Marianne Moore: Poetry

May 29, 2015

“Baseball and Writing”

Filed under: Poem Sources — by moore123 @ 1:31 pm
Tags: , ,

When the New York Yankees played the Detroit Tigers in the race for the 1961 Pennant, Marianne Moore was watching on her television at 260 Cumberland Street, Brooklyn. During the first game of a twinight double header on September 15th, Mel Allen NYWTS.jpg

Mel Allen Calling a Game

she heard Mel Allen, the intrepid “voice of the Yankees,” shout, as he did at most games, “Going, going , , , gone!” when Bill Skowron cracked a three run homer in the seventh. “Thanks, Mel. / I think I helped a little bit.” Yogi Berra got his twentieth of the season in the fourth: “He put the wood to that one.” Elston Howard, made regular catcher that season, was batting .351 that evening, second in the league; he was in line for the “batting crown,” but deprived of it “by a technicality”—he needed 492 at bats for the season but had only 466 by the end of the winning game of the World Series. Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle were both aiming at homer records, denied that night, so Moore concentrates on their superior skills in right and center fields, “Mickey leaping like the devil”—Mel Allen’s words (Moore preferred “deer”), Maris stopping an almost homer as Mel Allen stopped before “. . . gone!”

Detroit’s Montejo (“My baby pitcher”) pitched only the eighth inning, allowing 2 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and 1 strike-out; he just missed hitting Mickey Mantle (“’Grazed a Yankee!’”). That night was 25-year-old Montejo’s last game pitching for the Tigers and his last game playing in the majors. The Yank’s Whitey Ford pitched the entire game: “Ford just breezed along to his twenty-forth victory, going all the way. It marked his eleventh complete game of the season and his six strike-outs gave him a total of 192” (New York Times, September 16, 1961, p. 13).

Listen to Mel Allen call Roger Maris’s 59th home run, September 20, 1961

Yankee players that night:

Roland Sheldon: Pitcher

Tom Tresh: Shortstop

Ralph Houk : Manager

Johnny Sain: Relief Pitcher

Luis Arroyo: Pitcher

Hector Lopez: Left FIeld

Whitey Ford: Pitcher

Johnny Blanchard: Catcher

Elston Howard: Catcher

Bobby Richardson: Second Base

Tony Kubek: Shortstop

Clete Boyer: Third Base

Bill Skowron: First Base

Yogi Berra: Left Field

Mickey Mantle: Center Field

Roger Maris: Right Field


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