SSL 92 - Stressing the Bunt
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poet, David Bottoms

The image below is an example of a baseball player attempting to bunt:


Sign for My Father, Who Stressed the Bunt

By David Bottoms

On the rough diamond,

the hand-cut field below the dog lot and barn,

we rehearsed the strict technique

of bunting. I watched from the infield,

the mound, the backstop

as your left hand climbed the bat, your legs

and shoulders squared toward the pitcher.

You could drop it like a seed

down either base line. I admired your style,

but not enough to take my eyes off the bank

that served as our center-field fence.


Years passed, three leagues of organized ball,

no few lives. I could homer

into the left-field lot of Carmichael Motors,

and still you stressed the same technique,

the crouch and spring, the lead arm absorbing

just enough impact. That whole tiresome pitch

about basics never changing,

and I never learned what you were laying down.


Like a hand brushed across the bill of a cap,

let this be the sign

I’m getting a grip on the sacrifice.


The latest book of poetry by David Bottoms - info link 

Brooklyn Dodgers and Ebbets Field

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Please help the program prosper by sharing it with others. I invite you to encounter the question below for your own enrichment. Commenting will encourage others to participate too.


1. What lesson has a parent (or influential person) taught you in childhood about life that conintues to stick with you? 

2. Is there a location, sport, or context that reminds you of your parent? What is it or Where is it and what is a memory you can share?

3. "The bunt play" is a surprise strategy and a sacrifice move that changes up the game. Do you, personally, think it's corollary in life is something that takes experience to appreciate and understand–why or why not?

4. Can you think of a time in your life when you thought it would be best to "swing for the fences" but it would have been better to "bunt"?

5. What touched or surprised you today about this episode?

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