A comic poem that created a legendary figure of American folklore, "Casey at the Bat" details the abysmal failure of a small-town baseball hero, and has become as much a part of our culture as baseball itself. Yet little is generally known about the circumstances surrounding its creation—penned by one "Phin" (Ernest Thayer) for the San Francisco Examiner in 1888—and its first performance that year in New York City's Wallack's Theater. In this delightful slice of Americana, the biographer of Robert Frost, Edgar Allan Poe, and John Keats gives us the true stories behind the poem, the poet, the original and favorite performer of the piece on stage, New York in the 1880s, and a country newly in love with baseball.
"This history of the mighty Casey hits it out of the park."—Baltimore Sun