The Grunt

(Based on a True Story!)

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the farm team on that day.
The score was nothin’-nothin’, not one inning did they play.
The home plate ump implored the child–Musberger was his name,
The Red Sox catcher (minor league), said, “C’mon, let’s play the game.”

The mother glared in her reply, “she’s not a charm”, she said,
“Like unwashed socks and jock straps, or rubbing Pumpsie’s head.”
“Oh, c’mon, I’ll pay the kid. Heck, I’ll do anything,”
Is what the third base coach professed, then he began to sing.

Soon the players of both sides piped up a lullaby,
But instead of growing sleepy, the child let out a cry.
Upon the stricken bleacher-crowd grim hopelessness convoked.
“This is a strange ‘delay the game,’” Musberger softly joked.
They sat down on the outfield; the infield swiped at flies;
“Well, I can’t just give a bottle every time my baby cries.”
The visitors grew restless, unversed in baby’s grunt,
Demand, they did, to start the game,
“Enough! This is a stunt!”

All eyes were on the baby, as Musberger yelled, “Play ball!”
Mom stood the baby on her lap in answer to the call.
From benches full of people, there came a growing rumble;
“They don’t pay me enough for this,” the home plate ump did grumble.

“Grunt, grunt, grunt, grunt,” came the allied roar.
It carried on the summer breeze; it beat the distant shore.
And then…the baby’s face did scowl; they saw her muscles strain.
“I’ll make her MVP,” said coach, “if she’ll just do her thing.”

Suddenly, a lip curled up–a grimace for the crowd.
And to the wonderment of all, she grunted good and loud.
The mother blushed bright scarlet. The catcher did the same.
Musberger smiled benignly, “Now we can start the game.”

It was spring training with the Red Sox farm team, it was the 1950’s, Brent Musberger was the home plate ump and Anne’s dad was catcher. This little poem, set to the rhythm of “Casey at Bat,” is actually based on true events involving one of Anne’s sisters. (I wonder if Brent Musberger would remember this…?) *Anne’s father did promote to the majors and played a few games, but then injured his arm during spring training and never played again.

If you agree with Anne Sweazy-Kulju (and Anatole France) that
history books that contain no lies are extremely dull,
visit her website:,
and read more of the author’s fun perversions of the past!

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