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The New Pitcher’s Prayer

From the Evening Star, May 31, 1914.

Out on the grass-green diamond
    Thousands and thousands can see
One, the man who is pitching—
    That little image is me.
Clad in the garb of a player,
    Built for a pitcher am I,
Whirling the ball with a motion
    Studied and graceful and high.

You think you’re the judges before whom
    Pitchers are tried and approved;
That you are the court and your verdict
    Tells whether I’m kept or removed.
You do not know, but I’ll tell you,
    I haven’t a chance save as one
Standing with mask and protector
    Determines my fate, lost or won.

He can decide and determine,
    His calling of strike or of ball,
Whether I’m good or a “dead one”—
    You do not matter at all.
He can call corners or close ones,
    He can determine my fate;
Make me or mar me at pleasure,
    Label me “star” or a “skate.”

Umpire, I pray you, kind master,
    Look now with favor on me;
Give me an inch now of margin,
    Waving your right arm up free.
Fate’s staring there on the benches;
    The manager’s thinking today
Will settle my doom or my fortune,
    So, umpire, be good to me, pray!

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