February 15, 2007
Twas the night before Spring Training, when all through the clubhouse
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the locker with care,
In hopes that Brandon Webb soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of double plays danced in their heads.
And mamma in her â€˜kerchief, and I in my Diamondbacks cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the infield there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a 6’ 10 starting pitcher, and eight tiny position players.
With a little old manager, so lively and gellin’,
I knew in a moment it must be Bob Melvin.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Johnson! Now, Webb! Now, Hernandez and Davis!
On, Byrnes! On, Young! on Quentin and Jackson!
To the end of the outfield! To the top of the wall!
Now leap away! Leap away! Leap away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the warning track the players they flew,
With a van full of bats, and Bob Melvin too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the street
The prancing and pawing of each little cleat.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the walkway Bob Melvin came with a bound.
He was dressed in Sedona Red, from his head to his foot,
And his uniform was all tarnished with grass stains and soot.
A bundle of bats he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pencil he held tight in his teeth,
And the bite marks encircled his pencil like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, from an extended off season,
And I laughed when I saw him, until I looked in the mirror!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the lockers, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the walkway he rose!
He sprang to his golf card, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, â€˜ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Spring Training to all, and to all a good-night!”