“Father Time is Coming,” by J. Patrick Lewis

Without a doubt, Satchel Paige was one of those pitchers whose accomplishments will stand the test of time.  He threw just about any pitch you could think of, plus more that you haven’t even imagined.  I like how Lewis captures the spirit of Paige’s style in this piece, originally published in Slant in 1995.

*

 Out of a windmill windup,
 the whipcord arm grooves a dartball
 on a string past the hopeful, waiting
 at the plate for a miracle.

It might have been the bee ball,
     the looper,
         the drooper,
             the jump ball,
                     the wobbly ball,
         the two-hump blooper,
                 the bat dodger,
                     the famous hesi-
             tation pitch,
     or the radioball ("You hears it,
             but you never sees it").

Joe DiMaggio couldn't hit him.
 And said so.

Babe Ruth never faced him.
 Lucky Bambino.

"I'm Satchel," he said,
 "I do as I do."
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