Frank Deford's Casey at the Bat was one of the most entertaining stories I've ever read. Obviously, Deford had a great time writing it. You can practically hear him laughing with each new plot twist. Keep it up, Frank!
Also, the photographs by Abe Seltzer were superb. Just as a matter of interest, would you show us who among your staff members was who in the photos (FROM THE PUBLISHER, July 18)? I know I recognized some of the faces from previous POINT AFTER and FROM THE PUBLISHER columns.
Shawnee Mission, Kans.
•These are the SI staffers behind their Mudville disguises (top row, left to right): layout artist Craig Gartner, assistant managing editor Jerry Kirshenbaum, assistant art director Edward Truscio, reporter Nicholas Dawidoff; (third row) senior editor John Papanek, copy chief Ed Clarke, writer-reporter Merrell Noden; (second row) free-lance model Mike Ragan, librarian Charlie Lampach; (front) picture researcher Ramiro Fernandez, editorial production coordinator Victor Gonzalez.—ED.
KUDOS FOR CASEY
When I saw your July 18 cover of Casey at the Bat with Frank Deford's name in the billing, I knew that I would find an exceptional story inside. Deford had already reached new heights with his tragic play about Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson (Got to Do Some Coachin', March 7), but he achieved yet another summit with his twist on Ernest L. Thayer's famous poem. Kudos also to Gil Eisner and Abe Seltzer, respectively, for the excellent illustrations and photographs that accompanied the piece. This was the most entertaining story I've ever read in SI.
MICHAEL W. YEN
August 7, 1988
Casey at the Bat has been my favorite poem ever since my sixth-grade teacher, Mayme Housh of Neligh, Neb., had the entire class commit it to memory. That was in 1926. Frank Deford's story was, well, simply great.
Congratulations to Frank Deford, Gil Eisner and Abe Seltzer. The story had the appeal and realism of the sports page.
BERNARD A. ALLEN
San Clemente, Calif.
Being a minor league ballplayer in the Yankee farm system 40 years ago, I thought your article was excellent. However, I pictured Casey as a Ward Bond look-alike.
WILLIAM P. ADDIS
Your readers might like to know that a reissue of the original 1909 recording of Casey at the Bat by William DeWolf Hopper, the man who popularized the Ernest L. Thayer poem, is still available. The record, which comes with a four-page booklet illustrating the poem, costs $5.95, plus $2 for shipping, and can be obtained either from us (Box A, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540) or from the Baseball Hall of Fame (National Baseball Library, Main Street, Cooperstown, N.Y. 13326).
The recording is a not-for-profit project undertaken by the Library of Congress. Any money that is made from the sales will be applied toward another, similar Library project.
Public Affairs Specialist
The Library of Congress
I wish Sidd Finch could have pitched to Casey.
I can only surmise that the Lynn pitcher, law student Kenny Landis, spurred by his failure to understand his first and only spitball, was to ban the pitch some years later when, as Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, he was commissioner of baseball. I also can merely surmise that Timothy Casey's nephew George remembered his uncle's story about pointing to centerfield when, as Babe Ruth, he did it some years later.
Of course, Deford could have told us this in his Epilogue, but he would have defied the great baseball tradition that "you could look it up." Congratulations to SI and Frank Deford for an outstanding piece of writing.
MICHAEL C. SHINDLER
Deford leaves unanswered why, with a 4-2 lead, two out and first base open, did the Lynn manager fail to walk Casey intentionally? The next batter was Salty Phizer, who hadn't been able to buy a hit off Kenny Landis all season. The answer, of course, is that Lynn Skipper Millard (Milly) Barton had a 5C-note in his shoe in consideration of his pledge to Chester Drinkwater that Casey would see nothing but strikes from Landis, a control wheelman without peer, in furtherance of the nefarious plot. Drinkwater was certainly a man who touched all the bases.
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.