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When Allen Ginsburg got booed at Candlestick Park

Allen Ginsberg

A fantastic find by Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle. Pictures and accounts of the time, back in 1994, that the Giants invited beat poet Allen Ginsberg to read a poem and throw out the first pitch before a Giants-Braves game at Candlestick Park. From a contemporaneous account:

“The somewhat less than rapt crowd waiting to see the Giants do battle with the Atlanta Braves, Ginsberg read “Hom Bom!” an anti-war chant from his new book … . He chose (the poem) he told Personals, “because it is a sound poem that would echo properly through the giant stadium, and penetrate through everyone’s skulls.” Although some members of the team introduced to the poet before the game actually seemed to know who he was – Bob Brenly for example – Ginsberg’s rousing rendition of his work was greeted with boos from impatient fans with unpenetrated skulls.”

There are some great pictures there too.

Lifetime, I think this puts the combination of beat poetry and baseball at 1-1. The one win? Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “Baseball Canto,” which is the best and which I still think of every time you hear some white fans, players or commentators talking about black and Latino players who don’t play the game the right way: