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Short poem

Franklin Pierce Adams (1881-1960)

Baseball's Sad Lexicon

              1These are the saddest of possible words:
              2    "Tinker to Evers to Chance."
              3Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
              4    Tinker and Evers and Chance.
              5Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
              6    Making a Giant hit into a double --
              7Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
              8    "Tinker to Evers to Chance."


2] Shortstop Joe Tinker, second-baseman Johnny Evers, and first-baseman Frank Chance, making the two-out double play: the hitter's ground ball, caught or trapped by the shortstop Tinker in the left infield, is thrown by him then to the second-baseman Evers to put out the runner sliding into second base from first base; and then Evers quickly dispatches the caught ball, in a fluid motion without a hitch, to Chance at first base to put out the hitter. Double plays either leave the at-bat team with no one on base and two of three batters out or end the inning. The Cubs won four National League titles and two World Series from 1906 to 1910. Tinker, Evers, and Chance were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame together in 1946.

5] gonfalon: nobleman's flag or ensign, here the symbol of Adams' hope as a New Yorker for a National League pennant victory at season's end by his team, the New York Giants.

6] double: double play, two men out in a single play.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Franklin P. Adams, In Other Words (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, Page, 1912): 62. LE A2121i Robarts Library
First publication date: 1910
Publication date note: New York Evening Mail (July 10, 1910). See also the Library of Congress site.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2003
Recent editing: 1:2003/8/12

Rhyme: ababcccb

Other poems by Franklin Pierce Adams