‘Twas the night before opening day, when all through Beaver, Leduc and Camrose Counties;
Not a bleacher was filled, not even with mounties;
The socks were were washed by the bags in the hall,
In hopes that no thunderstorms or rains would fall;
The young shortstops and catchers were out partying, not in their beds;
While visions of Advil and Tylenol danced in the veterans heads;
And the umpires and commissioner Neufeld packed up their gear,
Had just lost their cans after lots of hockey and beer;
When out on the field there we saw a batter,
I was alerted by a a Snapchat, to see what’s the matter.
The young guns were boozing, having a bash.
Time to get them to bed, or else they will clash.
The moon on horizon as the sun still shown,
Summer is here, no more early darkness known,
When what to my wondering mind so it seems,
But a baseball league’s opening day, and eight baseball teams;
With starting pitchers excited, fastballs lively and quick,
The preseason polls had been forgotten, with whom to pick.
More rapid than magpies the games are about to begin,
Calls made to make sure players know what jersey to show up in:
“Now, Armena! now, Bardo! now Camrose and Holden!
On, Leduc! on, Ryley! on, Beaumont and Rosalind!
To the top of the mound! to the top of the fence!
Steal a base! steal a base! Hit it out like Hunter Pence.
All around the land, the teams they are ready,
No matter what comes their way, they will hold their bats steady;
May is upon us, and June and July will be, too.
Two games a week to see who will win the PBL loot.
With hurlers and hitters, and dugouts where legends have sat,
The dancing knuckleballs tossed in, for all to swing at.
The teams they will battle, and enjoy a post-game beer,
Down the highways of Alberta, they will go, looking out for deer.
Through seasons gone by the history of this league so long,
Hundreds of dads and family members, alumni bygone.
The trophy it has seen many days in its past,
All for the memories of the boys, another season, not the last.
So the long-time PBLer now reading this poem,
Thinking of games and outfield he’d hath mowen!
His games that weren’t much different than ours,
His stories of playoffs would go on for hours;
His sip of post-game a beer in the Last Chance Saloon,
All while telling of that home run he hit in the Bardo lagoon;
Now not as thin, and sporting a Ryley Rebel-like belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
Chubby and plump in the bar, still proud of himself.
PBL stories last forever, even if no trophies to sport on the shelf.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Everyone knowing the story was exaggerated, but not dead.
He needn’t speak a word, as he went back to his work,
We all liked his story, even if he might’ve been a jerk.
But on the ball fields of the PBL everyone knows,
And gives him a nod, as a fellow ball player shows.
One last story he tells and he’s off to his home,
The stories need to stop, they seem to have grown.
But we took one more look as we heard him exclaim:
“Happy Opening Day to all, and to all a good night!”