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A look at baseball both then and now

By: 7 February 2011 One Comment

It’s been said more than a few times — to truly appreciate the game of baseball, one must have an understanding of the history of the game.

Apparently, the same is true when it comes to writing about baseball.

Howard Nobles, a Benton resident, used his understanding of the game when writing his book, Poems from a Baseball Fan. That 89 page volume — originally published in 2004 — is the first book from Nobles.

What is Poems from a Baseball Fan? The title pretty well sums it up, but it’s a reflection on a game that has been important to the author for decades. Nobles grew up following the New York Yankees with his father, Henry Arthur, and played in Benton’s first organized little league in 1954. Nobles kept watching the game, kept collecting baseball cards and kept playing, having participated in a three-county minor league as a member of the Traskwood team (as detailed in his poem, The Traskwood Tramps). His interest in the sport hasn’t waned over the years.

Nobles

Nobles said one of the important aspects of baseball is the history of the game an an appreciation of it. Poems from a Baseball Fan references such greats as Ty Cobb, Willie Mays and Babe Ruth and touches on the fact that teams have historically changed names and moved from town to town. While a good part of the book dwells on baseball’s past, those events and players are rolled into a current setting — the players and teams have changed over the years, but baseball still is baseball, after all.

Why has the game endured? Nobles touches on that quality a bit in his poem, A Game of Catch.

“Fathers and sons play it. Fathers and daughters play it,” he said. “They can play it when they’re young and not get hurt. They can pass it on to their children.”

Nobles has written about more than baseball over the years, but he said he chose to focus on the sport for his first book of poetry because it’s a subject he knows so well. Nobles retired a few years ago as assistant principal for Benton Middle School and holds three degrees from the University of Arkansas — a bachelor’s in history and political science and both a master’s and doctorate in education.

He’s written poetry in earnest since the late 1960s, he said, and has penned over 4,400 poems over the past few decades. He’s a past president of the Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas and is the current president of the Saline County Poets’ Roundtable.

Nobles is working on his second volume of poetry, Lost in Limerick Land, and we’ll have more information about that book here at First Arkansas News available in the future. Meanwhile, you can pick up a copy of Poems from a Baseball Fan by ordering it here or picking up a copy from Amazon.com by clicking on the display ad to the right.

Nobles said his target audience includes people who enjoy baseball as much as he does. He spent a year writing Poems from a Baseball Fan and hopes readers enjoy the concise, nostalgic and enthusiastic tone present throughout the volume.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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