Words: © 1998 by Tom Smith
Music: "Mick McGuire" (Irish trad.)
If you got to this page looking
for statistical info on a certain St. Louis Cardinals slugger, I apologize if
you felt misled. You probably want to click
here for baseball-reference.com's rundown of the big guy. But hang for a
minute, if you like. See, I was a big baseball fan when I was a kid. I haven't
been for awhile. But one of the things I remember was the home run derby that
the Detroit Tigers had with themselves during that remarkable season of 1968.
Ain't nothing like a long ball toward deep left to make you sit up and listen
that much harder. Well, when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa couldn't seem to not
hit homer after homer during the 1998 season, it was exciting as hell... or,
it would've been, if not for (a) the generally lackluster play of almost everyone
else in baseball, and (b) the press, in this day of controversy and conflict,
trying to build up something more than the obvious friendly rivalry between
McGwire and Sosa. There was no way either could influence the other's performance
except to resort to insult and trash talk, and both were too polite to do that,
and the press actually got upset with them for not giving them a juicy ego war.
Oh, my name is Mark McGwire, and I'll quickly tell
My home run bat was on fire, and I needed sixty-two
To catch up with Roger Maris, and believe me when I say
That, whenever I would talk to the press, you could hear the buggers say:
"Sammy caught up to McGwire, caught up, so
give to us a quote,
How he's causing you such ire, how he's really got your goat."
But I'm really happy for him, and we're both on such a tear,
So just sit where you are, while Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire compare.
We went back and forth all season, Sammy caught and
passed me twice,
Competition was exhilarating, and the fans were nice,
Mrs. Maris and her family were gracious through and through,
But apparently the media don't have that much to do:
"Sammy caught up to McGwire, caught up, that
has to make you mad,
Now we're giving him the column space that Mark McGwire once had."
Well, I don't know how to tell you, but I really couldn't care,
We'll head into the fall and hit the long ball, and hope that it stays fair.
Now the Home Run Derby's over, and McGwire came out
If the season had kept going, maybe neither one would stop,
And the best part is, the writers in the paper every day
Are obsessed with college football now -- I don't have to hear 'em say.
"Sammy caught up to McGwire, caught up,"
'cause now the season's done,
And if we were in a home run race, then everybody won.
Maybe Mark hit more than Sammy, but they both were on a tear,
They're both heroes the same, they've revived the whole game...
And give thanks that you were there.