Casey At The Bat

Photo Courtesy of AP

I’m Brewer biased, it’s true.
I really love that yellow and blue.
A championship the Brewer’s have not seen.
But that doesn’t mean Mcgehee can’t hit thirteen… straight hits to set a new MLB record.

I knew I should have become a poet. I won’t quit my day job just yet though.

Casey McGehee has evolved into a baseball monster. A former 10th round pick by the Cubs, he is 28 yrs of age and in 2 full seasons in the Bigs, he has posted very similar numbers (although 2009 was amazing). He is currently in the top 25 in RBI’s and is batting 0.279 with 18 HR. For a guy who was suppose to be a one hit wonder, he currently is a 9 hit straight wonder.

You read that correctly, he currently has 9 straight hits. His streak of hits started with a double in his last at-bat on August 10th against the Diamondbacks. On August 11th, he went 4-4 with a HR in game 2 vs the D-Backs (the D-backs one up’d him by going back-to-back-to-back-to-back of Dave Bush). On August 12th, he went 4-4 again with a HR in the final game vs the D-back. And here he sits with nine straight hits, only 3 off the major league record of 12 set by Pinky Higgins in 1938 and matched by Walt Dropo in 1952.

I urge all Brewer fans to tune in for his Friday August 13 game vs Jorge De La Rosa and the rest of the Rockies at 8:10pm Central Time. I will be tuning in at least for his first at-bat (and if he gets aboard safely, I’ll watch his next, and if he gets aboard safely, his next, etc).

And even though I know I already jinxed him by posting on this topic… I am going to post one of the most famous baseball poems hoping it un-jinxes Casey McGehee.

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.

Then 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 knew 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.

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