The outlook wasn't brilliant for the E Streeter seven this day;
The temp was twenty two, colder winds were on the way.
Carlos cancelled out, Rick Sobey and Sean Kenny did the same.
A pall-like silence fell upon the runners' hopes at fame.
A tenacious few showed up to run in deep despair.
The rest they wondered could it be that Scott would join us there?
They said, "If Ryan could inspire us by returning to run this date,
We'd put up Vegas money and put Piekos at the Plate."
It happened forty years ago, but John's memories still ring true,
And who's going to challenge his version, not me, surely not you.
The stands were filled, the press was there, history waiting to be made,
The Chelmsford writers would dub it the Greatest Game Ever Played.
The story as it's told had the running basepaths filled
John was ready to win the championship, his nerves they all were stilled,
A single, or a double, a triple or home run
Any swing of John's mighty bat, and lo, the game was won.
When from the line of runners there arose a mighty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
It was a thigh injury, a hamstring that had felled the mighty Pat.
A few choice words, a painful grimace and broken heart,
Pat knew his only choice was to hobble back to the start.
But John he forged ahead and made his return to Glory Days
He stepped up to the plate to recount his tale, parting history's haze.
E Streeter eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
The Scanlon brothers' tongues derided when he wiped them on his shirt;
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Piekos' eye, a sneer curled Johnny's lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Piekos stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped,
"That ain't my style," said Piekos. "BALL ONE!" the umpire said.
From the sidelines, lined with Streeters, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone in the stands;
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Piekos raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity great Johnny's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on.
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew;
But Piekos still ignored it and the umpire said, "BALL TWO!"
"Fraud!" cried Tom and Barry, and echos answered "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Piekos and the audience was awed.
Andrew saw John's face grow stern and cold, Steve saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Johnny might let that ball go by again.
The sneer is gone from Piekos' lips, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence, his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered, the count, it's 3 and 0.
One pitch more and somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing and somewhere newsmen talk,
There is joy in Streeter Nation - mighty Piekos took the walk.