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07-06-2007, 09:40 PM
Posted By: <b>Bill Stone</b><p>I just finished "The Night Casey was Born" by John Evangelist Walsh, the true story behind the great American Ballad Casey at the Bat. What a great read. Many wonderful pictures circa 1888 and lots of references to players such as King Kelly,Tim Keefe,Monte Ward and Orator O'Rouke. It depicts many of the players on baseball cards.Nice picture of the Boston team of 1890 including Dan Brouthers,Hoss Radbourne and John Clarkson.. I will be interested in comments from others who read it.

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07-06-2007, 11:26 PM
Posted By: <b>Casey</b><p>I have been researching an old Pach Bros. cabinet that I bought several years back. I have finally been able to peg the Harvard player as Samuel Winslow. During my research, I read where he was (at one time at least) named by Earnest Thayer as the inspiration for Casey at the Bat. If I get a chance, I will try to post the photo.

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07-06-2007, 11:44 PM
Posted By: <b>Bruce Babcock</b><p><img src="http://homepage.mac.com/thurber51/.Pictures/19th%20cabs/N566%20DeWolfe%20Hopper.jpg"><br />This is a Newsboy cabinet of DeWolfe Hopper, known for his dramatic recitations of "Casey at the Bat." His wife was Hedda Hopper and their son was William Hopper, of "Perry Mason" fame.<br /><br />You're right, Jay. It's DeWolf. My labeling skills are on a par with some of the third party graders. (Smiley face here).

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07-07-2007, 01:00 AM
Posted By: <b>Jay</b><p>Bruce--He really was DeWolf; Hedda was 27 years his junior. If we could only get Dennis Hopper into the family it would be a really great story.

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07-07-2007, 07:07 AM
Posted By: <b>Kevin Cummings</b><p>Bruce:<br /><br />I've always liked that Newsboy of Hopper - very exotic!<br /><br />A couple more of him...<br /><br /><img src="http://members.aol.com/kkkkandp/hopper.jpg">

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07-07-2007, 10:45 AM
Posted By: <b>Howard W. Rosenberg</b><p>The book looks like a great read, because that's the author's style. The only problem is that it's not to be taken as truth. Reviewing the book in the Tampa Tribune on February 25, veteran newspaper writer Roger K. Miller declared:<br /><br />"The Night Casey Was Born" is really like a long essay and has the essayist's personal touch and tone. There is, however, considerable padding, in book design and in accounts of stage productions and 120-year-old baseball games. <br /><br />In two places where sources are lacking, the author, using "informed insight," imagines conversations that might have taken place. These are, to be blunt, not helpful. <br /><br />As Walsh notes, "Casey at the Bat" marries rhythm and rhyme to the arch and stilted newspaper phrasing of the time - baseball bromides such as "tore the cover off the ball" and "leather-covered sphere." <br /><br />Therein lies much of its charm, and within that limited but worthy range of explicating how that charm was exploited to the poem's renown lies the appeal of this book. <br /><br />[End of heart of review]<br /><br />The best book about the poem's origins is a book that does not even appear in the above book's credits and likely was not consulted by the author: Jim Moore and Natalie Vermilyea's 1994 Ernest Thayer's "Casey at the Bat": Background and Characters of Baseball's Most Famous Poem.<br /><br />There is one great historical debate related to the poem that, as far as I know, has not been adequately presented in any book related to the poem: The coventional wisdom is that the characters in the poem are named for players who Thayer (as a San Francisco Examiner sportswriter within a year prior to writing the poem) saw playing ball in Stockton, Calif. (there is an uncanny overlap between the players in the poem and the players on Stockton's team around that time), but there is an alternative view that Holliston, Mass. was the original Mudville.<br /><br />I happen to have argued in my Kelly bio that:<br /><br />"Although Thayer said he literally chose the name 'Casey' after a non-player of Irish ancestry he once knew, open to debate is who, if anyone, he modeled Casey's baseball situations after. The best big league candidate is Kelly, the most colorful, top player of the day of Irish ancestry. Thayer, in [a] 1905 letter, singles out Kelly as showing 'impudence' in claiming to have written the poem. If he still felt offended, Thayer may have steered later comments away from connecting Kelly to it. I did not find Kelly claiming to have been the author."<br /><br />The Walsh book doesn't make any effort to present any argument for why Kelly should be considered the model for the poem's title character, and yet the 1994 book went to great lengths in exploring possible alternatives.<br />

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07-07-2007, 12:39 PM
Posted By: <b>Bill Stone</b><p>Whoa-Relax--"looks like a great read"--no it looks like a book. It is a great read-with nice pictures--I wouldn't cite it as a source for my PhD dissertation but on a very hot summer day with a cold beer relaxing in a hammock it is a very nice way to pass an afternoon----nothing more.

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07-07-2007, 02:29 PM
Posted By: <b>Casey</b><p>Here is the picture of one of the purported "inspirations" for Casey. Samuel Winslow, 1885 Harvard Nine Captain. JoslinHall.com reads:<br /><br />"While he was at Harvard Thayer became interested in baseball, and one of his best friends was Samuel Winslow, captain of Harvard’s baseball team........Hopper asked Thayer that evening who the inspiration for Casey was, and Thayer replied that it was his old Harvard chum, baseball captain Samuel Winslow. Thayer himself would later declare that there was no “real” Casey, and that the name and vague image of Casey were drawn from a bully who once threatened to beat him up in high school. Such mundane answers have, of course, never satisfied baseball fans, who have come up with any number of “real” Casey’s Thayer had in mind." <br /><br /> <img src="http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa299/cmoore330/H.jpg">