Jen Schneider

On Grips, Averages, & (Hand-Sewn) Standards

the standard baseball bat grip runs 1.5mm thick. the width of the average strike zone stretches as wide as home plate (17 inches) plus two times the diameter of a baseball (2.91 inches). the game as much geometry as organic rounds. home plate bears the shape of an irregular pentagon with two parallel sides. its rear corners made perpendicular to the first and third base lines. the now regular shape lends itself to improved consistency when calling strikes (with fewer gripes). unlike gum and grease, grips and gripes share more similarities than differences. a single β€œe” the most visible mark of distinction. all standard rituals marked. all marks eventually ritualized. big papi a fan of rituals and lizard skins at bat. also apt to spit on both hands before conducive (& highly conductive) slaps. palms press pitches. saliva both saturates and infatuates. designated hits attired in batting gloves. gloves also regulated of geometric grounds. the standard baseball glove measures no more than 7 ¾” wide, from inside seam at base of a first finger (all eyes on the man at bat) to a pinky’s outside edge (the green monster also always ready). all fingers measured. papi would point his fingers to the heavens after each home run. the skies celebratory as haiku and designated hits scatter like rain. big papi shattered game-day measures (gripes, stats) and geometric measurements (grips, averages) of all (hand-sewn) standards. a sox of incomparable measure.

About the Author

Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, writes, and works in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania. Recent works include A Collection of Recollections, Invisible Ink, On Habits & Habitats, and Blindfolds, Bruises, and Breakups.