Originally posted on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 11/21/11
In 1911, the National News Association printed a collection of poems (originally appearing in the New York Evening Journal) in a book called "Right Off the Bat: Baseball Ballads", by William F. Kirk. That book is now available in full for free on Google Books. The 34 poems found in the volume are a fun, quick read. The works range from "The Big League" and "The Ballad of a Minor Leaguer" (stories about the difficulty of surviving the top leagues) to "Yellow" (a story about a cowardly, no-good ballplayer) and "The $11,000 Beauty" (about John McGraw). None of the pieces are all that long, rarely extending to more than two half-pages of the small book (likely in the 30-50 line range, if not shorter). In truth, I get the feeling that most of these poems either originated from a schoolyard or were intended for one. They aren't all that complicated. Not that I'm complaining; it's always nice to come across baseball-themed literature geared towards the general public. I was a bit sur...
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