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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)

TITLE: this cathedral for boys, this cathedral of dreams
By Jim McWhinnie


in the summertime,
within the ivy-covered walls,
upon the sun-drenched grass, the green, green grass
where full grown boys lived out my dreams,
in nine inning shares of timelessness,
to hear the thunder of Ted Williams’ bat,
to watch the smooth, smooth stride of Willie Mays,
to sit in awe of lads once like me,
but who grew up somewhere to become so much more,
these mythic figures of a mythic game,
a game once began on sandy backlots,
now continued on fields in majestic ballparks,
they are all grown up these once little boys,
grown-up beyond the reach of mortals who wear tailored grey suits as they go to work,
they live in realms of near perfection,
they walk in air beyond our own,
they are the best of the best there are
and maybe even,
oh, time will tell
the best of all who will ever be.
oh, how i love this holy place,
the sounds,
the crrraack of the ball sending the left fielder to the wall,
the pop of a Koufax fastball for a call, Strike Three!
the vendor pitching, ”Hot Dogs, Git your red hot, Hot Dogs!”
the rising roar of a crowd when the game’s on the line,
the out-of-tune singing when its seventh inning time.
oh, how i have loved this old, holy place,
this cathedral for boys, this cathedral of dreams,
this place most outstanding
of all places to be.

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This article has been read 4360 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sarah Heywood04/28/11
I loved this so much! As I read, I could just hear the traditional baseball music pouring out of the organ...Interestingly enough, I stopped to read this tonight amidst preparations for getting out of the house to watch my boys' first baseball games. The mood was right for your piece!

Excellent writing!
Benjamin Graber04/29/11
Excellent job providing the mood for this piece! It made for a very whimsical, fun read. Great job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/29/11
You painted a magical picture for all your readers to see with you superb word choices.
Anita van der Elst04/29/11
Not being a sports fan, I was quite surprised to find I enjoyed this very, very much. I never knew baseball could be so…beautiful. :-)
Sharlyn Guthrie05/01/11
You did a masterful job. I enjoyed this very much!
Margaret Kearley 05/05/11
What amazing and wonderful descriptions. Congrats on your win.
Ann Grover05/05/11
Congratulations!! Great imagery, and SO outside the box!
Amanda Brogan05/05/11
You made this age-old American pastime take on a glorious new light. Congrats on a job well-done and a poem well-rhymed. :)
Loren T. Lowery05/05/11
If part of what poems are supposed to do is inspire one to imagine then this has succeeded...I'm very easily imagining myself at a ballgame...crrack of the bat, Hot Dogs and the glorious feel of the sweeping cathedral. Congratulations, Jim. Well done, indeed.
Bonnie Bowden 05/05/11
Congratulations on your 1st place EC award. Your poem brought back a lot of sweet memories.
Patricia Turner05/05/11
Just beautiful! I want to go to a ball game now. Big congratulations, Jim! OUTSstanding!
Kim Hamlin07/01/11
Jim, congratulations and well-deserved! Love it!
Charla Diehl 07/01/11
Don't know how I missed this one--the emotion with which it was written is felt in each continuing line. Not hard to understand why this entry is a winner. Big congrats on your BoB win.
Beth LaBuff 07/01/11
Jim, Congratulations on your Best of the Best win for this poignant poem. It's truly amazing!
Joanne Sher 07/02/11
Wonderful wonderful, Jim. LOVED this - so deserving of Best of the Best. Congratulations!
Glynis Becker07/02/11
Congratulations on a fabulous piece of writing. Well-deserved win!
Allison Egley 07/03/11
Oh, this is great! I do love baseball. This captures the feelings well.
Mona Purvis07/04/11
Jim, so good to see your work at the top where it belongs. BOB winner!!!
Philippa Geaney 07/04/11
Congratulations Jim--Your work has always been outstanding and this is simply one of many.
Eliza Evans 07/06/11
CONGRATULATIONS, Jim! Thrilled BEYOND for you!! :) :) Did you get the long, happy PM I sent you?
Cathryn Hasek07/11/11
Hi Jim:

Congratulations on your Win! It is well deserved. I was reminded of growing up in Michigan where the sounds from the old Tiger Stadium at "Michigan and Trumball" would rumble through my radio...you HAD to listen to the games because nobody called one better than Ernie Harwell. If you haven't read his poem, "That's Baseball" you should. It remindes me of your poem so much! Blessings and congrats, again!

Richard L. Provencher 07/12/11
This poem is absolutely wonderful, a journey through the mind, of childhood to grownup years. Richard L. Provencher
Noel Mitaxa 07/12/11
Congratulations Jim. As an Aussie baseball ex-pitcher (at club level) and long-time fan, I felt you drawing me into the whole feel of this great game and its roots. A well-deserved win.
Jeanette Oestermyer05/24/12
A lovely poem and written so professionaly. It seems that it is a story told in Free Verse for the world to read.

Bonnie Wishum05/01/13
great work. My husband loves to watch baseball, a real fan of the braves(when they are winning). You seemed to have caught all the , should I say, the essence of the game.By that I mean everything that makes it what it is, the excitement, the lights, the crowd, the players, the smell of hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, the sound of the bat when a home run is hit, the call of the umpires, the cheers and the boos. I enjoyed reading. bonnie wishum
Bonnie Wishum05/01/13
Larry Anderson02/18/14
Very nice verbal picture... I believe you covered all the bases. Thanks for sharing it!