Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Earle Combs: Yankee Bardball circa 1934

Earle was a teammate of mine in 1930
The Sportlight
By Grantland Rice
(written after Earle Combs sustained a fractured skull in a game in St. Louis in July 1934)
 Earle Combs-Ball Player
“We talk of showmanship-and headline stuff-
We speak of color and of crowd appeal,
And some of it, perhaps, is partly bluff,
And some of it, beyond all argument, is real;
But, now and then, a workman hits the road,
Too little sung amid the jamboree,
Who knows but one plain, simple working code-
To do his stuff from A on through to Z.
I lift a humble song to one like this,
Earle Combs of Old Kentucky and the Yanks-
Who, in a long career, has yet to miss
The high plateau above the crowded ranks-
Keen-eyed, swift-footed, gentle as a child,
Stout-hearted when the pinches come around,
He doesn’t need the loud bassoon gone wild
To show the way he hits and covers ground.
Year after year he’s been around the front,
Giving in full through every battle played,
The timely triple-or the lowly bunt-
Unmindful of the crown or accolade-
His eye was on the ball-not on the slag
That turned his charge into a crashing fall-
Cut down the hit or save the extra bag-
What happens after doesn’t count at all.”

1 comment:

Alibi Ike said...

Thanks for this. Now all day I'll have images in my head of "loud bassoons gone wild."