Lessons From the Big Leagues

Lessons From the Big Leagues

Illustrated by Cyrus Hunter


(Excerpt from “Totally Losing Face and Other Stories“)


Used to play ball in the streets

With my friends in our bare feet

Dreaming the summer away

Waiting for a better day

High School seems like yesterday

Stayed on the lofty path I laid

Had passion, had desire

And a right arm full of fire

College days were a maze

Of babes and booze and full-on rage

Had a knack for the game

Quickly made myself a name

I hit the real world running

Played the field with pistols gunning

Slugged it out in my minor’s hat

Biding my time, whittling my bat

One glorious day, the phone she rang

My manager, big bucks he sang

Then came the big leagues

New balls and leaches

Big money and beaches

Catching grounders, snagging flies

Signing cards, telling lies

Meeting babes, eating pies

Rain delays and superdomes

Cold beer in styrofoam

Playing ball far from home

Look Ma, I’m on TV!

Sometimes I felt it was all a dream

The money, the fame, the scene

Old timers used to say

Soak it up now, before it goes away

One thing’s for sure, I paid my dues

Gonna get what’s coming before I’m through

I wanna be a better man

I wanna be a better man

One season I found myself in a strange funk

Couldn’t hit my mark, couldn’t hit bunk

Then the devil took me by the hand

Guided me towards the Promised Land

In a mental lapse

Started injecting

Synthetic rainbows

Right into my ass

I wanna be a better man

I wanna be a better man

Suddenly found my mark

Started hitting balls outta the park

Then I was everybody’s darling

Talk shows and Rodeos

State parades and cameos

Kissing babies, selling fries

Home runs and RBIs

Grand standing in Cleveland

Highballing in Oakland

Pounding beers and snorting mills

Smoking grass, popping pills

Living it up, burning bills

Look Dad, I’m MVP!

One day on a wicked mean streak

Hitting my stride, way past my peak

Locked on third, waving at the fans

Wild pitch, go for it man!

Split for home in a fury

Catcher got back in a hurry

Approaching home I dug in deep

I launched my body in a heap

Collided with the catcher in a BOOM!

They swept me up with a broom

My doc, he said with a moan

I think it’s time you called it quits, headed for home

My dreams they were shattered

My world it was scattered!

My mind raced, my heart sank

My body, my temple had just been tanked!

What price fame?

What price fame?

So now I’m living in a crack house

Living in a crack house

Got a big gut, can’t bust a nut

Feeling like a punk, can’t make a buck

Flying like a puck, stuck in a rut

Face full of cuts, smoking old butts

I wanna fade away

I wanna fade away

I’m living in a crack house

Living in a crack house

Got bitch tits and nasty gits

Gummy mitts and smelly pits

Runny shits and funky dits

Full of hits and dirty bits

I’m living in a crack house

Living in a crack house

Feeling like a white mouse

Feeling like a white mouse

Living in a crack house

Living in a crack house.


“Lessons from the Big Leagues” is a poem in Hillel Groovatti’s new book of short fiction entitled Totally Losing Face and Other Stories.


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