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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Double Header's Double Header

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Legion Subs that day:
The score stood four to none, with but one inning more to play
And then when Bannin died at first, and Wentim did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game

A straggling few beamed right back home in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought "If only Frenk and Dyvud could get a whack at that -
We'd put up even credits now, with Double Header at the bat."

But Jath let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Bez, then much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occured,
There was Lydda safe at second and Chee a-hugging third.

Then from nine thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through Metropolis and rattled in the dell;
It pounded on League Mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Header, Double Header, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Dyvud's manner as they stepped into their place;
There was pride in Frenk's blue eyes and a smile lit each pale face.
And when, responding to the cheers, they lightly doffed their hats,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt two champions shared one bat.

Ten million eyes were on them as they rubbed their hands with dirt
Five billion tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
Then while the Durlan pitcher ground the ball into his mass,
Defiance flashed in four blue eyes, two arms waiting for the cast.

And now the hard Inertron sphere came hurtling through that space,
But Double Header only watched in snooty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy Substitute the ball unheeded sped -
"That ain't my style," said Dyvud. "Strike one!" the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a mighty hiss,
Like the beating of great Darkseid on poor Apokolips;
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Frenk raised up his hand.

With a smile of Kolkerite charity great Header's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun steel flew;
But distracted he ignored it, and the umpire called "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" cried the maddened millions, and echo answered, "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Frenk and Dyvud and the audience was awed.
They saw his faces turn to look each other in the eyes,
For once there was no bickering, for once no cracking wise.

The sneers are gone from their taut lips, their teeth all clenched in hate,
They pound with cruel violence their bat upon the plate;
And now the Durlan holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Header's blow.

Along the cosmoturf the ball drills deep to center field
Jath and Bez both round the plate, shiny boots on Super shield
But Header scores a double, stranded there at second base
And up comes Stone Boy to the bat, and freezes there in place.

Three strikes whiz by the boy of stone as the fans file out the gates;
The third out done, the Legion subs surrender to the fates.
The Double Header did his best, the fans must give their due
But there's no joy at the home plate; the final score, four to two. 

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