The Versatility Wizard – Poem on Dementia


The Versatility Wizard

By Thomas M. McDade 


I wasn’t the one with the amazing

recall, Oakley Jones won that crown.

He drove Ruth and me in his ’56 Ford

to Portsmouth’s Lawrence Stadium

to take in a Tidewater Tides game.

Last home contest of the year,

shortstop Rubino voted most

popular, received a TV set.

A fan presented a chocolate

cake she’d baked and decorated

with roster names, numbers

bats, balls and gloves to the team.

The workhorse hurler, Frank Pollard

was Oak’s college hockey friend.

Fifty-years past, Oak voiced a vague

notion that a Tide, maybe Frank himself,

handled every diamond position that night—

a clue ruled a tape measure slam

after minimal library, letter and phone effort.

But soon to be MVP Pollard wasn’t the answer

despite notching his 17th “W” as the Tides

doubled up the Peninsula Grays 2-1.

Oak’s hunch wasn’t just close

enough for government work,

a popular refrain at the time,

but Noble and Pulitzer worthy.

Regular catcher Fred Walters

was the versatility wizard.

Oh yes, contacted Ruth

during the quest but she drew

a blank until possibly some

years later if Head Ump

Alzheimer stuck to a popular

script or myth prior to thunder,

lightning and soft drizzle

turning to rain of the pelting,

blinding and numbing kind.

Seconds later ordering

his groundskeeping crew to roll

the tarp over September

fourth, nineteen-sixty-six.

By Thomas M. McDade

Thank you Thomas for submitting your poem. 

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