If you are like me, during the off-season, you are often in search of the new and interesting to read. I recently discovered such a gem in Cardinal Points: Poems on St. Louis Cardinals Baseball, by Joseph Stanton.
The St. Louis native teaches Art and Art History and the University of Hawaii and has always loved the Cardinals. Though Stanton has a special spot in his heart for the 1964 team, Cardinal Points actually covers almost a century of team historical events.
First begun by Stanton in 1980, his poems are organized by decades and chronicle many famous (and some far less known) events in team history, written with a light hand and eye on humor.
Some of the many subjects include coach Ducky Medwick, Enos Slaughter’s Mad Dash, Stan Musial’s “Slow Eye,” Harry Caray’s voice, “Lonborg and Champagne,” Brummer stealing home, “Will Clark’s Last Aria” and many, many more.
Sprinkled throughout are a quantity of black and white photos sourced with the assistance of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library. In fact, Stanton once gave a reading from Cardinal Points at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
In the following 24-minute interview, Stanton discusses how Cardinal Points came about and shares his personal reminisces about a number of his poetic subjects.
Link to audio: Joseph Stanton with Brian Walton on Cardinal Points
To order your copy of Cardinal Points, click here to be taken to Amazon.com.
For more: Here are three additional related links. One is to the online publication of the “Slow Eye” poem. Another is an article from the Honolulu Advertiser when Cardinal Points first came out that includes more information about the author.
The final link is to a number of Stanton’s baseball poems inspired by baseball art. These art-inspired poems have not yet appeared in a book.
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