"Casey at the Bat" has always been one of my favorite poems. However, I was always disappointed at the ending. Perhaps, the reason I liked this poem was because of the brutal reality of failure. But, being a Detroit Tiger's fan, I took some liberties and made a sequel. Feel free to pass the sequel on and change some of the baseball names to fit your team if you are out of state, but give me some credit. The first part is the original Casey at the Bat followed by my sequel.
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.
The 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 know 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.
Casey at the Bat
(The Untold Story)
Unlike previously thought, Casey had not lost the bout.
Instead, he had turned the head of every big talent scout.
A strike out? No! A homer on the inside of home plate
That launched the ball out of the park and clear to the next state!
After that game, he was sent to the single-A Whitecaps
To ‘bide out his time and to see how his game would elapse.
There, his stats excelled in runs, walks, home runs, and R.B.I.’s
Due to his muscular physique and overwhelming size.
And ever so quickly, Casey moved through the Tiger’s ranks
Like Patton bursting into Germany with all his tanks.
From minor league to major league, from Mudville to Mudhen,
From lowly benchwarmer to teammate of Cameron Maybin.
There was no one that could equal Casey’s ability,
Not Pujols, not A-Rod, Jeter, nor even Suzuki.
Winning the Detroit Tiger’s baseball games on him did hinge
As he played alongside Cabrera, Magglio, and Inge.
And now he resides in Cooperstown next to Hank Aaron,
Just down the hall a ways and to the left of Cal Ripken.
Above the display, a picture shows the dugout where he sat,
And will forevermore be known as Casey at the bat.