Tag Archives: CASEY AT THE BAT

Baseball is dying, you guys

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013. Good Grief!

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013.
Good Grief!

A few weeks ago my grandson said this exact same thing. I took into account his passion was basketball and surmised he watched only a few baseball games each year, if he had to. Jake lives in Oregon and, granted, there’s not a lot to get excited about in Oregon except maybe Oregon Duck football and OSU Beavers during baseball season, and maybe once in a while the Trailblazers.

Juan Marichal.  Just your Basic Pitching Form

Juan Marichal. Just your Basic Pitching Form

But having grown up in a baseball family I just don’t get it. I don’t get that others don’t get the athleticism of baseball players, the finesse of a perfectly thrown ball, the artistry of a catch that was so impossible to make, even the opponents keep playing it over and over in the clubhouse the next day. Once-in-a-lifetime stuff. So when I read this comment on Hardball Talks,one of my favorite blogs, I had to ponder again what Jake said, and meant, about baseball not making it more than 5 or 10 years. And to Scott Conray who posted this little ditty, I have to tell you we have not seen baseball’s most famous player yet.

LA Dodger Yasiel Puig on  an ordinary day.

LA Dodger Yasiel Puig on an ordinary day.

One example, and there are many, is the rookies coming up from the farm teams. These kids are exciting to watch. And they’re winning games. And they’ll continue doing this. If you have any doubt about the fans love for the game read “Casey at the Bat”, again and you’ll get it. The poem was written over 100 years ago with the same passion and fervor that baseball fans still experience every time they watch a great play, a fantastic pitch, an out of the park home run or a rookie walking to the plate making the sign of the cross and blasting it out of the park. And I don’t care which sport you’re passionate about, it just doesn’t get any better than that. In my humble opinion, of course ……

HardballTalk

From RealClearPolitics’ national political reporter:

I guess if you only pop your head up once every decade or so to pay attention to baseball, it’s understandable to feel that way. Last I checked, though, there were no plans afoot to stop teams from signing good baseball players and said baseball players performing at a high level such that they may be exposed to lots of people, thereby generating fame.

I wonder if that sentiment would’ve been all over Twitter if it had existed when this aired:

[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/v/DOv1HlN_eQ4?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0 width=620 height=465]

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Casey at the Bat …… “The Response”

On August 16, 2010, I posted a blog about “Buster at the Bat ….” talking about Buster Posey, but referencing that wonderful old poem, Casey at the Bat.   It’s as popular now as it was when it was  first published in The San Francisco Examiner on June 3, 1888.   A friend thoughtfully supposed the reason the poem is still so loved is because the same emotions, rivalries and competitive spirit are as relevant today as when it was first written.    I found this wonderful sequel to “Casey” at the Baseball Almanac .   “Casey’s Revenge” , written 18 years after Casey at the Bat, is an answer to the rivalry between the legendary pitcher who started all the trouble and Casey.   Believe it or not, it’s almost as fun as the original.  Here, see what you think  ~

Casey’s Revenge by Grantland Rice ©
Published: The Speaker (06-1907)
There were saddened hearts in Mudville for a week or even more;
There were muttered oaths and curses- every fan in town was sore.
“Just think,” said one, “how soft it looked with Casey at the bat,
And then to think he’d go and spring a bush league trick like that!”
All his past fame was forgotten- he was now a hopeless “shine.”
They called him “Strike-Out Casey,” from the mayor down the line; Continue reading

Buster at the bat ….. (Inspired by Casey?)

 I watched the  Giants game today in San Francisco and for some reason that crazy poem “Casey at the Bat” has been going through my head ever since.   I’d been looking forward to seeing Buster Posey play and  had high hopes for an afternoon of home runs, doubles, etc.   However, his MLB average dropped to under .400 for the first time today and even though he wasn’t very productive, he still looked great and it was just a really good experience witnessing this rising new phenom.   I just had to dive in and read this delightful poem again and actually recite it aloud ( I used to know it by heart…..) maybe inspired in my head by Buster, or at least by the thought of Buster, even though he didn’t actually strike out today.   So here it is for those who don’t mind a dose of nostalgia.

CASEY AT THE BAT by Ernest Lawrence Thayer ©

Published: The Examiner (06-03-1888)
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 sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that –
We’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.
But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.
But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.
Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one,” the umpire said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they’d a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville – mighty Casey has struck out