Ernest Lawrence Thayer

American, 1863-1940

Ernest Thayer, writer of “the single most famous baseball poem ever written,” was a true son of Massachuetts; he was born in Lawrence, grew up in Worcester, and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he edited the Harvard Lampoon and acted in the theatrical society Hasty Pudding. Thayer wrote “Casey” while writing the humor column at The San Francisco Examiner, a position he received thanks to his Harvard friendship with the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Despite the West-Coast publication, “Casey” retained its author’s connection to Massachusetts; the protagonist is said to be based on the Boston baseball star King Kelly.