This is Mike Shannon’s pencil:
This is the very pencil that Mike Shannon used to bat .288/.339/.462 during the course of the 1966 season.
This is the very pencil that Mike Shannon used to captain a gondola — a gondola handsomely crafted from the very same pencil — along every nautical spice route. All the while, Raquel Welch felt safe. She found the turmeric soothing.
This is the very pencil that Mike Shannon used, in 1932 in Greenwood, Mississippi, to write the lyrics, “You’re closer to me, baby, than Jesus to the cross.”
This is the very pencil that Mike Shannon, son of Denethor, used to avenge the death of his brother, Boromir. On the plains of Rohan, Mike Shannon and his pencil trenched many an orc.
Mike Shannon’s pencil likes “Dr. Badgood” to place in the third race at Conestoga Park. Mike Shannon’s pencil, without prompting from its master, has made notes to this end in Mike Shannon’s copy of today’s Daily Racing Form, which Mike Shannon’s pencil will later copy and preserve in Mike Shannon’s Scriptorium of Gambling Documents.
This is also the very pencil that Mike Shannon uses to toll the cathedral bells in Europa’s each and every belfry. The chimes rise and melt to form what sounds like a human voice, what sounds like Mike Shannon’s voice. “Baseball without ceasing,” the voice says.
(This piece originally appeared at FanGraphs. It has since been revised and made even worse, probably.)