Book Mama: Casey at the Bat

Casey at the Bat

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“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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Boy Mama Teacher Mama | Baseball Math

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