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19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER
April 23, 1956
THE SPECIAL BASEBALL ISSUE
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April 23, 1956

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

THE SPECIAL BASEBALL ISSUE

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I found a poem written by Grantland Rice in which Casey has his revenge. I think that in all fairness to Casey, this one also should be printed.
JOEL SISITSKY
Springfield, Mass.

CASEY'S REVENGE BY GRANTLAND RICE

There were saddened hearts in Mudville for a week or even more;
There were muttered oaths and curses—every fan in town was sore.
"Just think," said one, "how soft it looked with Casey at the bat,
"And to think he'd go and spring a bush league trick like that."
All his past fame was forgotten—he was now a hopeless "shine"—
They called him "Strike-out Casey," from the mayor down the line;
And as he came to bat each day his bosom heaved a sigh.
While a look of hopeless fury shone in Casey's eye.
He soon began to sulk and loaf—his batting eye went lame;
No home runs on the score card now were chalked against his name.
The fans without exception gave the manager no peace,
For one and all kept clamoring for Casey's quick release.
The lane is long, someone has said, that I never turns again,
And Fate, though fickle, often gives another chance to men;
And Casey smiled—his rugged face no longer wore a frown—
The pitcher who had started all the trouble came to town.
All Mudville had assembled—10 thousand fans had come
To see the twirler who had put big Casey on the bum;
And when he stepped into the box the multitude went wild.
He doffed his cap in proud disdain—but Casey only smiled.
"Play ball!" the umpire's voice rang out—and then the game began;
But in that throng of thousands there was not a single fan
Who thought that Mudville had a chance, and with the setting sun
Their hopes sank low—the rival team was leading "four to one."
The last half of the ninth came round with no change in the score,
But when the first man up hit safe the crowd began to roar;
The din increased—the echo of 10 thousand shouts was heard
When the pitcher hit the second and gave "four balls" to the third.
Three men on base—nobody out—three runs to tie the game!
A triple meant the highest niche in Mudville's hall of fame;
But here the rally ended and the gloom was deep as night,
When the fourth one "fouled to catcher" and the fifth "flew out to right."
A dismal, groaning chorus came—a scowl was on each face—
When Casey walked up, bat in hand, and slowly took his place.
His bloodshot eyes in fury gleamed—his teeth were clenched in hate;
He gave his cap a vicious hook and pounded on the plate.
The pitcher smiled and cut one loose—across the plate it sped—
Another hiss—another groan—"Strike one," the umpire said.
Zip! Like a shot the second curve broke just below his knee—
"Strike two!" the umpire roared aloud—but Casey made no plea.
No roasting for the umpire now—his was an easy lot;
But here the pitcher whirled again—was that a rifle shot?
A whack—a crack—and out through space the leather pellet flew:
A blot against the distant sky—a speck against the blue.
Above the fence in center field in rapid whirling flight
The sphere sailed on—the blot grew dim and then was lost to sight;
Ten thousand hats were thrown in air—10 thousand threw a fit—
But no one ever found the ball that mighty Casey hit!
Oh! somewhere in this favored land dark clouds may hide the sun,
And somewhere bands no longer play and children have no fun;
And somewhere over blighted loves there hangs a heavy pall;
But Mudville hearts are happy now—for Casey hit the ball.
REPRINTED FROM "THE OFFICIAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BASEBALL,"
A. S. BARNES & CO.

ANOTHER ALMOST
Sirs:
In your baseball quiz you give credit to Bob Feller for the only no-hitter on Opening Day and then mention Ames who had a no-hitter going for 9? innings in 1909, but you fail to mention Robin Roberts who last year on Opening Day against the Giants had a no-hitter for 9? innings. With one out in the ninth Dusty Rhodes reached first on an error by Hamner, and then Alvin Dark singled through the hole on the hit-and-run. The Giants then scored two runs off of Robin, but Robin and the Phillies won it 4-2.
JACK PINHEIRO
Philadelphia

?Fan Pinheiro's memory is clear but his arithmetic is cloudy.—ED.

UNCLE FRANK
Sirs:
You stated that Allie Reynolds led the American League with a 19-8 record for a .704 percentage. However, I wish to correct you. My Uncle Frank Shea in 1947 had 14-5 for a .735 percentage.
RALPH CONWAY
Springfield, Mass.

?A Pat on the Back to Uncle Frank, but SI followed standard practice in compiling its Leading Pitchers percentages only from those pitchers who won 15 games or more.—ED.

RESPONSIBLE PARTY
Sirs:
In your article on major league fields you state of Forbes Field, " Owner Barney Dreyfuss was so sure the club would win the 1938 pennant that he had Series press boxes built. The Pirates finished second."

My grandfather, Barney Dreyfuss, died in 1932. The additional press box was constructed in 1938 by William E. Benswanger, Mr. Dreyfuss' son-in-law and president of the Pirates from 1932 to 1946.
WM. D. BENSWANGER
Pittsburgh

BEES AND BRAVES
Sirs:
It is my recollection that some time within the past 15 years the Boston entry in the National League was known officially as Boston Bees, then changed to the Boston Braves. When were the names in force?
MARTIN L. COYNE
New York

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