Pulp fiction fans—check it out!
Levi Stahl's recent PF piece, "Baseball and verse," dug up some new and old poems inspired by our national sport. He paid specific attention to this mournful lament for the 1910 New York Giants:
These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance."
How popular was that refrain?
The leadoff story in the doorstopping new Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps (Vintage Crime, ed. by Otto Penzler) is Paul Cain's economical "One, Two, Three." The title is shorthand for the way a trio of interested parties gets duped. (I'll refrain from giving out any plot details.)
"One, two, three," the narrator muses. "Tinkers to Evers to Chance—only more so."
The story came out in Black Mask in 1933, over two decades after Adams's poem appeared.http://poetryfoundation.org/archive/feature.html?id=180149
Ed Park is the author of the novel Personal Days (Random House, 2008) and a founding editor of The Believer. His work most recently appears in Bound to Last: 30 Writers on Their Most Cherished Book (Da Capo). He blogs at The Dizzies.