Casey at the Bat
“The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sticky silence fell upon the patrons of the game.”
I cannot believe I wrote and published a list of baseball books earlier this week and left off the most quintessential baseball “story” of all time- Casey at the Bat. Actually a poem, not a story, Casey at the Bat was written by Ernest L. Thayer in June of 1888. The poem first appeared in the San Francisco Examiner and it received very little attention at all. A New Yorker named Archibald Gunter clipped the poem from the newspaper and saved it as a reference item for a future novel. Gunter shared the poem with actor/comedian De Wolf Hooper, who in August 1888, performed the poem to an audience of New York and Chicago ball clubs and the poem became a legend.
For more information about Casey at the Bat or to see the whole poem, click here.
There are many versions of Casey at the Bat available. Here are my favorite versions:
Illustrated by Patricia Polacco
Illustrated by Christopher Bing
Adapted by Martin Gardner, Illustrated by Jim Hull
Adapted by LeRoy Neiman
Illustrated by C.F. Payne
James Earl Jones reads Casey at the Bat
Shelley Duvall’s Tall Tales and Legends with Elliot Gould: Casey at the Bat
Check out these other baseball posts from BMTM:
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