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Erik Brady: Art of the sacrifice bunt is like poetry in motion

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Canisius College English professor and poet Mick Cochrane has used his writing to express his love for baseball.

Mick Cochrane believes in the bunt.

He is a professor of English at Canisius College who sees something poetic about laying down a sacrifice one. So much so, in fact, that he really did write a poem about it.

And, like a perfectly executed bunt, it is rare and spare and beautiful. You can read it at the close of this column.

All this comes to mind just now because Japan beat the United States at its own game at the Tokyo Olympics. We don’t mean just that the Japanese won the baseball gold medal by topping Team USA, 2-0. We are talking more specifically about how they did it.

Their first run came on an opposite-field home run. More to the point for this story, though, is that the other run came after a sacrifice bunt put a runner in scoring position.

American baseball is all about the long ball; in Japan, the sacrifice bunt still matters. And that matters to Mick.

His real first name is Hamilton, though no one ever called him that except the nuns who taught him and the IRS. His Mick-name of a nickname comes by way of Mickey Cochrane, the Hall of Fame catcher who played in the 1920s and 1930s.

(Mickey Mantle’s first name really was Mickey; his father named him for Mickey Cochrane, whose real first name was........

© The Buffalo News

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