Monday, August 11, 2014

Joseph Conrad "Mule" Sprinz

Joseph Conrad "Mule" Sprinz

Joseph Conrad Mule Sprinz

Lost most of my upper lip that day.
Plus five teeth.  Fractured my jaw.
Goodyear Blimp and a baseball
dropping at over 125-miles per hour.
Joe Sprinz is in his one-car garage
in San Francisco's Sunset District...
a heaven of baseball bats, balls,
catcher's mitts on wall shelves.
He flips a ball up, snags it,
Bet you can't tell this ball is resewn.
Baseball was my Depression job.
I could extend a cracked bat's
life with carpet tacks and athletic tape.

Why did I catch a baseball dropped
1,500 feet by Lefty O'Doul from a blimp
at the '39 Golden Gate World's Fair?
The other San Francisco Seals,
both tough guy Ferris Fain
and Joe's brother, Dom DiMaggio,
sidled away, leaving me alone
as the blimp hovered.  I could've
refused to catch the ball...
and I did catch it... on my birthday.
I was hitting .312 mid-season.
I could have run-'n-shirked... 
but God hates a coward! 

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