Things aren’t looking promising for the Mudville Nine: it’s the bottom of the ninth with two outs, and they’re trailing 4–2. But Flynn blasts a single, and Blake tears the cover off the ball, and when the dust lifts, there are runners hugging second and third, and Mighty Casey is stepping into the box.
Few passions have created more myths in the American mind than baseball, and no poem has captured its lure or lore better than Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s beloved “Casey at the Bat.” Here is the classic edition; newly set, illustrated with full-color watercolors by Barry Moser (America’s premier artist of the book), and containing an afterword by the irrepressible Donald Hall, whose affectionate and affecting essay celebrates the poem, its hero, and that searing moment in each of our lives when, in front of all those we hold dear, we manage to strike out.
This handsome edition of our national ballad will bring the drama of Casey to life in a vivid and memorable volume. Take it home, read it aloud to your children, bury yourself in its cadences, and relive once again that fateful afternoon when Casey steps up to the plate and the summer air is shattered by the force of his blow.
“Casey at the Bat” first appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on Sunday, June 3, 1888. It was written by a Massachusetts man, a young Harvard graduate named Ernest Lawrence Thayer, for a column he’d undertaken for the new publisher of the Examiner, his college chum William Randolph Hearst.