Casey at the Bat

by Ernest Thayer
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"There Is No Joy In Mudville"

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Last Updated on October 30, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 201

Context: The Mudville baseball team, trailing its opponents by a score of six to four, is up for its last inning. Some fans have already left because defeat seems certain: two players have struck out, and two others who are poor risks are up to bat before the batting turn of the crowd's hero, Casey. By a stroke of fortune, the two poor players manage to hit the ball, one getting to third base, the other to second. The crowd cheers wildly as Casey now comes up to bat, because it seems the day is saved. Two strikes are called on Casey as he lets the first two balls go by without even swinging at them. The crowd wants to kill the umpire, but Casey raises his hand and stops them. On the third ball the idol winds up and "the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow." The last stanza gives the outcome of the game:

Oh! somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville–mighty Casey has "Struck Out."

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