Jimmy at the Bat

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the SFD that day;
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.

And then when Sanchez died at first, and Johnson did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A struggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs from CPR on the human breast;

They thought, “If only Jimmy could but get a whack at that-
We’d put up even money now, with Jimmy at the Bat.”
But Holston preceded Jimmy, as did also Clare Howard.

And the former was an Inspector, while the latter was a Lieutenant.
So, upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat;
For there seemed to but little chance of Jimmy getting to the bat.

But Holston let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Howard, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and firefighters saw what had occurred,

There was fleet-footed Clare safe at second and Holston a-hugging third.
Then from seventeen drunken throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled off the roof of station 2, it rattled the old fire bell;
It pounded off Indian Rock Hill and recoiled upon the flat,
For Jimmy, mighty Jimmy, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Jimmy’s Incident Command style manner as he stepped into his place;

There was EMT pride in Jimmy’s bearing and a smile lit Jimmy’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in crowd could doubt ‘twas Jimmy at the bat.

Thirty-four blood shot eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt.
Seventeen tongues applauded when he wiped them on this shirt.
Then while the Salina PD pitcher ground the ball into his hip,

Local 782 defiance flashed in Jimmy’s eye, a sneer curled Jimmy’s lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurling through the air,
And Jimmy stood a-watching it in bugle grandeur there.

Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped
“That ain’t my style,” said Jimmy. “Strike one!” Bob Reynolds the umpire said.

From the benches, filled with firemen’s wives, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of monstrous flames licking out a second story floor,
Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted Mary Pat from the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Jimmy raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity learned from his mama – great Jimmy’s chiefdom shone;
He stilled the rising strike like Norris Olson; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher; and once more the dun sphere flew;

But Jimmy still ignored it, and Reynolds said “Strike two!”
“Fraud!” cried Jerry Johnson, and echo off the Sunset outhouse answered “Fraud!”

But one scornful look from Jimmy through his thick head of hair and the audience was awed.

They saw him bite the cigar in his mouth, they saw his huge muscles strain.
And they knew that Jimmy wouldn’t let that ball go by again.
The sneer has fled from Jimmy’s lip, the teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence – like whipping a cross-word puzzle – his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go.
And now the air is shattered by the force of Jimmy’s blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored Kansas land the sun is shining bright,

The firehouse band is playing somewhere, and somewhere paramedic hearts are light.
And somewhere firemen are laughing, and little Erin, Anny, Sarah, and Andrew shout;

But there is no joy at the SFD — mighty Jimmy has struck out.The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the SFD that day;

The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Sanchez died at first, and Johnson did the same,

A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A struggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs from CPR on the human breast;

They thought, “If only Jimmy could but get a whack at that-
We’d put up even money now, with Jimmy at the Bat.”
But Holston preceded Jimmy, as did also Clare Howard.

And the former was an Inspector, while the latter was a Lieutenant.
So, upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat;
For there seemed to but little chance of Jimmy getting to the bat.

But Holston let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Howard, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and firefighters saw what had occurred,

There was fleet-footed Clare safe at second and Holston a-hugging third.
Then from seventeen drunken throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled off the roof of station 2, it rattled the old fire bell;
It pounded off Indian Rock Hill and recoiled upon the flat,
For Jimmy, mighty Jimmy, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Jimmy’s Incident Command style manner as he stepped into his place;
There was EMT pride in Jimmy’s bearing and a smile lit Jimmy’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in crowd could doubt ‘twas Jimmy at the bat.
Thirty-four blood shot eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt.

Seventeen tongues applauded when he wiped them on this shirt.
Then while the Salina PD pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Local 782 defiance flashed in Jimmy’s eye, a sneer curled Jimmy’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurling through the air,
And Jimmy stood a-watching it in bugle grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped

“That ain’t my style,” said Jimmy. “Strike one!” Bob Reynolds the umpire said.
From the benches, filled with firemen’s wives, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of monstrous flames licking out a second story floor,
Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted Mary Pat from the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Jimmy raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity learned from his mama – great Jimmy’s chiefdom shone;

He stilled the rising strike like Norris Olson; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher; and once more the dun sphere flew;
But Jimmy still ignored it, and Reynolds said “Strike two!”

“Fraud!” cried Jerry Johnson, and echo off the Sunset outhouse answered “Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Jimmy through his thick head of hair and the audience was awed.
They saw him bite the cigar in his mouth, they saw his huge muscles strain.

And they knew that Jimmy wouldn’t let that ball go by again.
The sneer has fled from Jimmy’s lip, the teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence – like whipping a cross-word puzzle – his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go.
And now the air is shattered by the force of Jimmy’s blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favored Kansas land the sun is shining bright,
The firehouse band is playing somewhere, and somewhere paramedic hearts are light.

And somewhere firemen are laughing, and little Erin, Anny, Sarah, and Andrew shout;
But there is no joy at the SFD — mighty Jimmy has struck out.

 

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