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Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888
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Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  876 ratings  ·  120 reviews
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:The score stood four to two

with but one inning more to play....
Since 1888 Casey at the Bat,has been read and loved by baseball fans around the world. Now Mighty Casey has been brought to life by celebrated illustrator C. F. Payne, who captures the old-fashioned fun of an afternoon at the ballpark for a brand-new g

...more
Hardcover
Published 1988 by Putnam Publishing Group
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,219)
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Theo Logos
If you love and appreciate baseball not only as a sport, but also as poetry in motion and a metaphor for the American experience, then this is a book that you simply must have. Formatted as clippings from an old-time newspaper contained within a scrapbook with other mementos, it never once steps out of character - front and back dust-cover blurbs, thanks and acknowledgements, editor's notes, dedication, all the way down to publisher's information, ISBN and Library of Congress data all maintain t...more
Ch_beth Rice
The original poem “Casey at the Bat” written by Ernest L. Thayer was first published in the San Francisco Examiner in June of 1888. It tells of the how the much revered Casey struck out in the crucial moments of a baseball game. In this Caldecott Honor version by Christopher Bing, the poem is enhanced by the old fashioned scrapbook motif. It is complete with the torn and yellowed edges of newspaper clippings that relate to various baseball stories of the era as well as equipment sales. Bing incl...more
Deena Lernor
This is the story for the love of baseball. Casey the magnificent baseball player and his team were down at the end of the inning. The team had two others in front of Casey before he was even close to being up to bat. But with a surprise, his teammates had made amazing at the plate plays giving Casey the chance to bat. The momentum built with the crowd hooting and hollering with every pitch thrown. Every call that had been made followed with hackling at the umpires. With Casey’s potential last p...more
Media Lab
Info Text

Caldecott Honor (2001) the illustrations, graphic elements and layout draw a reader in; they are intentended to reproduce the feel of late 19th century news publications, even using only fonts available at that time. This is a rhyming ballad.

I did not find this particular topic or book engaging but thought that the illustrations and style were promising. I think a writer looking to re-create a time period piece or get a nice feel for the era might enjoy the book. The book is beautifull...more
Allison
I’m not one to pick up poetry often. I am also not a huge sports fan, especially baseball. I will be the first to admit it but this poem was actually quite good. The illustrations were astonishingly good too for a poetry book. Ken Bachaus brought life to the baseball game and I enjoyed the yellow and brown pastels pictures. They were very detailed and creative. I also enjoyed the story. I was fun and exciting and you wanted so badly for Casey to get a chance to bat. Casey up to the plate and he...more
Johnny
Title: Casey at The Bat
Author: Christopher Bing

Genre: Folklore

Summary: Baseball fans and teammates place their confidence in one batter to save the day.

A. The illustrations are critiqued

B. The classic tale is told through detailed black and white drawings. The illustrations on the front and back cover mimic an old style leather binder, and set the stage for the time period and atmosphere of the 1880's baseball era. The illustrations also set the stage for this story through the depiction of each...more
Colby
Casey at the Bat is a book by Ernest Lawrence Thaver and illustrated by Christopher Bing. It is about the last inning of a baseball game, and how the Mudville nine team is down in the game, but they have hope that they might win if the star player, Casey, is able to come to bat. Their hope is in Casey as he comes to bat with the bases loaded. The first pitch is thrown and a strike is called, the second pitch is called and another strike is called; the town is in uproar for the umpire calling str...more
Mary Ward
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marsha
A poem that was really popular at one time, this tale is a puzzler. It captures the feverish spirit of Americans and the love for the all-American game. And yet it is, ultimately, the story of a LOSER! Why, then, does it remain so popular among the poetic genre?

In this re-imagining, we get a new feel for the tale, one that emphasizes everything that’s at stake. Here, Casey isn’t some well-honed and trained professional but KC, a young ghetto boy, a potential star, with everything riding on this...more
Kathy
Sep 15, 2014 Kathy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathy by: Purchased it for my child.
I pulled Casey at the Bat from the shelf while watching the Mariners vs. Orioles game this afternoon. (There was joy in Seattle-ville as the Mariners ended a four-game losing streak.) The illustrations in the book are of the 8th and 9th innings in the Mudville game and include photocopies of newspaper advertisements and articles about baseball from 1888, and photocopies of artifacts such as coins, tickets, and baseball cards from the time.

One article is about a mayor who supports putting fences...more
Typhani
Summary: Casey at the Bat is a baseball poem. It is about a baseball game, where one team is down in a town called Mudville. The fans pin all of their hopes on a player named Casey, who apparently has a good batting record and who they feel can save the game. But, two players are up before him, who they don't have hope in. To everyone's surprise, the two players before Casey get on base, on 2nd and 3rd, so there is hope of winning when Casey steps up. he poem ends with Thayer have set up all of...more
Lisa Vegan
I read this only because Patricia Polacco illustrated it and also wrote additional text, the story portion to make it be about Little League. I’ve recently been reading my way through all of her books,; all the others she illustrates and writes in their entirety. That’s the only reason that I read this book.

I love baseball but I’ve never been particularly fond of this poem, which here is subtitled A Ballad of the Republic, Sung in the Year 1888.

In this edition, Polacco really makes this book her...more
Paul
With all the versions of this ballad by different illustrators, it can get a bit confusing. Gerald Fitzgerald's rendition in acrylic is very pleasing. This soft style gives a feel of looking back in time through an autumn haze to this one baseball game. The ballplayers are everyday guys, the crowd seems to be at a rural stadium, and his capture of the action and perspective of field play is skillful. Casey towers a little bigger, but his hatless trudge back to the dugout after his world-famous s...more
Daniel Franklin
Summarize the book
This is a modern take on the classic poem written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer, set in a little league context. The main character, of course, is Mighty Casey. However, in this take he is a 12 year old boy who arrogantly skips warm-ups and practices, and shows up almost late to the baseball game, believing that he is so good that it won’t matter if he warms up or not. Of course, we all know how this story ends: Mighty Casey strikes out. In the end, Casey admits he made an enormous...more
Relyn
Jul 22, 2013 Relyn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, kids
Recommended to Relyn by: no idea
Shelves: lawsonland
Any time you teach a poetry unit, you have got to cover ballads. I don't think there is a more accessible ballad than this one.

Lesson Connections
Each February we have a big poetry unit in my classroom. One of the things we do is a Poetry Scavenger Hunt. We have at least 50 poetry books on display in the room and I begin the unit by book talking each book briefly. This takes me at least a week because I read a poem from each book. Then, the kids choose what appeals to them. They can read anythin...more
John Sperry
Casey At The Bat by Christopher Bing uses beautiful illustrations that mimic old newspapers to tell the story of Casey coming to bat. The entire story builds to the point that he is at bat and two sentences are used on each page that rhyme. At the end of the story, Casey strikes out and the lesson of the story is that you don't always win and that you must continue to keep working. Additionally, this is the most richly illustrated book which I have seen to date.
Rebecca
This is a great book if you appreciate baseball, not just as a sport, but as poetry. I love how this poem puts baseball in motion. It captures the attention of the audience with creative language and rhythm. The art work in the book also has something to be said for itself. Some of the newspaper clippings are from newspapers in the late 19th century. This book includes type, hand-drawn art, baseball ephemera, and background illustrations.
Robert
Springtime is special. The breaking of the weather means the ballplayers come north from the Grapefruit (and Cactus) League. It's a glorious time.

I celebrate this ritual annually with the traditional reading of this American classic! I love "Casey at the Bat".

Reading of the Mudville nine puts a smile on my face. I read this with my students and my children each spring. The way things fell this year, we waited until after the season began. But it meshed well with our classroom poetry exploration....more
Jessica Maynard
Casey at the Bat is a tale of a baseball team who is depending on Casey. He is the star and the team and fans know he is going to win the game for them. Everyone is cheering him on and they expect him to step up to the plate and score. When he steps up to bat a strike is called and everyone yells at the umpire. Everyone is so excited and they know Casey can save the day and be the superstar player they know him to be. In the end Casey strikes out and all the joy in Mudville is gone. This is a re...more
Riley Mooney
For all you baseball fans out there, I strongly recommend this book. It is a very well written poem with powerful and detailed illustrations. I had to go back and reread a few of the sentences because some of the terminology used is a little more complex. One of the things I liked most about this book is the vocabulary words used. For example, “A sickly silence” is used to describe the emotions of the crowd. In my eyes, one of the strongest features of this poem is the way it introduces differe...more
Luann
It's easy to see why Christopher Bing won a Caldecott Honor for this one. His attention to detail is simply amazing. Bing designed the entire book to look like an old-fashioned scrapbook with articles and illustrations that look as if they came from period newspapers and baseball memorabilia of the time. Make sure you read more than just the poem - all of the baseball extras, including the extra articles giving details about proposed changes in baseball at the time are very interesting. I partic...more
Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney
Illustrated like an old baseball scrapbook, this Caldecott honor book will put readers smack dab in the middle of a fictional baseball game. The reader will sympathize with the crowd, cheer with the crowd, and root for Casey up until the end. Casey is their last hope to win the game, and this confident player knows how to work the crowd.
Even though I'm not a baseball fan, I truly enjoyed this book. I think, in a sense, everyone loves rooting for the underdog! I also love the words and the poetr...more
Elizabeth
The timelessness of baseball is evidenced in this repackaging of a poem first published in 1889. Baseball fans will delight in the aspects of the game that have changed, which Bing craftily interweaves through newspaper clippings. The illustrator presents the poem against a pseudo-newspaper backdrop that appears convincingly real. Although the artifacts were created by the author, he claims to have made every attempt to accurately reflect the issues of 1889. The yellowed newspaper and black "ink...more
Katelin
The poem is does a good job of telling the story by using descriptive words. It also exposes children to poetry through the topic of baseball which is already popular with children. This book might then help children discover an appreciation for poetry and thus encourage them to read more poems in the future. The scrapbook-style of illustrations in the book makes the picture book original and stand-out from the others. The newspaper clippings and other memorabilia are added to the page, allowing...more
Naomi
I loved the design of this book that looked like an old newspaper. I liked it better than the actual story. I will say that I can see why this is a frequent gift for baseball lovers. I thought there was also a nice lesson for children.
Amber M
Genre: Poetry

Awards: Caldecott Honor

Grade Level: 3-4



This poem will introduce the students to the elements of a narrative poem. This is a famous poem about a batter whose over-confidence contributes to his team losing the game. I would hand out a copy of the poem to each student. We then would go around the room taking turns reading parts of the poem until we are finished. As a follow up activity I would ask the students to think of some questions they might want to ask Casey after the game. I wo...more
Sarah-Rae Bugayong
This book is the perfect combination of being a little bit sad and finishing out happy. It is about an old school baseball star regaining his glory. It something both children and baseball lovers can both read. What interested most about this book was the illustrations. I'm not really a big baseball fan but I was absolutely captivated by this book. The cover gives off the sense that its going to be a historical story but the pages and all the pictures really show it. I love how it was set up lik...more
metimoteo
There are many picture book versions of the classic poem, this is perhaps the best. One can appreciate why it was selected as a Caldecott Honor Book because the nuance and detail in the illustrations is without peer when compared to similar titles. I love the inclusion of notable and not-so notable figures from Christopher Bing's life, including Henry Louis Gates, Chris Van Allsburg and Gil Barrett, the illustrator's brother-in-law, who served as the model for Bing's Casey. The book is well exec...more
Ellen Hunter
This book was great! It was a really good story especially for elementary school children. I like that at the end Casey struck out because it teaches children that winning isn't everything and even the best can strike out. By the end of the book even I thought Casey was going to win it because the author built it up so much. Most books would have made Casey win and be the hero of the game but there is value in losing too and many children don't learn that lesson. The pictures were really detaile...more
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Ernest Lawrence Thayer was an American writer and poet who wrote "Casey at the Bat".
More about Ernest L. Thayer...
Casey at the Bat 101 Great American Poems Baseball: A Literary Anthology Great Baseball Stories American Humor and Satire

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