Thursday, October 6, 2016

Baseball's Sad Lexicon

These are the saddest of possible words:

Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,

Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:


Happy National Poetry Day!

In honor of this "literally" poetic holiday, it seemed fitting to share one of baseball's most enduring bits of prose.  "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," first published in the New York Evening Mail on July 12, 1910, is a testament to the misery that Giants fans felt at the merciless twin-killings at the hands of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance is truly timeless. This famed infield combination played together from 1906 to 1910 and turned 54 double plays; no doubt, several of those came against their hated rivals.

Franklin Pierce Adams wrote the famous verse while traveling to the Polo Grounds to see his Giants take on the dreaded Cubs.  It was jotted down as space-filler for his column, as a throwaway.  Who knew that bit of space-filler would become interwoven with the fabric of the game and, essentially, thrust those three infielders into the Hall of Fame?

In a funny coincidence, the Cubs will again be squaring off against the Giants (now of San Francisco) in the upcoming NLDS, as a result of the latter's thrilling victory in the NL Wild Card game last night.  Personally, I was hoping for the Mets and their decimated pitching staff and vindication over last year's playoff ouster; however, that "even-year magic" continues.

Here's hoping that, like this poem from so many years ago, Giants fans will be shedding tears over the constant twin-killings of the Cubs infield:  Russell to Zobrist to Rizzo.

Doesn't sound nearly as poetic, does it?


  1. I'm sure it'll be music to Cubs fans' ears..

  2. Besides hoping for a full fledged brawl in the Rangers/Jays series I'm really looking forward to the Cubs/Giants. I just hope it is the first half of the season Giants. I'm sure you will be happy with the second half version.

  3. I like 'Russell to Baez to Rizzo' better than 'Russell to Zobrist to Rizzo', which could be applied to the Dodgers and all the double plays that they racked up against them.