Game Called – Grantland Rice (1948)

One week has passed since the final out in the 2012 World Series.  Baseball depression has started to set in.  How long until pitchers and catchers report?  Too long.  Grantland Rice wrote Game Called in 1910.  It is one of my favorite poems.  In 1948, he re-wrote a version as a tribute to Babe Ruth.  This version is just as stirring.


Game Called by darkness — let the curtain fall.
No more remembered thunder sweeps the field.
No more the ancient echoes hear the call
To one who wore so well both sword and shield:
The Big Guy’s left us with the night to face
And there is no one who can take his place.

Game Called — and silence settles on the plain.
Where is the crash of ash against the sphere?
Where is the mighty music, the refrain
That once brought joy to every waiting ear?
The Big Guy’s left us lonely in the dark
Forever waiting for the flaming spark.

Game Called — what more is there for us to say?
How dull and drab the field looks to the eye
For one who ruled it in a golden day
Has waved his cap to bid us all good-bye.
The Big Guy’s gone — by land or sea or foam
May the Great Umpire call him “safe at home.” – Grantland Rice 1948