a gift to Raphael.
To Michael, the Archangel,
Leather gloves, He did bestow,
And reams of finest cloth,
Did cause fair Uriel to glow.
Now Raphael, then felt a swell,
Of boundless joy and glee,
And sought to share his present,
With the other angels three,
And calling out, a booming shout,
He threw his rock up high,
And seeing this, in utter bliss,
Did Michael start to fly,
And in his leather glove,
He snared the stone out of its flight,
And Gabriel, and Uriel,
Did laugh in pure delight.
“To me!” Gabriel exclaimed,
And grabbed his oaken branch,
And bent his knees and elbows:
An angelic batting stance.
And Michael, winding up,
Did toss the rock with all his force,
And sent a flaming fastball,
On its soaring, searing course,
And as the rock connected,
With the swiftly swinging oak,
It caused a thunderclap,
That simple words cannot evoke.
And seeing this, the Lord did grin,
A smile soft and warm,
At the merry, playful game,
That was beginning to take form.
And with a hearty wave,
And with a twinkle in his eyes,
God did cause a playing field,
And Stadium to rise.
Bases, first through third,
A pitching mound, a plate for home,
And yards of outfield grass,
Upon which angel wings could roam.
Then cherubim, most all of them,
Did in this rapture share,
And Uriel, did craft them all,
Some uniforms to wear.
And there upon the diamond,
In the Lord’s most Holy Name,
Did the angels play nine innings,
Of the Lord’s most perfect game.
And as God watched His angels,
There was a tug upon His sleeve,
The Son, the one called Jesus,
Come to ask his Dad to leave.
For in his tiny hand,
He held a ball and leather glove,
And he longed to toss the ball,
To the One who taught him love.
So, ‘pon Elysian Fields,
They did find an empty patch,
And there in Elysium:
The first Father and Son catch.
Now for a time, this most sublime,
Of sports there did abide,
Inside the walls of Heaven,
Where the holy hosts reside.
And down on earth, Man proved his worth,
And brought his God delight,
And gave much praise and worship,
To the Holy God of Might.
And seeing His creation,
The angels felt a surge of love,
And sought to grant a gift,
Sent from Paradise above.
Then Seraphim, who shared this dream,
Did go before their Lord,
With this request, that the Most Blessed,
Would grant them His accord:
“Because we care, we wish to share,
“This game we love to play,
“To grant baseball, to one and all,
“Upon this blessed day.”
And seeing their compassion,
The Holy Lord did then accede,
And sent these angels down to earth,
While wishing them Godspeed.
Like Moses from the mountain,
Bringing forth Commandments Ten,
This team of God’s most faithful,
Did bring forth the first bullpen,
And outfield walls, and strike three calls,
And balks and pitches wild,
Homeruns that drew wondrous gasps,
And curveballs that beguiled.
And though they called earth home,
These angels held the memory,
Of Heaven’s Gate, the pristine state,
Of God’s Eternal See,
And so they settled down,
Upon Manhattan’s Highest Lands,
To stay close to their Maker,
He who made them with His hands,
In Hilltop Park, this glowing spark,
Blazed with praise and “glory be”s:
These angels of the High Lands,
Would become the first Yankees.