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Life and Baseball
Winter howled around the corners of the old-time grocery store,
Where the baseball star was sitting, giving out his baseball lore.
Every day he told the neighbors in his little Western town
How he hit the curves of Matty and the shoots of Miner Brown.
“No, I ain't signed up this season,” he would tell the gaping throng,
“And I won't sign boys, believe me, till the check looks good and strong.
John T. Brush knows where to find me, and he knows I'll play the game
When I get a good fat contract”—but the contract never came.
“Maybe I'll go South to Texas,” said a gawky young recruit,
“If the contract that they send me names a salary that will suit.
Why, they're crazy for new talent; all the papers tell me so,
And your little Uncle Dudley isn't out to skip the dough.
I can play that third sack, fellows, just as well as Devlin can,
And I won't take half a paycheck, when I'm every inch a man.
When I get my kind of contract, I'll jump out and grab the fame,
Not till then will I get busy”—but the contract never came.
Life is but a game of baseball, with its players everywhere;
Some are sulking in their wigwams, some are out to do and dare.
Some are working, working, working, turning labor into fun;
Others talk of future conquests, and depart with nothing done.
Far beyond the clouds and sunlight dwells a magnate wondrous kind,
With a million, million contracts always waiting to be signed.
Yours, my friend, the task of trying; yours alone the bitter blame,
If you tell, when life is ebbing, how the contract never came.
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