Poem of the Week: ‘Slug the Umpire’

This week’s poem is an anonymous piece published by the Chicago Tribune in 1886. Back in those days, it was common for newspapers to include baseball poetry. In fact, the one baseball poem you’ve heard of, Casey At The Bat, came to existence that way. It was written by a sportswriter, Ernest Thayer, and my best guess is that Slug The Umpire was as well. Either way, it’s a fun read, and brought to you compliments of Jim Bouton who piqued my interest by quoting a couple lines in his review of that Bruce Weber umpire book I made fun of last week.

Mother, may I slug the umpire
May I slug him right away?
So he cannot be here, Mother
When the clubs begin to play?

Let me clasp his throat, dear mother,
In a dear delightful grip
With one hand and with the other
Bat him several in the lip.

Let me climb his frame, dear mother,
While the happy people shout;
I’ll not kill him, dearest mother
I will only knock him out.

Let me mop the ground up, Mother,
With his person, dearest do;
If the ground can stand it, Mother
I don’t see why you can’t, too.

Mother may I slug the umpire,
Slug him right between the eyes?
If you let me do it, Mother
You shall have the champion prize.

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