Twas the Night Before Opening Day
By Ethan Bryan
Twas the night before Opening Day, when all through the house
Every creature wore powder blue, even my computer mouse.
My stockings were pulled high, all the way to my knees
In honor of players from the last century.
My children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While condiments for hot dogs raced through their heads.
I laid out my ball glove, my jersey, and cap,
And walked off to bed in hopes of a nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I ran down the hall to see what was the matter.
The dog was a-howling, my crazy canine
Was barking at the appearance of the famed KC nine.
There was Gordo whose gold glove sparkled so bright
And swift-footed Cain, running faster than light.
Hosmer was grinning, his joy unrehearsed
Teasing Country Breakfast ‘bout holding down first.
Frenchy was signing L’il Frenchy’s new hat
While Moose slathered pine tar on a Brett Brothers bat.
Pena was decked out in gear head-to-toe
And Escobar and Getz invited me to come throw.
I threw on my jersey with number 20 on back
Flipped on the light switch and joined the pack
I crossed o’er the threshold when what should appear
But a huge field of dreams with a crowd shouting cheers.
The lights were a-humming, the grass was fresh cut
The chalk lines were drawn and vendors selling peanuts.
I turned and I saw posed on dugout’s top stair,
Seitzer and Eiland and Yost were all there.
The boys took the field while I strolled to the mound
My heart was full-pounding, I heard not one single sound.
The new cowhide was mudded and on the rosin bag laid
The umpires stood ready to call the game as it played.
Then I heard through the speakers Mike McCarthy call out,
“Tonight’s very first pitch, Ethan Bryan will throw out.”
Pena mock-flashed some signs, I reared back and let fly
The ump called it a strike as Bruce Chen stood by my side.
“Good toss, rookie,” he whispered as he walked up the hill
While telling me jokes he started his warm-up drills.
The stadium then silenced, you could’ve heard a pin fall
When the umpire pointed and shouted, “Play ball!”
There were homers by Hosmer and Gordo and Moose
Getz and Eski were flawless, Country Breakfast cut loose
Oh the famed KC boys played their best on that night
On that fanciful field under heaven’s moonlight
And every year on the eve of Opening Day
I remember watching the famed boys in blue play
Cross the threshold of my rental house door
On a field that I’d never, never seen before.
And I hold on to wonder, every game I attend
Was it just my imagination in a world of pretend
Until I saw Seitzer, who pointed my way
Motioned like he had something important to say.
“There are dreams that are given at a very young age
To musicians and poets and the dancers on stage
To those who will see with the eyes of their soul
These dreams are whispered to dare to let go.
“To chase after dreams, to hope Our Time is now
To suspend disbelief, to not worry how
To remember with awe and childlike delight
Your first baseball game on a mid-summer’s night
“The call for the fan, for the tried and the true
Is to keep dreaming dreams for the good boys in blue.”
So on Opening Day, when the ump shouts “Play ball”
I dream that this year is when we’ll rise above all.
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