Mets Card of the Week: Four Stanzas on a Partially Completed Checklist

72 CL front

I had a crude grip on the pencil when I filled in these squares–
High up the neck and held too tightly,
The hexagon imprinting
Lines on my fingers
That would remain there for hours.

This was the sixth and final series and summer was over–
Second grade had started, and I imagine
That white-haired Ms. O’Connell
Was impressing on me
The need to hold a pencil correctly.

During lunch I’d sit at my desk with a secret stack of cards:
Blefary, Archie Reynolds, Griffin In Action,
Willie Montanez, Foli,
Dunning, Kaat, and Bahnsen,
Paul Blair but no Bill Virdon.

The checklist is a fossil now and only half complete–
Did I stop recording progress,
Or end that year’s collecting
To instead absorb stern lessons
On how to hold a pencil?

72 CL back

5 comments for “Mets Card of the Week: Four Stanzas on a Partially Completed Checklist

  1. January 27, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    I dig it.

    Well, I don’t really dig checklist cards. Mine marked in pen and not so neatly. I needed Ms. O’Connell, I guess….

  2. Jim OMalley
    January 27, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I wondered why Jim Kaat got to have his picture on a checklist but Koosman didn’t.

  3. James Preller
    January 28, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Always a pleasure to read.

  4. Matty Mets
    January 28, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Thanks for bringing me back. Baseball cards played a solid role in my childhood. Biking to the store to buy wax packs and chewing stale gum on my way home.

  5. jb hill
    January 29, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    i read this article multiple times
    every word on all 20 lines
    tho i searched high & low
    and tried reading it slow
    i found not one damned word that rhymes

    now i make no claim to being a poet
    if i tried i’m sure i would blow it
    however i must strongly insist
    that you immediately desist
    and stick to cards for which you’re an all know it

    it may seem my critique rather strong
    in this i know i’m not wrong
    in your field of strength you are topps
    whilst mine be simply barley & hops
    but you sir, should forever avoid song

    i’ll take my leave of you now doug parker
    as the nite sky is growing more darker
    tho my words may fade to mist
    the next time you want to complete a checklist
    instead of rhyme try a black magic marker


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