Thirty-five years ago today, I sat down, crying, and wrote this poem….




Part of the soul
He hid in a catcher’s mitt,
Once very few stole
And none have more spirits lit.
Thin, navy lines were etched upon the skin
Of number fifteen,
The gallant
Whose talent
Went deeper than seen.

A mustache would smile
So seldom, but always real.
An overweight style
Was part of the true appeal
That drew wild roars to touch
Someone special in the clutch
Whose life had reason,
Who won our hearts every season.

Respect soaked through the Stadium
But he hardly heard the din,
Concentration at the plate
Would bring another in.
Nothing scared the Captain of the team
Not even a charging run.
When Beachball gave it all he had
We knew the game was won.

No one could replace
Or even attempt to fill
The Captain’s cleats
And so, no one ever will.
Somebody new will take the squat
And gain the esteem,
But we all
Will recall
When Beachball led the team.


  1. Georgeanne Matranga says:

    Hi Kim! I love this poem and so true! Do you realize that Mariel was born on his birthday, exactly 40 years later? Weird.

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