This Side of the White Lines

If his knees hadn’t got sick
He’d have made the big leagues, like his hero, the Mick
He wore number seven on his back, like the Mick
But his knees got sick
So he had to quit

He had the quickness, he had the size
He could hit a ball further than Johnny Mize
He was blond on top
But his knees went pop
So he had to stop
Had to give it up

If you get thrown out of the game and get sent on your way
You can come back the very next day
After having, having had your say
But that’s on a field of nine
Which is not ruled by time
And it don’t work out so fine
On this side of the white lines
On this side of the white lines

If his Dad hadn’t got sick
They’d have argued nights over their World Series picks
Who’s better than the Yanks
Who’s better than the Mick
He was tough as a brick
But he still got sick

They were close as a father and son could be
Close as the surgeon is to the knee
He waited for his Dad to make his climb
But he wasn’t gonna get better, not this time


He plays softball now when he’s got the time
When he ain’t too beat, and the knees feel fine
He ain’t forgot how to swing that stick
And he says to himself, “just like the Mick”
Ty Cobb never got to face Dizzy Dean
Joe Jackson’s best was never seen
He held a private funeral mass
All alone in the park by the outfield grass


(lyrics: Dan Bern)