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The Big League

You want to play in the Big League, boy?
I guess that you will some day,
For you've shown the speed the managers need
And the lightning brain (the managers' creed),
And the heart that will bid you stay.

But when you go to the Big League, boy,
And play on the Big League grounds,
As the seasons roll you will pay the toll
From your fresh young nerves and your clean young soul,
Till your pulse less buoyantly bounds.

And you'll learn strange things in the Big League, boy,
The cream of the good and bad;
You will come to know, in that shifting show,
The things that I learned in the long ago
When I, too, was a careless lad.

For I came to play in the Big League, boy,
And I played my string to the end.
To eyes divine where the white lights shine
I mumbled toasts over bubbling wine--
And finished minus a friend.

You want to play in the Big League, boy?
I guess that you will, some day,
And this is the prayer of an old-time player--
None was stronger and none was gayer--
God help you along your way.

Next: The Ballad Of The Minor Leaguer

Previous: Sunday Baseball

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