"Aw, you know
sportswriters. They only write what makes a good story," Casey said.
especially liked the part about Casey pointing to centerfield, daring to
foretell a home run. "Imagine a player doin' a thing like that," George
Over the years
Casey played a lot of golf. He was long off the tee but dicey around the
greens. He and Flossie traveled a lot—to Europe, to Lake Louise and to the 1932
Los Angeles Olympics. They had an even dozen grandchildren, but, of course, the
name Casey had run out.
Then, in the
spring of 1941, Casey's health began to fail, and he took to his bed in June.
He knew by then that the jig was up. He got weaker and weaker. It was the 75th
summer of his life.
Three of his
daughters still lived around Stockton, but Mary Louise had moved to San
Francisco, so Flossie called her on July 17 and said she had better come. She
brought her youngest son, Casey's favorite grandchild, John Lawrence Sullivan
Gambardella. They just made it to Stockton, to the old family house, in time
and went directly to the master bedroom, where the old man lay.
Johnny, how's tricks?" Casey said, just barely getting the words out. He
was going fast. Peacefully, but fast, the sands of his time, 1867-1941.
O.K., Grandpop," the boy said, "but I heard on the radio the Indians
got DiMaggio out tonight. So it ends at 56 in a row."
Casey shook his
head a bit, and he said, "Well, if he's any good, he'll get over
kissed her father, and then she stepped back next to her sisters so her mother
could stand closest to the old man. Flossie leaned down and kissed Casey gently
on the forehead and squeezed his hand. He sighed, and his eyes began to close.
He could all but see the angels now. But then, somehow, Casey forced one more
breath of life into his body, and he opened his eyes, even smiled a tiny little
bit. Looking up at his beloved Flossie, he said, "Oh, somewhere in this
favored land, the sun is shining bright."