A Series of (Weak) Poetic Tributes to Harry Steinfeldt

In 1910, Franklin P. Adams wrote a poem about the Chicago Cubs’ infielders Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance turning a double play.

“There are the saddest of possible words:
‘Tinker to Evers to Chance.’
Trio of Bear Cubs and fleeter than birds,
‘Tinker to Evers to Chance.’
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double —
Words that are weighty with nothing but trouble.
‘Tinker to Evers to Chance.’”

For most of its existence though, that Cubs infield also included Harry Steinfeldt at third base. I felt bad for him being forgotten all these years and thought he deserved, not his own verse, but a whole new poem entirely. I call it Steiny at the Hot Corner.

Shit, nothing rhymes with Steinfeldt.

I should have ended the post right there, but too few appreciate anti-humor. Most people don’t even know what anti-humor is. I’ll have to explain it to you sometime. Besides writing bad poems is actually kind of fun. This one is called Why’d You Stop There, Adams?

“There are even sadder words, Adams:
‘Tinker to Steinfeldt to Evers to Chance.’
A lovable loser quartet, known only to nerds,
‘Tinker to Steinfeldt to Evers to Chance.’
They passed the ball like peanut brittle,
Making a hard grounder into a triple—
‘Cause the batter was a cripple.
‘Tinker to Steinfeldt to Evers to Chance.’”

As you can see that was clearly not a blatant rip off. Just because these poems are old and copyrights have expired, probably, does not mean I do not have to suffer for my art. Sometimes I get thirsty, but I try not to let it influence my work. Triple plays are exciting, but not all that common. This one is called Groundout.

“It was a quick play:
‘Steinfeldt to Chance’
The former looks hot, the latter thought,
‘Steinfeldt to Chance’
An easy throw was made,
Across the infield like a grenade,
Then off to the dugout to enjoy lemonade!
‘Steinfeldt to Chance’”

I’m not even sure that last one was about Steinfeldt, but that’s probably for the reader to decide. Some say poetry is difficult to write. I say it is less difficult if you have a rhyming dictionary. Some other people, or perhaps the same people, say you don’t need to rhyme words to make poems. I don’t know what gives them that authority.

“‘Steinfeldt to Tinker’
Why’d you throw it to me? I’m the shortstop!
Oh no, I’m confused by free verse poetry. Quick, throw it to Chancey!
Throw it to who?
No, he’s the first baseman for the Yankees you idiot!

Prologue: Later, in the Dugout

‘Steinfeldt to Mordecai Brown’
Sorry for blowing that play Browine, my stomach hurts. Have you tried the lemonade?
Read between the lines, Steinfeldt.”

Un-photoshopped picture of Steinfeldt

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