Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yankee Haiku & Ballpark Village rant

It has become almost impossible to get sentimental over professional sports stadiums, especially in St. Louis, with its big hole in the ground where the old baseball stadium used to be.

This big hole in the ground should have been Ballpark Village by now, but I'm in no hurry to see that plan come to fruition. Just what St. Louis needs: a new zone of nationally branded corporate restaurants and entertainment spots to drain guests and revenue away from what locally owned businesses actually do remain in this town.

The Cardinals have said that Baltimore-based project developer Cordish has attracted ESPN Zone, Hard Rock Café, Barnes & Noble, Gold's Gym to other similar sites. Is that good news? Maybe for Florida, New York, Texas and Delaware! Not for us!

ESPN Zone is owned by Disney, which is headquartered in Orlando, Florida and incorporated in Delaware. Hard Rock Cafe is owned by the Seminole Tribe, which is based in Hollywood, Florida. Barnes & Noble is headquartered in New York and incorporated in Delaware. Gold's Gym is owned by TRT Holdings, which is headquartered in Irving, Tex. and probably also incorporated in Delaware, thanks to the lenient and flexible Delaware General Corporation Law, which makes that state notorious as a corporate haven.

God forbid someone leave a St. Louis Cardinals home game and spend any of their leftover money at a business actually owned by someone who lives in St. Louis!

Believe it or not, I got into all that for one small reason: to pass on a poem I wrote about Yankee Stadium. As any baseball fan must know by now, this weekend marks the last time baseball will be played in the House That Ruth built.

I lived in New York for six years and saw many games at Yankee Stadium. I am a Mets fan, yet highly susceptible to the mystique of just about any older baseball stadium, especially that one. During my first visit to see baseball in the Bronx (wish that I had recorded the date ...), I sketched some small poems that I have loosley defined as Haiku.


By Chris King

Old usher escorts
sexy girls to seats
with his eyes

Warm glob red
on my arm, on my shorts
my neighbor's catsup

Twenty hands finger
a stranger's money and candy
Cracker Jack here!

Big pink sticky
tampon on a stick
cotton candy

The runner goes!
The throw is wild!
The collective ugh

Every aisle
an avalanche
down six in the seventh

No reentry after exit
no exceptions
except for the pigeons


Picture of Yankee Stadium and the old Polo Grounds from Baseball Library.

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