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My Marichal (A Poem)

Juan Marichal statue outside of AT&T Park

Juan Marichal statue outside of AT&T Park

A Brief Note On Juan Marichal

I couldn't help writing a poem about one of my childhood baseball idols, Juan Marichal. He was bigger than life when he pitched for the San Francisco Giants in the 60s. His leg kick was majestic, his side-arm delivery phenomenal. He was colorful, brash and at times, a little too aggressive. Even though I lived 3,000 miles away, he was with me in my childhood dreams. A baseball pitcher who dazzled the hitters of his time with a wide array of pitches and speeds. Even though he never won a World Series, he made it to the Hall of Fame in 1983 and made it into my permanent vault of baseball memories.

My Marichal

The long leg of Marichal

can’t kick

any higher,

any straighter.

The leg that seems to soar

into the universe

above the stadium,

birds dodging

lost in space.

Marichal's eyes, half closed

that seem to roll around

like marbles

in a children’s game.

Is he looking at me

is he looking at the stars

at the waves of fans

in the wooden seats,

people with hotdogs and popcorn

in their hands.

Marichal’s gyrating neck

like rubber

turns and bends

his head, loosely connected

by a thread,

a stat sheet full of K’s.

I see the shadow

of Marichal

reflected in my dreams

deep into my subconscious

below the surface,

below the level of the sea.

Marichal lives inside me

like a filament of memory

an illusion, ghost-like,


like a Dali melting baseball.

His shadow lurks

in the dark alley

in the dark halls

behind the glass


in the Hall of Fame vaults.

As the baseballs fly and spin

at speeds faster than light,

curves through the strike zone—

it pops, burns a hole

in the cather’s mitt.

Balls travel over the seats

beyond the fences at Candlestick

even at AT&T Park


in the Bay

fished out by brave men

in boats, in fishnet sweaters

gently calling:

My Marichal, My Marichal.

My Marichal by Mark Tulin

© 2017 Mark Tulin

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