Tag Archives: J. Patrick Lewis

OPENING DAY and THE REASON FOR RAINBOWS

kids playing baseball imageOne of my clients last week casually mentioned  about opening day being so special this year because of the new kids, the rookies.  Such an abundant resource the team has never seen, he said.  I think he’s probably right.

But you could probably say that about any team, in any year, on opening day.  I love the rookies.  I love that first hit, that first home run, that first steal, that first great defensive play ….. whenever, wherever it might happen.  Joe Panik comes to mind for the Giants last season.

And it also brought to mind one of my favorite poems.  I wrote the author a few years ago and asked for permission to reprint his poem in my book “Garlic Fries and Baseball“.  I received his permission with a most wonderful and supportive letter.  It’s about a kid, and about the person who takes the time to teach that kid about baseball.   I love this poem.

The Reason for Rainbows
A Song to Baseball by J. Patrick Lewis
Published: Baseball Almanac
There was an Old Man of Late Summer
Met a Winter Boy out of the blue,
And he whisked him away
From the city one day
Just to show him what country boys do.
He taught him three whys of a rooster,
And he showed him two hows of a hen.
Then he’d try to bewitch him
With curve balls he’d pitch him
Again and again and again.
He taught him the reason for rainbows,
And he showed him why lightning was king,
Then he fingered the last ball—
A wicked hop fastball—
He threw to the plate on a string.

Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.

But when that Old Man of Late Summer
Met the Winter Boy out of the blue,
He said to him, “Son,
You can pitch, you can run,
But to hit here is what you must do:
Just pretend that the stick on your shoulder
Is as wide as a bald eagle’s wing.
You’re a bird on a wire
And your hands are on fire—
But you’re never too eager to swing.
Stand as still as a rabbit in danger,
Watch the pitch with the eyes of a cat.
What will fly past the mound—
Unforgettable sound—
Is the ball as it cracks off the bat.

Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.

J. Patrick Lewis

Mad Bum & Posey……New Kids on the Block Game 4.

DISCLAIMER:  Today’s blog is absolutely 100% pro- Giants so I want you non-Giants fans to know it’s nothing personal, just something  I have to do!   Things’ll get back to normal soon…..

I wish I’d written this song.  I’m so emotional this morning I probably shouldn’t even be blogging, but couldn’t help myself.  Here are some interesting facts related to last night’s SF Giants 4-0 Win over the Texas Rangers.

  1. Texas is the first team since the 1966 Dodgers to be shut out twice in the same World Series.
  2. Bumgarner is the youngest (21) rookie to make a scoreless start of six innings or more in World Series history.
  3. Texas is the first team since the 1966 Dodgers to be shut out twice in the same World Series :))
  4. Bumgarner is just the second lefty ever to strike out Vlad Guerrero three times in a game, joining Al Leiter in 1998.

Madison Bumgarner

Whew, quite an order filled by Madison Bumgarner, this 21 year old rookie pitcher from Hickory, North Carolina, and his sidekick catcher,  another rookie, Buster Posey, age 23,  from  Leesburg, Georgia.   I mean, where do they get these guys?  I read an article this morning about last night’s DH, Aubrey Huff, you know, the rally thong guy?   Aubrey grew up  with his widowed mom, in a trailer park in Ft Worth, Texas.   Few have done as much with their lives with such humble beginnings as Aubrey has.  He relayed this story that says it all.  ”  I told my mom one day I wanted to be a professional baseball player.  I was probably 8 or 9 years old.  She bought me a batting cage on a Winn-Dixie salary.  I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for her making that decision.”   I can envision this young kid setting that big batting cage up out in the drive-way in that

Huff & Bumgarner

mobile home park having the time of  his life hitting those balls day after day and happy as a clam doing it. Who

Buster Posey

knows where he’d be now if he didn’t have a mom who cared enough to want to make his dreams come true?   Being a mom who’s raised three really great boys who didn’t  always have the easiest of times growing up, this story is really emotional for me.   I’m sure every one of these Giants has a story to tell and I’d love to hear them all!   And the same goes for each of the Texas Rangers.  You’ve probably already heard the really inspiring  story about Josh Hamilton, who crawled back from the depths of drug addiction to become one of  the best baseball players in the country and has written a book about his life.   You’re probably wondering what all of this has to do with last night’s game.   I love baseball and to me most lessons in life can easily be applied to baseball.   I think last night’s game exemplifies the best in baseball, not because the Giants won, but because they won with the youngsters in the spotlight, the kids who are setting examples for the other kids.  Where do they get these guys?   They’re right in front of us, in our own homes and in our hometowns.  Usually it’s just a lot of hard work, and sometimes it’s just pure luck, but more often than not,  the kids just need a break .   The following poem was reprinted from The Baseball Almanac and says it quite simply and much better than I can:

The Reason for Rainbows
A Song to Baseballby J. Patrick Lewis
Published: Baseball Almanac
There was an Old Man of Late Summer
Met a Winter Boy out of the blue,
And he whisked him away
From the city one day
Just to show him what country boys do.
He taught him three whys of a rooster,
And he showed him two hows of a hen.
Then he’d try to bewitch him
With curveballs he’d pitch him
Again and again and again.
He taught him the reason for rainbows,
And he showed him why lightning was king,
Then he fingered the last ball—
A wicked hop fastball—
He threw to the plate on a string.
Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.
But when that Old Man of Late Summer
Met the Winter Boy out of the blue,
He said to him, “Son,
You can pitch, you can run,
But to hit here is what you must do:
Just pretend that the stick on your shoulder
Is as wide as a bald eagle’s wing.
You’re a bird on a wire
And your hands are on fire—
But you’re never too eager to swing.
Stand as still as a rabbit in danger,
Watch the pitch with the eyes of a cat.
What will fly past the mound—
Unforgettable sound—
Is the ball as it cracks off the bat.”
Oh, the Old Summer Man and the Young Winter Lad
Spent the light of each day—every moment they had—
In the wind and the rain, or the late summer sun,
Where he taught him to pitch and he taught him to run
In the wind and rain and the late summer sun.
The Reason for Rainbows by J. Patrick Lewis