Casey at the Bat – Ernest Lawrence Thayer
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 children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville-mighty Casey has struck out.
Thayer is famous for the poem, “Casey at the Bat” about a player on a fictional baseball team who struck out, losing a very important game for his team. It was published on June 3, 1888, but it made no big impression on the public. Its popularity soared when DeWolf Hopper dramatically recited the poem on August 14, 1888, in front of an audience that included many baseball players from the New York Giants and the Chicago White Stockings. Over the next fifty years, he recited the poem 10,000-15,000 times (some say as many as 40,000 times), and Hopper even played Casey in a silent film in 1914.
“Casey at the Bat”, subtitled “A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888”, is a baseball poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer. First published in the San Francisco Examiner
The poem was originally published anonymously (under the pen name “Phin”, based on Thayer’s college nickname, “Phineas”), The author’s identity was not widely known at first.
A number falsely claimed to have authored the poem, and Thayer’s efforts to set the record straight were often ignored.