Line-Up for Yesterday

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Line-Up for Yesterday: An ABC of Baseball Immortals is a poem written by Ogden Nash for the January 1949 issue of SPORT Magazine. In the poem, Nash dedicates each letter of the alphabet to an iconic Major League Baseball player. Altogether, the poem pays tribute to 24 players, plus one winking reference to himself (under "I") as a fan of the game, and concludes with a final stanza in homage to the players collectively.

Baseball players referred to in the poem[edit]

Letter Player Verse
A Grover Cleveland Alexander A is for Alex

The great Alexander;

More Goose eggs he pitched

Than a popular gander.

B Roger Bresnahan B is for Bresnahan

Back of the plate;

The Cubs were his love,

and McGraw his hate.

C Ty Cobb C is for Cobb

Who grew spikes and not corn,

And made all the basemen

Wish they weren't born.

D Jerome "Dizzy" Dean D is for Dean,

The grammatical Diz,

When they asked, Who's the tops?

Said correctly, I is.

E Johnny Evers E is for Evers,

His jaw in advance;

Never afraid

To Tinker with Chance.

F Frankie "Fordham" Frisch F is for Fordham

And Frankie and Frisch;

I wish he were back

With the Giants, I wish.

G Lou Gehrig G is for Gehrig,

The Pride of the Stadium;

His record pure gold,

His courage, pure radium.

H Rogers Hornsby H is for Hornsby;

When pitching to Rog,

The pitcher would pitch,

Then the pitcher would dodge.

I Nash, the author I is for Me,

Not a hard-hitting man,

But an outstanding all-time

Incurable fan.

J Walter Johnson J is for Johnson

The Big Train in his prime

Was so fast he could throw

Three strikes at a time.

K Willie Keeler K is for Keeler,

As fresh as green paint,

The fastest and mostest

To hit where they ain't.

L Nap Lajoie L is for Lajoie

Whom Clevelanders love,

Napoleon himself,

With glue in his glove.

M Christy Mathewson M is for Matty,

Who carried a charm

In the form of an extra

brain in his arm.

N Louis "Bobo" Newsom N is for Newsom,

Bobo's favorite kin.

You ask how he's here,

He talked himself in.

O Mel Ott O is for Ott

Of the restless right foot.

When he leaned on the pellet,

The pellet stayed put.

P Eddie Plank P is for Plank,

The arm of the A's;

When he tangled with Matty

Games lasted for days.

Q Connie Mack Q is for Don Quixote

Cornelius Mack;

Neither Yankees nor years

Can halt his attack.

R Babe Ruth R is for Ruth.

To tell you the truth,

There's just no more to be said,

Just R is for Ruth.

S Tris Speaker S is for Speaker,

Swift center-field tender,

When the ball saw him coming,

It yelled, "I surrender."

T Bill Terry T is for Terry

The Giant from Memphis

Whose .400 average

You can't overemphis.

U Carl Hubbell U would be 'Ubell

if Carl were a cockney;

We say Hubbell and Baseball

Like Football and Rockne.

V Charles "Dazzy" Vance V is for Vance

The Dodger's very own Dazzy;

None of his rivals

Could throw as fast as he.

W Honus Wagner W is for Wagner,

The bowlegged beauty;

Short was closed to all traffic

With Honus on duty.

X Jimmie Foxx X is the first

of two x's in Foxx

Who was right behind Ruth

with his powerful soxx.

Y Cy Young Y is for Young

The magnificent Cy;

People batted against him,

But I never knew why.

Z Zenith Z is for Zenith

The summit of fame.

These men are up there.

These men are the game.

Statistics and trivia[edit]

  • 18 of the players were also in the Hall of Fame at the time, and all but one (Bobo Newsom) would eventually be inducted.
  • 8 players—Cobb, Gehrig, Hornsby, Johnson, Mathewson, Ruth, Wagner, and Young—would be elected to the All Century Team in 1999.

External links[edit]