This is my gift to you, Brooklyn Dodger fans.
My Valentines Day weekend was quite romantic, so readers will have to forgive me if these Valentine's poems are a little late. I found them competely by accident, while I was looking for some photos of Gil Hodges in military uniform.
They were written by the somewhat eccentric, so-called "Dentist Laureate" of Borough Hall, who was also dentist and poet to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Dr. John L. McAteer. Dr. McAteer wrote quite a few sports poems. I cannot find out much about him other than an article about his pet praying mantis and his obituary in the New York Times, which shows that he really was the dentist to the Dodgers (I was quite skeptical).
Artie Gore and Gil Hodges, the subjects of the poems, faced off in game 3 of the Yankees/Dodgers World Series in 1953. Hodges was called out by the Umpire, Artie Gore, at third base. This was a much debated call, and you can read about it here. And now, the poems:
Hodges to Gore
A shaft has gored this trusting heart
Hurled by some misguided Art
(And I might mention furthermore,
The wound reveals an Artie Gore).
Explain that FOWL impulse I beg
That prompted you to lay an egg
And leave us hanging on the ropes.
Our hearts bowed down with shattered hopes.
The play was close, but there’s no doubt
You bonered when you called me out.
If you had only stayed awake
It might have proved the crucial break.
But, Artie dear, I love you still
With deep affection – Always, Gil.
Gore to Hodges
Boy of my dreams, you seem to forget
That Dressen was trying out Russian Roulette
And gambled a bunt might move you to third
(A strategy worthy of Mortimer Snerd).
But, dear heart, I lingered alone at that bag
Wearily watching the long moments drag
Trying to figure as time trickled by
Where you were hiding and wondering why.
The fact is distressing-too awful to keep-
‘Cause waiting for you I fell fast asleep.
Perhaps my decision prevented a score
But, sweetheart, forgive me –
Your own Artie Gore.