Happy 125th Anniversary: 'Casey at the Bat'
Ernest Thayer's classic baseball poem 'Casey at the Bat' was first published 125 years ago today.
On June 3, 1888, the San Francisco Examiner published a 575-word baseball poem written Ernest Thayer entitled "Casey at the Bat." It was a poem about a fictional player on a fictional team in a fictional town, but in the 125 years since its release, it has become part of baseball history -- a lesson about the need to be humble, something that goes far beyond baseball.
During the last century and a quarter, Thayer's poem has spawned countless adaptations on the radio, in the theatre, on television, in movies, books ... pretty much every form of media imaginable. Disney even immortalized the poem via animation back in 1947, which you can see above. If you prefer a more dramatic tone, then check out James Earl Jones' reading.
I don't think video really does "Casey at the Bat" justice though; some things are just better read than seen or heard. The whole "the book is better than the movie" thing. Whether you've read the poem before, I very highly recommend experiencing it through Ben Henry's going-away post at the now-defunct Baseball Card Blog. It's a masterpiece, a first-ballot Hall of Fame blog post.
So happy 125th anniversary to Thayer and his iconic poem. It's a true classic for a classic game.
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