When Rocky Colavito was hitting forty-two home runs a year,
a dark-eyed, rifle-armed right fielder for the Cleveland Indians,
my monthly sports magazine said he made the bobby-soxers swoon.
I wasn’t sure what that meant. I was nine or ten.
And when Rocky Colavito was traded to the Detroit Tigers,
even up, for the American League batting champion,
a crew-cut mean-eyed shortstop with a cheekful of chaw,
the magazine said the Cleveland bobby soxers were in mourning.
Rocky hailed from the tough Crotona Park section of the Bronx, they said.
One night he leaped the fence at Yankee Stadium, bat in hand,
because he saw his dad fighting with some bum in the stands.
The Rock always looked like he needed a shave. Charming but dangerous.
He was the clean-up batter. The slugger. Struck out a lot, too.
And when it was over, after he finished up back home in the Bronx,
we never heard another word about him.
And where are those bobby-sox grannies
who swooned for Rocky Colavito and mourned for him, too?
-- Jamie Katz