A Simpsons episode, a Disney restaurant and others things inspired by 'Casey at the Bat'
Baseball is a game of failure. Hitters who are successful three out of 10 times usually wind up in the Hall of Fame, and baseball prophet Crash Davis once lectured viewers on how one hit a week is the difference between .250 and .300.
So, it's only right that one of baseball's oldest myths focuses on a feared slugger who just couldn't get it done in the clutch.
On June 3, 1888, Casey at the Bat was first published in The San Francisco Examiner. Ernest Thayer's beloved poem was originally produced under the nom de plume "Phin," and was later popularized during the vaudeville era. It became so popular, in fact, that time has cemented it as a part of American culture.
In honor of the anniversary, we rounded up some of the greatest things inspired by Thayer's epic.
"Homer at the Bat"
In the 17th episode of Season 3 of The Simpsons, Mr. Burns enlists the help of Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Jose Canseco, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Scioscia, Steve Sax and Ozzie Smith to help the power plant softball team win a game. With the bases loaded and the game on the line, Mr. Burns pinch-hits Homer, who gets hit in the head with the first pitch, forcing in the winning run.
A U.S. Stamp
In 1996, the United States Postal Service issued stamps commemorating four American folk heroes: John Henry, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill ... and Casey.
"Mosby at the Bat"
During the final season of the long-running CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Ted Mosby and Co. star in "Bedtime Stories," an episode done entirely in rhyme. One of the subplots has Ted realize that the woman he's dating used to go out with a LEGEN-wait-for-it-DARY New York Yankee. Turns out that Yankee was his buddy Barney.
Casey's Corner at Disney's Magic Kingdom
Not far from the entrance of Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Fla. sits Casey's Corner, a quick-service restaurant specializing in American classics like hot dogs and cotton candy. Old baseball cartoons play in front of the bleachers-style seating inside, too.
"No Joy in Mudville"
Noted baseball fan and not-so-secret-admirer-of-Ichiro-Suzuki Ben Gibbard is the lead singer of Death Cab For Cutie. Back in their early days, the group released an album called "We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes." Off that album comes "No Joy in Mudville," a reference to the reaction of the townspeople when mighty Casey struck out.
"The Mighty Casey"
In 1960, the 35th episode of The Twilight Zone focused on a baseball player who's actually a robot.
"Teddy at the Bat"
Red Sox Poet Laureate Dick Flavin adapted the poem to include the names of Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky. He first performed it in Williams' living room when the Hall of Famer was in failing health down in Florida.