Clyde Always


Extra Innings

At a glistening diamond, some boys once met—
a dozen and six in all.
On an afternoon they would never forget
they picked up a game of ball.

The pitchers—they pitched, and the catchers—they caught;
each batter—he strove for a run,
but after those first nine innings were fought
the tally was 1 to 1.

Too haughty to ever relinquish the fight,
they vowed on the field they’d stay.
With grit, they continued well into the night
and over the following day.

For tireless weeks their game went on;
the months flew by (as they do).
When the dwindling rays of summer were gone
the tally was 2 to 2.

By Christmas morning they still hadn’t quit—
their gloves all stiffened with frost.
On Easter Sunday flew hit after hit,
but neither contender had lost.

A year then elapsed, another one still,
a handful more after that.
Each arduous inning broke never their will
(though busted up many a bat).

In the dugouts they’d sleep, and drown their thirst;
on sunflower seeds they’d dine.
By the top of the three-hundred-thousandth and first,
the tally was 9 to 9.

For forty more years, the players were tied.
They faltered but never stalled.
Where once they would nimbly dive and slide,
they hobbled all toothless and bald.

Those 18 fearlessly fought to the death—
a half-million innings and more;
when at last they’d breathed their ultimate breath,
they’d still not settled the score.

Now each has a stone on that field, with his name,
and visitors stare with awe
at the site of the only Little League game
to ever result in a draw.


Clyde Always is an accomplished cartoonist, poet, painter, novelist and vaudevillian entertainer. His work has been featured in Freaky Magazine, Jokes Review, The Daily Squib, etc. etc. His raucous sidewalk show, known as The Surreal San Francisco Walking Tour, delights both locals and visitors alike. Find out more at