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Charlie At The Bat

Charlie at the Bat

By Joe Nolte
"copyright 2000 joe nolte"

The Fates were almost smiling on the Sandlot gang that day,
They'd reached the bottom of the ninth, and still were in the fray.
Against all hope they'd managed yet to keep themselves alive -
For the score, though still against them, stood at only 6 to 5.
And with a man on third they had the means to tie the score,
(Although "man"'s not quite right - it was a beagle,nothing more).

And all through the silent dugout every player thought the same ...
This just might be the day that they would finally win a game!
Two batters took the plate - two batters went down in a row,
And now the mood inside the dugout hit a deeper low.
A piano sat unplayed, a blanket lay alone and sad,
The home team's luck was holding - holding uniformly bad.
Two outs they had, two down and but a single out remained.

So not surprisingly 'twas now that it began to rain.

"One more At Bat," the umpire cried, "and then this game I'll call,
For clearly in a minute we'll be too drenched to play ball!
Then "Aughh!" came from the dugout, and the stands replied with "Aughh!"
From the loftiest of players to the lowliest of dogs.
And little wonder what had pushed them to this saddened state -
For Charlie, good ol' Charlie, was advancing to the plate.

Strike One was soon in coming, followed closely by Strike Two,
And folks began to leave the stands, they knew the game was through.
Yet Charlie, with two strikes against him, never said a word,
But Whack! sent into Outer Space what should have been the Third!
"The Hit Heard 'Round the World," they later said of Charlie's feat,
And for perhaps the first time Good ol' Charlie's world was sweet.

No crabbiness from Lucy now, and later on, that fall,
It's said that Lucy actually let Charlie kick the ball!
Oh, what commotion now ensued - had Reason taken leave?
For Charlie Brown to win a game was still hard to believe.
And out in Santa Rosa lies a fellow with a grin,
"Perhaps", he thinks, "perhaps, just once, I should have let them win!"
His gazes toward the ceiling, then, and through it - to the sky,
And to his great amazement sees that very ball whiz by.
And close behind it (naturally) a flying doghouse nears,

Controlled by bird and beagle, both in search of fresh Root Beers.
And high above, a melody - 'tis Beethoven, he deems,
And all at once the tune shifts to a more familiar theme.
He stops to get a better look, and then he laughs aloud
For Guaraldi, Vince Guaraldi, sits, just playing on a cloud.
Another cloud is cloaked in dust, "That's Pigpen's cloud, I fear!"
He watches now as more and more familiar friends appear.
There's Violet, Shermy and the rest from when the world was new,
Side by side with Woodstock, Sally, and the later Peanuts crew.

Their laughter rings throughout the heavens, as the heavens close,
The music fades to silence - after that, well, no one knows.
While back on earth, next morning, all the papers hit the stands,
With final strip - its message now more poignant than was planned ...
Now somewhere kids fly kites and dogs fly planes, just as before,
And somewhere monstrous pumpkins rise from patches by the score,
Somewhere Beethoven, blankets and baseball are still the rage,
But there is no joy in this town - Mr. Schulz has left the stage.
May you rest in peace .... We will miss you


The doghouse sits silent, The pitchers mound too
Linus cries in his blanket, The whole world cries too
The round headed kid whose life was disdain
Will never feed Snoopy Or play baseball again
I watched him stay humble at Halloween time,
When rocks filled his bag his heartache was mine
Christmas was Peanuts and that sad little tree,
Linus made us realize What Christmas should be,
Pigpen's life was a dust filled swirl
Charlie Brown's heart was a red haired girl
The World War I ace shot the Red Baron down
Then snuggled with Woodstock down on the ground
They attached to our souls they were part of our heart
In the morning over coffee on the T.V. in the dark
So our world is a much lonelier place tonight
A legend has passed into the light
And somewhere a beagle howls a most pitiful sound
He's lost his best friend
You were a good man, Charlie Brown.
We will miss you.

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