The Seer (Chapter 03) - Poem by Kim Barney
Are we going to win today, Charlie?
More than once, I had asked this
same question, but Charlie
would never answer.
He would just smile and say
Let's wait and see. Sometimes
he would add It doesn't matter
if you win or lose.
What matters is that
you try your best.
But I didn't agree, because
it always mattered to me.
We were a poor team.
That doesn't mean that we
played badly. It just meant
that we had no money.
We had no uniforms, and no cleats.
The lucky ones had gym shoes.
The rest of us had to wear the same
work shoes or boots we used on the farm.
Some of us didn't even have our own
baseball gloves, but had to borrow them
from members of the other team.
I was one of those.
There was no established league, just a
bunch of rag-tag teams from small towns
who got together to play
the game we all loved.
Sometimes I would ask the question
a different way: Who's going to win
today, Charlie? and he would smile
and say: Whoever scores the most runs!
Charlie and I loved the Dodgers.
Rex and Merrill and some of the
others were Yankee fans. We all
were great fans of the game itself.
The Dodgers had a second-baseman
named Chuck Connors. Sometimes
I called Charlie 'Chuck' but for some
reason, he didn't like that.
One day Charlie said to me: Chuck
Connors won't be playing for the
Dodgers next year. He's going to
become a television actor.
I just stared at him. What part will
he play? I don't know, Charlie said.
I can't see everything. But I do know
he'll be trading his glove for a rifle.
to be continued...
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Just find chapter 01, read it and then click the 'next poem' button, which will get you the next chapter.
written 03-05 Sep 2015
Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
This is a work of fiction, although some of the people and places are real. Charlie is a fictional character, totally made up. I have never known anyone like the person he is described as being.
Rex and Merrill are real people. Rex is the same Rex as the one in my poem THE DAY REX SAVED MY LIFE, which IS a true story, by the way.
However, I don't know if they were really Yankees fans or not. I only remember that some of my friends were.
Chuck Connors really did play second base for the Dodgers, but not the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played for the old Brooklyn Dodgers before they moved to L.A., as you can see by the picture. Wait! I'm not so sure. He may have also played for them after they made the move. My search engines are not working, so I can't research it. Maybe someone can look into it and help me out?
24 March 2016
My search engines are now working, and I got this info about Chuck from Wikipedia:
Kevin Joseph 'Chuck' Connors (April 10,1921 - November 10,1992) was an American actor, writer and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 12 athletes in the history of American professional sports to have played both Major League Baseball and in the National Basketball Association. With a 40-year film and television career, he is best known for his five-year role as Lucas McCain in the highly rated ABC series The Rifleman (1958-63) .
Connors was born Kevin Joseph Connors on April 10,1921, in Brooklyn, New York.
Connors did not like his first name and was seeking another one. He tried out 'Lefty' and 'Stretch' before settling on 'Chuck', because while playing first base, he would always yell, 'Chuck it to me, baby, chuck it to me! ' to the pitcher. The rest of his teammates and fans soon caught on and the name stuck. He loved the Brooklyn Dodgers despite their losing record during the 1930s, and hoped to someday join the team himself. Connors' athletic abilities earned him scholarships to the Adelphi Academy (from which he graduated in 1939) and Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, which he left after two years.
During World War II (1939-45) , he enlisted in the Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and spent most of the war as a tank-warfare instructor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and later at West Point, New York.
During his Army service, Connors moonlighted as a professional basketball player, joining the Rochester Royals and helping to lead them to the 1946 National Basketball League championship. Following his military discharge in 1946, he joined the newly formed Boston Celtics of the Basketball Association of America.
Connors left the team for spring training with Major League Baseball's Brooklyn Dodgers. He played for numerous minor league teams before joining the Dodgers in 1949, for whom he played in only one game. He joined the Chicago Cubs in 1951, playing in 66 games as a first baseman and occasional pinch hitter. In 1952, he was sent to the minor leagues again to play for the Cubs' top farm team, the Los Angeles Angels.
He was drafted by the NFL's Chicago Bears, but never suited up for the team. He is also credited as the first professional basketball player to break a backboard. During warmups in the first-ever Boston Celtics game on November 5,1946 at Boston Arena, Connors took a shot that caught the front of the rim and shattered an improperly installed glass backboard.
In 1966, Connors played an off-field role by helping to end the celebrated holdout by Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax when he acted as an intermediary during negotiations between the team and the players. Connors can be seen in the Associated Press photo with Drysdale, Koufax and Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi announcing the pitchers' new contracts.
So, according to that, Connors only played ONE GAME for the Dodgers, and it was in 1949. Well, that totally shoots down my story line for this chapter. Oh, well...
Interesting that he played for the Celtics (basketball) and was drafted by the Bears (football) . I didn't know that before.
Comments about The Seer (Chapter 03) by Kim Barney
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