A First Pitch, One-Pitch Soap Opera


Justin Verlander

A First Pitch, One-Pitch Soap Opera


By Bill McCurdy


As a pitcher he was better

And a sure-fire win go-getter

Over twenty years of tasting

Victory’s glow.


Now he faced another righty

Young and foolish, but so mighty

That he’d have to give each pitch

His baseball Joe.


Looking in at all before him

He saw nothing by decorum

That would change his mind

On that first cat-mouse throw.


It came roaring with great power

Going a hundred miles an hour

Firing inside-headed-outside



And the batter sort of trembled

As his fingers all unnimbled

And he leaned across the plate

To swing at smoke.


But the batter had not counted

On the way the ball was mounted

As it broke and came inside

Around the plate.


“Back-off, don’t-swing” were fantasy

No time or space ~ oh, can’t you see?

To miss and look so awfully bad

Were doomed to be ~ his first pitch fate. *


* But only on the first pitch of the game.

Please Note: This is not a lecture; it’s just a note. The little poem is just about one-way of watching the game, but only one, unless you have the eyes of a real eagle and a good seat with a view of how the ball is moving toward the plate from a pitcher-catcher perspective, or as you may be watching it on TV. It helps if you have had some kind of pitching or observer experience on what kinds of movements on a baseball are possible. And it really helps if you have some knowledge of a particular pitcher’s range of pitch options is ~ and have some knowledge of the batter’s tendencies going into this particular encounter.

Most baseball fans in this age of great distraction have not had this kind of experience and aren’t likely to get it in the future either.

If you do study the game, and you choose to watch it pitch by pitch ~ instead of your cell phone ~ there’s a lot more to come in these classics encounters ~ and they are all classics in their own rights, even when the match ups feature a hanging-on veteran pitcher versus a barely-hanging-on roster hitter.

The game of baseball keeps coming up with ways to attract fan attention to the game and, who knows, maybe some really inner game knowledgeable people will someday put together an inner-game educational program to keep the fans invested in the great pitcher vs. batter drama that is going on pretty much all the time.

Today’s Good Baseball Sign. The Astros play their first 2019 spring training game today. ~ That’s a pretty good sign that the regular baseball season is not too far away.



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher


2 Responses to “A First Pitch, One-Pitch Soap Opera”

  1. Larry Dierker. Says:

    If you want to watch the game, watch TV. If you want to be entertained while a game is in progress, go to it.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thanks again, Larry! What you just said in two sentences is what I just tried to say in a whole column. I’ll take your “essence” delivered over my “effervescence” offered any time you care to hand it out.

      So fans, listen up to Larry Dierker one more time:

      “If you want to watch the game, watch TV. If you want to be entertained while a game is in progress, go to it.: 🙂

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