Fall Classic: ‘The Southpaw’

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“I have seen many a pitcher, but there’s few that throw as beautiful as Pop. He would bring his arm around twice and then lean back on 1 leg with his right leg way up in the air, and he would let that left hand come back until it almost touched the ground behind, and he looked like he was standing on 1 leg and 1 arm and the other 2 was in the air, and then that arm would come around and that other leg would settle down toward the earth, and right in about there there was the least part of a second when his uniform was all tight on him, stretched out tight across his whole body, and then he would let fly, and that little white ball would start on its way down the line toward Tom Swallow, and Pop’s uniform would get all a-rumple again, and just like it was some kind of a magic machine, the split-second when the uniform would rumple up there would be the smack of the ball in Tom’s mitt, and you realized that ball had went 60 feet 6 inches in less than a second, and you knowed that you seen not only Pop but also a mighty and powerful machine, and what he done looked so easy you thought you could do it yourself because he done it so effortless, and it was beautiful and amazing, and it made you proud.”

–Mark Harris, “The Southpaw,” 1953.

3 Comments

Filed under Berkeley, Literature, Sports

3 Responses to Fall Classic: ‘The Southpaw’

  1. Rob

    Fantastic. Added to my list of must-reads.

  2. Dan

    Yeah–it’s fun and beautifully crafted. Definitely a link to an earlier era.

  3. Rob

    It’s timeless, Dan.
    “Baseball is the President tossing out the first ball of the season and a scrubby schoolboy playing catch with his dad on a Mississippi farm.”
    Ernie Harwell, January 25, 1918 — May 4, 2010

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