James Griffn – Former Mayor of Buffalo, NY

I made the pitch,
I gave it a shot,
I was all for it,
some people were not.

A stadium build
in the heart of downtown,
they called me an ass,
they labeled me clown.

I stepped up to bat
for a game that I love,
I donned my cap,
I grabbed my glove,

I pulled some strings,
& called in favors,
all for a game,
a red hot to savor.

And in the end
we had a fine field,
a shining diamond
that would yield

community unity,
a place to be proud
for a couple of innings
raucous and loud.

And now I stand
poised to throw,
cast in bronze
here in Buffalo.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Offered for dVerse Poets Pub – Tuesday Poetics: Chisel Me A Conversation

***Mayor James D. “Jimmy” Griffin was a tireless public servant who dedicated his life to making Buffalo, N.Y. a better place. His passion for helping others, his love of this community and his unique, independent leadership has been celebrated in the many stories that have been shared all over Western New York since his death in 2008.

In 2009, the plaza outside the ballpark that Mayor Griffin championed, Coca-Cola Field , was named in his honor. A commemorative plaque was placed in the plaza at a dedication on June 30, 2009. In addition to the plaque, the above statue in Mayor Griffin’s honor was erected in James D. Griffin Plaza.


27 thoughts on “BEST PITCH, FIRST PITCH

    1. Jimmy was an irascible old sort. His plan for riding out a blizzard was to stay at home with a six-pack and watch a football game! But he did much for the city in his day.

    1. Its funny how something as mundane as a game could pull people of varying attitudes together. It’s referred to as “City of Good Neighbors” (I’m sure one of many around the world) but Mayor Griffin espoused that!

    1. There is another sport related sculpture in front of the Hockey arena of equal magnitude. But my particular favorite if of a local priest (Nelson H. Baker) who is actually being pushed for sainthood. His story is more impressive! Thanks Kathy.

      1. He surely will. Don’t you just love this prompt? It’s really heartwarming to be reading and learning about different histories, cultures, and people. ❤️☺️

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