The scene was slightly sullen for the Cheesetown Six that day.
Just half the roster found the time to lace ’em up and play.
For May was full of rainout dates, and June was soggy, too,
But after this rescheduled game, their season would be through.
The score? It was ignored in this, the littlest of the leagues.
Wins and runs meant nothing to the boys in blue fatigues.
Just three outs separated these delinquents from their summers.
They’d find new noncommittal games, march to beats of different drummers.
But one young man in royal blue had outcomes on his mind.
This last at-bat would bring rewards of the most glorious kind.
He competed not for trophies gold, he played not for a ring.
He swung not for the fences, no; he yearned for Burger King.
The deal he’d struck that morning with the Devil . . . well, his dad,
Required he get a hit that day, and the boy already had.
That knock was on the infield, though, and the contract specified
His hit must reach the outfield to warrant burgers broiled (not fried).
But after two trips to the plate, young Addison was miffed.
Against one kid and then a coach, the fledgling slugger whiffed.
So if he failed in his last chance to torch the outfield grass,
His royal BK dining opportunity would pass.
“You can do it!” yelled the baseball moms to Addison, “You can!”
And to acknowledge he’d heard their cries, he gestured with his hand.
He strolled with nonchalance to his place beside the dish.
His carefree stance belying the stark fierceness of his wish.
He gripped the bat with fingers strong as tree roots just the same,
But he tapped the plate politely (when pounding is his claim to fame).
He barely glanced as toward the catcher’s mitt the baseball soared.
And when the umpire yelled, “Strike one!” mighty Addison looked bored.
“That was low!” his father may have shouted with shock both loud and vehement.
And Addison, mighty Addison, may have nodded in agreement.
But the protest didn’t faze him. He just turned with cool resolve.
He knew that after four balls sailed, pitching duties would revolve.
There are no walks in this league, see. Wildness has no reproach.
The eight year olds, after hurling four strays, give way to the coach.
So despite his father’s urging, “Swing if it looks good to you!”
Addison just struck a patient pose as the umpire called, “Strike two!”
Reality took over. Burger King hung in the balance.
Addison assumed a piercing glare worthy of the late Jack Palance.
No tapping this time: POUND, POUND, POUND, his bat attacked the plate.
He’d seize the moment now and ditch his customary wait.
“You can hit this kid, I know it!” yelled the deal-making dad.
The pitch zipped down the middle. Our hero swung with all he had.
His bat ripped through the atmosphere; it could have leveled trees.
The fielders’ hats flew off their heads from the manufactured breeze.
A roar, a gasp, a popping glove, then dust and hopes did fall.
The crowd sat shocked that his ferocious swing had missed the ball.
But just a fraction of a second after sullen silence fell,
The quiet shock was shattered by a most triumphant yell.
“THAT,” his father shouted, “WAS A SWING WORTH BURGER KING!”
And his son’s soul went soaring like an eagle on the wing.
Though that dad wished his son had hit the ball, he’d never tell.
For Addison didn’t just strike out . . . he struck out really well.