It soars through the air, slicing the wind.
Like a fired missile, the ball is hit.
The runner treks to first, then to second,
But sighs as the ball lands in the fielder’s mitt.
It’s been twenty long years since the Mudville team
Made it to the finals, and many have heard the story.
Yes, twenty long years since Casey swung and missed.
Now the team’s there again and on it, Casey’s son Corey.
Casey, now in the stands, thinks of times past,
Of a different time but still the same place.
When he let down the fans as the ump called ‘Strike Three’,
Leaving both Flynn and Jimmy Blake on base.
But times now have changed and he has raised his son Corey,
To be a better ball player than he ever was.
Teaching him patience and teaching him baseball,
“Corey,” he said “You’ll be great for yourself and for us.”
And so it was all season long the team battled,
Up and down, in first place then in second.
And all season long there was one that was special,
It was Corey’s bat that all the fans beckoned.
The first inning went quick as both teams went in order,
And the fans thought this may be a pitcher’s dual.
But after the top of the second, the score was two to nothing
And the home faithful hoped their team had more fuel.
With Corey batting cleanup, he led off the second,
And slammed one passed third base, fair and to the corner.
Corey ran to first then to second and noticed the fielder fumbling,
So he sprinted to third and slid under the tag of Keith Horner.
They scored one run in the second and one more in the fourth
But their opposition in the fifth scored two more.
Despite Corey’s single in the fourth and double in the seventh,
In the bottom of the ninth, Mudville stood behind two to four.
Now the top of the lineup was due up next,
But they were hitless, Hennessey, Jones, and Billings.
One would have to get on for Corey to get up,
And hopefully send this game, at least to extra innings.
Hennessey struck out and Jones did the same,
But then Billings hit a seeing-eye single up the middle.
All the fans stood up including Casey and cheered,
As Corey lowered his head and shot out a spittle.
Corey was strong and led the league in home runs,
The fans knew a tie could be had with one swing.
And not only that, the cycle could be had,
If he homered and extra innings to this one he’d bring.
Corey gripped the bat tight and sneered at the mound,
As the first pitch went by, low and away.
He stepped back and stretched out
As the umpire said ‘Ball one’ in an obvious way.
The next pitch was high and Corey stood firm
As ‘Ball two’ called out the umpire.
Then Billings stole second as the next pitch hit the dirt
A three and ‘oh’ count, now set Corey’s heart on fire.
The ball sped over the plate freezing Corey where he stood
And the ump called ‘Strike one’ as the pitch sliced the corner.
With the count three and one, Corey looked down at first,
And then way back off third he noticed Keith Horner.
Tense but determined, his hand tightly gripped the bat
As droplets of sweat formed on his head.
Ignoring Billings on second, the pitcher wound up
And threw a fast ball, as to third Billings fled.
Just as the ball left the mound, Corey changed his stance
And truly pulled an unexpected stunt.
In a fraction of a second and with a focused look
The huge sturdy Corey squared to bunt.
The ball hit the bat and rolled down the third base line
To the amazement of the catcher and Horner.
Keith quickly ran all the way forward bear-handing the ball
And then threw it wildly, all the way to the right field corner.
Billings scored easily as Corey rounded first
And toward second with a heart full of glee.
He looked up at the coach who was flagging him forward
As the score now stood four to three.
The coach kept on waving and Corey rounded third
Toward home plate, as the fans watched in fear.
The ball reached the plate first and Corey gave his best slide,
And the cloud of dust took a while to clear.
There’s a place somewhere, where smiles abound
And where words of joy and delight are shout.
But just as twenty years prior, there will be no joy this day in Mudville
As mighty Corey has been called OUT!
By Kenny Lancisi