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Saturday, 8 May 2010

Distant Thunder


File:Joan Baez Bob Dylan.jpg

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan at Civil Rights March on Washington, 28 August 1963: photographer unknown (U.S. Information Agency)

What is an American face?

It's the face of the person standing next to you. If you're an American, that is.

An American standing next to me, as we both stared out the plate glass window overlooking a city park, a park with a history of sorts, insofar as there is a history, where long ago there was free music, round which police cars now circulate, said: Robin Roberts died.

For a while images of rising fastballs painting the margins of the strike zone spilled across the mind accompanied by inchoate memories of Robin Roberts.

How old? I said.

Only eighty-three.

A moment of silence in common for Robin Roberts. The moment went by.

And then the man said:

Ernie Harwell died.

For a minute we talked bit about Ernie and his wife.

Ernie's wife said: I don't know what I'm going to do with myself.

So, alright, maybe there is an American history. Even if I can't remember a single thing that happened yesterday.

There was now some aimless discussion upon contemporary American history. I say aimless because really, where can such a discussion go?

So did you hear what Steve Nash said about Arizona?

Well, he's Canadian, right?

So did you hear what Phil Jackson said about it? I couldn't believe it.

I said I could.

A little respectful silence for the history of America ensued.

And then the American standing next to me, as we continued to stare contemplatively out through the plate glass overlooking the vacant city park, talked about the prisoners' revolt at Treblinka.

Maybe it's time for something like that, he said.

As a child I was told that when thunder is heard, it means angels are bowling.

And from the otherworld, Ernie Harwell said:

That is exactly what it means.

I can remember the final days of August 1963 better than I can remember yesterday. I was about to leave America. Events seemed meaningful. I was looking in a plate glass window. I saw my own reflection.

An American face.

File:Bowling Balls Beach 2 edit.jpg

Bowling Ball Beach, Mendocino County, California: photo by Mila Zinkova, 2009


Curtis Roberts said...

In our house we enjoyed and were stimulated by Distant Thunder for a number of reasons, but we’d be remiss in not saying thank you from Philadelphia for your tribute to Robin Roberts.

Curtis Roberts said...

The photograph of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, two faces I’ve mentally paired many times that could not be more different, adjacent to your question “What is an American face?” , is fascinating and mysterious. So is Bowling Ball Beach, but I guess seeing is believing.

TC said...


Many thanks for responding.

Ah, Robin Roberts. As a youth I was an usher at baseball games. In those days the pre-game contact with the players was direct and immediate. There were not "larger than life" figures, but palpable figures out of life. So it was possible to actually view them as human beings, more or less eye-to-eye. So that now, when they pass away, it can be felt not merely as the unimaginably remote passing of celebrities with public reputations (i.e. media abstractions), but as the passing of people.

Feel a bit the same way, these days, about the passing away of America.

Have never wanted to attempt to masquerade as an "opinion" blogger, someone with "views". As far as I am concerned my "political opinions" count for neither more nor less than anybody else's, that is, virtually nothing.

So I think of this post more an a brief fleeting moment of observation than as a statement of my opinion about anything.

But perhaps I should unfold my moment of observation just a bit further.

You've pretty much figured out the point of the post. Those two American faces at the top, with such different ethnic histories, Hispanic and Jewish, yet those histories submerged in the larger manifest fact of the here-and-now American presence.

I should perhaps explain that the fellow with whom I was conversing is a sixty-something Jewish man from New York. He has been a schoolteacher, among other things.

In the place where we both live, and specifically in the place where we were at the time of that conversation, our white faces are and were by far less common than the black, Latin, Asian faces. This is simply a fact of life. Many people of many different appearances and origins, in very close proximity, with no choice but to try to get along. Not that the getting along is without some strain. Still, the racial mix is a de facto thing. Here it is, live with it.

To many people here, the Arizona business now is a real eye opener. People here, like the man in the conversation, are having to understand that certain things that are taken for granted here are resisted elsewhere.

Here a very great deal of the actual physical service work that allows society to continue happening is being done by the human beings who in Arizona are being regarded currently as a threat to American values.

I take it they mean the values of property.

My friend was remarking that Steve Nash, of British Columbia, has publicly declared his resistance to the Arizona attempt to close the borders and enforce the closure by racial profiling.

Nash has come under a lot of criticism for this, much of it on the grounds he is a "foreigner" (as well as, allegedly, a "Red", and so on.)

He is employed in Arizona. He plays for the Phoenix Suns. The owner of the team has supported the idea that the team change their shirt logo to "Los Suns" in solidarity with the popular cause. The NBA players' union has endorsed all this strongly. And not surprisingly, because the NBA, despite the high salaries, is obviously not a haven for Tea Party thinking.

Meanwhile the coach of the LA Lakers, Phil Jackson, has come out in defense of the right of Arizona property owners to "defend their property" from "illegals".

My friend, in our conversation, was pointing out, somewhat ironically, that Jackson is supposedly a Buddhist. His implication was that attachment to private property is not exactly a central Buddhist tenet.

My friend is acutely conscious of Holocaust history.

As we stared out through that window, watching the police cars circulate, he was remarking that there are these days a great many "normal" Americans who hold extremely polarized views on these subjects, and that, as these people have the law on their side, they may be viewed, from this perspective, as somewhat dangerous to those who hold other views.

These considerations led to the Treblinka reference made by my mild-mannered friend.

TC said...

Oh, and as to Bowling Ball Beach, what we are seeing in that amazing photo is concretions weathering out of steeply-tilted Cenozoic mudstone.

"A concretion is a volume of sedimentary rock in which a mineral cement fills the porosity (i.e. the spaces between the sediment grains). Concretions are often ovoid or spherical in shape, although irregular shapes also occur. The word 'concretion' is derived from the Latin con meaning 'together' and crescere meaning 'to grow'. Concretions form within layers of sedimentary strata that have already been deposited. They usually form early in the burial history of the sediment, before the rest of the sediment is hardened into rock. This concretionary cement often makes the concretion harder and more resistant to weathering than the host stratum.

"There is an important distinction to draw between concretions and nodules. Concretions are formed from mineral precipitation around some kind of nucleus while a nodule is a replacement body.

"Descriptions dating from the 18th century attest to the fact that concretions have long been regarded as geological curiosities. Because of the variety of unusual shapes, sizes and compositions, concretions have been interpreted to be dinosaur eggs, animal and plant fossils (called pseudofossils), extraterrestrial debris or human artifacts."

Curtis Roberts said...

Thank you for filling out the context of Distant Thunder so carefully. I was able to discern a lot of it (for example the Steve Nash and Phil Jackson connections) from newspaper stories, but not all of it. I’d forgotten, for instance, that Jackson professes to be a Buddhist. (Most Phil Jackson reporting makes my head hurt anyway.)

No one could say this is an easy one, a “slam dunk”, as it were, and definitions (for instance, how you define “the values of property”, even how you define the “NBA”, which is comprised of a number of corporate constituencies, each with their own separate agendas, which are not always transparent) become crucial. Nothing leads to an easy, “correct” summing-up and I’m not sure whether introducing Holocaust considerations into the argument mix is relevant or clarifying.
Your friend is definitely right, though, in observing that a “great many ‘normal’ Americans …….hold extremely polarized views on these subjects”, and it’s that tension, more than who supposedly has “the law on their side”, that worries me these days.

That being said, publishing Distant Thunder helps. It is a very fine political poem – subtle, but direct and plainspoken -- that I would love to be read widely. The close-scale, intimate image of Baez and Dylan at the August 1963 Civil Rights March shows these two very famous, ethnically disparate, American faces, as “palpable figures out of life”, as you describe Robin Roberts and the other players in the ball park, and this lends a lot of power to the words.

Oh – and I will never again think of thunder the way I used to. Thank you, Ernie Harwell, for your advice and confirmation.

Curtis Faville said...

Roberts was the pitcher Willie McCovey hit those blistering triples off of in his big league debut.

Gentle Willie, Lon Simmons asking him questions, and Willie sounding like the gentle giant he was, still is. Talking about his mom. And what he thought when he hit that big homer in the fifth. So sweet.

Willie Mays just had a birthday. Was there ever anyone who could "glide" like Willie could? Slightly pigeon-toed, bow-legged, lithe, on a hair trigger. Hold the bat way down off the edge, his little finger dangling off the end.

TC said...

Yes, Curtis, I too was thinking about Willie yesterday. Seventy-nine. He spent "part of the day" in Sacramento, being feted, according to the paper.

I saw quite a bit of him in his heyday, but the one abiding memory of him as a player, for me, is not from his glory days but from much later on, in his last hurrah with the Mets in '73.

He scratched out a twenty-seven hop single up the middle against the A's in the Series, wheezed his way down to first, and then was gone forever.

In a manner of speaking.

And then again, not really.

TC said...

Curtis R,

Oh my, I've just now sorted out my Curtises! An abundance of riches.

About that Holocaust analogy used by my friend, there is an ellipse in the piece at that point, in which I do not reflect his interstitial remarks. He was not making a logical argument but actually musing to himself. His point, if he had one, is that he feels oppressed by what is happening in America now, the divisiveness in the society, the adamant assertiveness of some of those who would wrap themselves in the law and order banner. I get the feeling all this has awakened old fears in him.

One is always wary of one's knee-jerk reactions in such circumstances.

(Said the jerk.)

TC said...

... and with that thought in mind (er, which one was it again?), I have just now put up this.


Tom (and Curtis and Curtis), what a pleasure to read through all this just now -- I didn't see it yesterday, hadn't heard about the Steve Nash comment (or Phil Jackson counterspin, how unlikely Buddhist?), I saw those two Willies too, from the earliest days back in Seals Stadium -- your memory of how Mays held his bat, and beat out that "twenty-seven hop single" has brought something of it back. And reading this, just now, I realize you 'appeared' in my dream last night, can't remember as thing about it now except that you or (a young kid version of you) were somehow there. . . .

doowman said...

Like a glimpse of that pigeon-toe today? Catch young Austin Jackson as he finds the gap with his bat and glides the range of Comerica's center field (and other American League haunts). I'm certain Ernie spotted sd semblance via grapefruit tv -- we only wish we could hear the poet's report one more time.

On Ernie, baseball author Bruce Shlain reflects: "Somehow he brings the proper pitch and phrasing to a whole season, with a rhythm and pacing that only a select few have ever commanded. In many ways a Harwell broadcast is profoundly musical, as befits a man who has published 55 songs with composers such as Johnny Mercer. Many an announcer has aspired to sounding as if talking to a friend in his living room, but Harwell effortlessly establishes the same rapport on the air as he does in person."

I know Bruce has a remarkable tale told by RR about Jackie Robinson -- maybe he'll chime in here soon.

Thanks, TC.

TC said...

Steve and Doowman,

Nothing sweeter than a field of dreams that fills up with actualities.

Great thing about Jackson is that he was smuggled out of NY (in the Granderson deal).

Would love to hear Bruce's RR on JR story, or anything else.

Hey, you guys are tapping my ur-memories. I have poems from those fields to post some day. Live so long, Insh'allah.

Saw Jackie Robinson steal home in Wrigley Field one time. The cheeky dance off third with hands on hips, eyes sizing up the hurler, the break, the dash and the swirling cloud of dust up from which JR popped, safe and intact.

To trot businesslike back to the dugout.

No high fiving or bigging up, in those days that stuff was not done (on penalty of a fastball in your ear).

~otto~ said...

BAez and Dylan and let's add Chuck D to the mix.

Curtis Faville said...

Here's a memory:

Watching the A's one afternoon with friends from work.

Ken Holtzman was pitching. I can't remember which year this was, but it had to be some year between 1972 and 1975--those were the years he pitched for the A's, and those were his best years statistically in his career.

Anyway, Holtzman gets to the 9th inning, and he hasn't given up a hit yet. The first two batters he faces in the inning, he strikes out. So now it's one batter left, and the crowd is on its feet. The Detroit batter is Tom Veryzer, a weak little-hitting shortstop whose knees must be quivering from the stress. The Oakland outfield comes in about 20 feet, to guard against any cheap blooper hits. Holtzman gets two strikes on him, when he suddenly lifts a sweet routine straight line fly to dead-center. Billy North, who's positioned himself about 30 feet behind second base, turns and runs back and back, but it still clears his outstretched glove by at least 10 feet.

Moans of agony! If North had been playing in position, he'd have caught it. So Holtzman loses his no-hitter. I note now that this couldn't have happened in 1972, because neither North nor Veryzer were in place in that year.

What a great team for pitching! Hunter, Blue, Holtzman. Fingers out of the pen. Lindblad and Knowles doing set-up.

Unfortunately, we all grew up.

TC said...


Wicked testimony.

Last night the words of a fellow from Oaktown who said, "Oh, I spent some time in AZ but no more than I had to -- you know I have been shot three times and stabbed twice in the vicinity of where I live, but I still feel safer there than I did in AZ. Hey, you know what? Down they don't even celebrate Martin Luther King Day. Can you believe that?"

Pleasant, intelligent young man. Another one of those American faces.

TC said...


About the growing up, I envy you that. Still haven't got there, not sure what to expect. (Struggling currently with "second childhood", it seems.)

Amazing timing at work here: about three hours before you left this comment, down the freeway a ways, a 26-year old kid from Stockton, heretofore best known for his stubborn temperament, his persistent foot injury, and his recent amazing "calling out" of the astonished prima donna A-Rod (who had violated the pitcher's mound, a crime against ancient unwritten codes), pitched a perfect game.

Second in team history, 19th in major league history.

Poetically enough, this Mother's Day feat was performed before the woman who, after his mother's death of cancer when he was in high school, had raised him. So, post-game hugs, kisses, tears. Grandma was quoted as saying "A-Rod can stick it!" Stuff straight out of one of those old kid's novels (except for grandma's vocabulary perhaps).

Dallas Braden's Perfecto.

The strangest twist of all, re. your bright memory: the club's independent-thinking lefty-role, once Ken Holtzman's, now belongs to DB.

I guess you know I wrote
that book about the A's, back in the Neolithic period. I see you can get it on Amazon for the price of a straw. Then again, I also see that Jeff Maser has it at $35. Go figure. (I'm no judge on its value, haven't read it or for that matter possessed a copy in thirty-odd years: thought I had a box of 'em, but when, one time, I opened it, something else was in there. Not even worth straw prices.)

About Tom Veryzer, he was Mark Fidrych's roommate with the Tigers in '76, the year when, in the post-season, I did that book with "The Bird".
Speaking of far away and long ago.

Mark told funny You-Know-Me-Al-ish stories about Veryzer's good-natured extension of the hazing rituals during his own first days with the club. These involved a lot of leg-pulling, mostly. Chronically hyperactive, Mark would race to the food table in the clubhouse after a game. Win OR lose. Veryzer took Mark aside and warned him gravely that the Detroit manager, Ralph Houk, had darkly warned that the rookie's offense against code might be putting his career at risk.

"He told me to tell you, when you lose, *walk* to the lunch. Don't act *happy*. I went, no way...He goes, Yeah, we're just *educatin'* you, Mark."

TC said...

Oh, and Curtis as you've mentioned the late great Jim Catfish Hunter, it should be added that, of course, the only other perfect game ever thrown by a member of this club was thrown by him.

Back when we were... er... young(er).

Bruce Shlain said...

The Robin Roberts stories about Jackie Robinson are from Joe Posnanski's blog
Here 'tis:

While people often talk about the collapse of the 1964 Phillies, they tend to forget that the 1950 Phillies tried to do it first. Those Phillies were up 7 1/2 games on the Brooklyn Dodgers on September 20. They were still up five games a week later, on Sept. 27. But then they lost five straight games, and that Sunday they had to beat the Dodgers in Brooklyn or be forced into a playoff. Roberts was 24 years old and was sent out to lead the Phillies to their first pennant in 35 years. He was pitching on two-days rest.

He pitched 10 innings. The only run he allowed was on a Pee Wee Reese home run. Roberts worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth — thanks in large part (as Roberts himself said) to a perfect throw by Richie Asburn to nail Cal Abrams at the plate. He also led off the 10th inning with a single … that eventually led to Dick Sisler hitting a three-run homer. Roberts finished things off in the bottom of the 10th, and the Phillies won the pennant.

After the game, Roberts was sitting there on his stool, champagne dripping from his hair, when he felt a strong hand on his shoulder. He looked up. It was Jackie Robinson. “Congratulations,” Robinson said.

“Think about that,” Roberts told me. “Think about how much class that took … I couldn’t have done it, I’ll tell you that.”

Of course, Robin Roberts would have done it. He was like that. And that leads to the second Jackie Robinson story. In 1951, everyone remembers that the New York Giants came back from oblivion to catch the Brooklyn Dodgers and then beat them on Bobby Thomson’s “The Giants Win The Pennant” home run. What many people don’t realize is that the Dodgers actually had to win their final two games against Philadelphia just to force the playoff. They beat Roberts 5-0 on a Saturday. But the Sunday game was quite a different story.

In the Sunday game, Robinson started off terribly. He hit into a double play, booted an easy ground ball that allowed two runs to score, took a called third strike, threw wild on another play. He would make up for it. In the eighth inning, the Phillies led 8-5, but the Dodgers pulled within a run. And Roberts was put into the game even though he had pitched the day before. He gave up a single to Carl Furillo that tied the score.

Then, Roberts pitched five gutsy scoreless innings. It looked like the Phillies were going to win in the bottom of the 12th inning — they loaded the bases and then Eddie Waitkus lined what looked to be a sure single up the middle … so sure, that Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe began to walk off the mound in disgust. Instead, Robinson made a diving catch just inches off the ground — so close that there were Phillies fans who remained certain decades later that he did not catch it. Robinson hit the ground so violently that play was stopped for five minutes as he regained his breath.

Two innings later, with curfew just a few a shade of dark away, Robinson hit a home run off of Roberts to give the Dodgers the lead and force the classic playoff with the Giants. Robinson would call it the biggest hit of his entire career.

TC said...

Thanks very much, Bruce. Many memories here, these were the figures of my childhood (I worked for several years at Comiskey and Wrigley in the early/mid Fifties). There are so many stories.

One that popped into mind, reading your piece and concurrently thinking a bit about Dallas Braden's once-in-a-lifetime performance yesterday, involves Don Newcombe.

On cold spring days with the wind blowing in off the Lake, Wrigley could be a pitchers' paradise. Pretty hard on everybody else, though. I think the greatest pitching performance I ever saw came one such afternoon. Newcombe vs Sad Sam Jones. Both of them absolutely untouchable. A bone chilling wind, hands frozen. Nine, ten, eleven innings, both starters still out on the mound. Unwavering, refusing to give an inch.

I was working an open breezeway section. The greatest show of pitching I had ever seen. And I remember my numb prayer. Lord, let this end somehow. I just want to be warm.

Bruce Shlain said...

Good to remember great ballgames lost in the fog of time. These games were a little before my time as a fan, as I am a mere 58. I had read about these amazing Dodgers-Phillies games for the first time in Golenbock's Dodger history, Bums.

Tom, I also remember a reading of yours in NYC in the late 70's, I think you had just published selected poems When Things Get Tough on Easy Street, and near the end of the reading you asked for requests, and my friend piped up "Bill Lee," and you read haltingly about Spaceman and then really got into it, read your poem on Clemente and your history of the St. Louis Browns, where you hilariously refer to outfielder Jim Rivera as "the handsome rapist" for some reason (poetic license?). You knew you were losing part of the crowd, acknowledged that my friend and I would stay all night to hear your baseball poems, right about that, and when you finally wrapped up, our bats were in the air (literally, as we had just come from playing hardball in the Liga Catolica in Central Park). I have a perverse idea that this reading has somehow stuck to the ribs of your own memory... Anyway, we were those yahoos in the back that night. And by the way, kudos and mucho thanks for your wonderfully eclectic blog, there's nothing like it anywhere.

TC said...


Ah, the memories.

To Bill Lee actually underwent a one-night revival here, a while back.

Back in that century when I still did readings, yes, baseball poems usually drove audiences into lemming charges for the exit.

Indeed it was often the entire popular cultural context, not to mention the bits of raunchy language that went with it, which was the negative charm that inspired these mass exodus events.

Once at the University of Delaware I had a full house of about 400 students. Obviously there wasn't much to do on a cold snowy winter afternoon in Delaware. Things went along at the usual comatose poetry reading pace. Then someone asked for a baseball poem. Then another. At least one of these poems, as I recall, had the word "fuck" in it. (Well, in my defense, it's not as though I had coined it myself.) When I next looked up, there were, I believe, two people in the room, counting the host.

About Jungle Jim Rivera, I've always felt a bit bad about putting a fine point on it like that.

It was really meant to evince sympathy for Jim and to show admiration for Veeck, who signed players no one else would touch.

JR had been in a grocery store, as I recall, and had offered to help a woman shopper get her groceries home, as the story went. Evidently he had been a bit overdemonstrative with his help.

I loved his gung ho style of play and hope he was never troubled by that reference.

But of course you never know.

I do remember, on that note, an anecdote involving my poem Baseball and Classicism, in which I credited Eurydice (!) for her "perfect day", on which, I said, she had gone 5-for-5 off Vic Raschi.

Years later I got a postcard from a fellow who said Vic Raschi was his liquor dealer, and that Vic had told him that yes, he had seen my poem... and loved it.

So I guess you never know.

TC said...

And while we're on the subject (?) is that Eurydice/Vic Raschi ditty.

dansp said...

Tom-- When I started writing poetry some thirty years ago, I always had a copy of your "Fan Poems," on hand. Eventually, I gave a copy to just about everyone I knew--the only prerequisite was that they be a baseball fan...of course. So, I wasn't surprised by your tributes to Roberts and Harwell. Roberts, I remember, as a hard-throwing righty who struck out a lot of batters and lost a lot of games--pitching for the woebegone Phillies--How many Earl Torgeson baseball cards did I have? Did he really wear glasses? I didn't hear Harwell til later in life (his and mine). He added so much to the nightly conversation about baseball that goes out over the radio waves. Insightful, entertaining,and empathetic--without the meaness of say a Harry Caray (whom I also dearly loved!). Thanks for tributes. There's no crying in baseball. Only statistics...and memories.

doowman said...

Tom: Seriously, I think it's time to turn the ball back over to Wittgenstein before everyone else leaves the blogatorium. (Alternatively, in the words of that other famous Ernie, "Let's play two today.")

TC said...

Oh well, Earl Torgeson always did remind me a bit of Wittgenstein.

I thought he had been born with those black hornrims attached to his head. They made him look so... intellectual, I almost want to say. Or is it nerdy?

The fact he came from Snohomish and was therefore known as the Earl of Snohomish also added a touch of class. Sort of.

The glasses must have been strong because he was known for his great eye, the kind of guy Billy Beanbrain would have gone nuts for. He loved to take a walk, did Earl. Looked at so many pitches you sometimes wondered if his mind wasn't off working on the Tractatus.

He had a bit of power, and could run fairly well for a first baseman.

He is buried in the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery. RIP.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom -- I'm going to be giving a presentation next Saturday to the Northwest Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research in Seattle on your baseball poetry, and I'm hoping you might be able to answer a few questions that will help me flesh out my talk (I know I'm being presumptuous, but I had to ask).
1. Was there anything in particular about the Oakland A's and the culture/environment of the Coliseum that grabbed you so much that you became a diehard fan of the team and that inspired you to write so many poems about the A's and your experiences at the Coliseum? Or was it just more convenient to go to A's games than Giants games?
2. You wrote poems about many of the star players on the A's, but none about Sal Bando (although you've done a number of drawings and paintings of Cap'n Sal); why?
3. You've written more poems about Roberto Clemente than any other player. What was it about him that was so inspiring/interesting?
4. You don't appear to have written poems about the A's other than the great '70's teams (except for a later one about Ron Darling). Was there a special energy/connection between you and those teams that hasn't translated to something similar to later A's ballclubs?
5. You co-wrote Mark Fidrych's autobiography and wrote a poem about him, and one of your longer poems is about Bill Lee: is there a ballplayer today you've thought of writing about?

I spent a lot of time in the leftcenterfield Coliseum bleachers in the early to mid-1970's and your poetry (and, of course, "Champagne and Baloney")has allowed me to revisit those heady magical days time and again -- thank you.

Mickey Gallagher

TC said...

Well, Mickey, we may have been sitting next to each other out there in those old concrete bleacher tiers.

I suppose the thing that captivated me with those early A's teams was the ragged outsider aspect. Which probably hasn't changed much, if you consider the scene a few weeks back when an awkward punk lefty from Stockton called out A-Rod for violating the sanctity of the mound (I thought that was even better than the perfect game).

But a lot else has changed in the game, as in the society. It's a lot harder for a ragged outsider to flourish any more.

As for Clemente, he was indeed always an outsider, yet never ragged. Dignity, rare then, ne'er seen now, in that green field of endeavour.