The Wild Card: Oral history of the "Casey at the Bat" game.

Not the correct Casey, but a good visual representation - Dilip Vishwanat

A totally real and not made up account of a totally real and not made up ballgame.

We all know about Mudville Nine star "Mighty" Casey's famous three-pitch strikeout to end the 1888 American Association finals against the Louisville Colonels, but what was it like for the people who were actually there?

Well, we at the Snakepit Historical Society have talked to some of the people involved to recreate the story of the game from the people who were there, and collated them all into a bunch of quotes for easy reading that takes no effort on my part (which is the most important aspect)

BEFORE THE STORM

Donald McGriff, Mudville Telegraph:

"Casey had already hit a two run double off of Louisville pitcher Chester 'Misanthropic Knave' Kawolski in the fourth, getting Mudville the lead."

Chester Kawolski, Louisville Pitcher:

"Get the hell off my land, I want to be alone!"

Generalissimo Thompson, Mudville Manager.

"That made Casey pretty cocky, but at the time it was deserved. We held the lead until the seventh."

Jimmy Blake, Mudville Third Baseman

"By the 403rd pitch by Hellman, that is Bruce 'Goto' Hellman, our pitcher, he was starting to tire. I tell you, they coddled pitchers too much when I played. Anway, it was the fourth inning by then, and Hellman was leaving a few pitches up, but it was still 2-1"

McGriff:

" Anyway, Hellman gets their number nine hitter to hit a normal fly ball to right field, where Casey was playing. He lost it in the sun."

Thompson:

"Damn thing just fell two feet from him and the bases got cleared."

Blake:

"We were so angry at him, but the weird thing was, the fans weren't."

McGriff:

"Yeah, Casey had this weird effect on the fans, they LOVED him, and would do what he said."

Jones O'Jones, Louisville Manager.

"We were celebrating and whatnot, but then I hear this weird hush over the crowd. I look out of the dugout and there's Casey pointing a finger at them. It was weird."

Thompson:

"Anyway, that was all the scoring til the Ninth, a few chances here and there, but nothing happened."

THAT NINTH INNING

McGriff:

"Some of the fans had gone to A Deep Despair. That was a saloon across the street from the stadium that liked to serve those big jugs that just said 'XX' on them."

Thompson:

"I was told there was only about five-thousand fans left."

McGriff:

"Things were complicated by a defensive replacement for Louisville."

O'Jones:

"Yeah, Gunther McDonald was my late-inning guy there, had a good glove, better instincts to the ball. Also was a total sociopath."

Thompson:

"Bradley Cooney, our starting Catcher, hit a towering pop up to start off the inning, he ran it out, just in case it was dropped, and McDonald starts brandishing a knife at him and swinging wildly. He got him a few times in the arm. Cooney was bleeding pretty badly"

Gunther McDonald, Louisville First Baseman, Inmate of the Month, Green River Correctional Facility, September 1899:

"STABBY STABBY, KNIFEY WANTS TO MEET YOUR FACE JUICE."

O'Jones:

"I liked his hustle and grit, what can I say?"

McGriff:

"So Cooney's just staggering back to foul territory bleeding. The umpire made us keep playing because Gunther started eyeing him. In the resulting chaos, he might have died out there at first, I don't know."

Thompson:

"Hal Burrows, a pinch-hitter, came up, and the same thing happened! McDonald just started hacking at him while he was running out a grounder! He wasn't even tagged! I complained to the ump, but he was frozen in terror!"

McDonald:

"I CAN SEE INTO ETERNITY AND IT IS A FOREST OF AMPUTATED LIMBS."

McGriff:

"So it wasn't looking pretty good. Casey was third up in the order, high power guy and all, but for some reason Thompson had Theodore Flynn and Blake batting before him."

Blake:

"Flynny was a bit of a lulu. A lulu was a sort of fancy way of saying 'Bats under .100'. Me? I was good in the field, but whenever I get in the dugout... I just really want some cake. Seems tasty. My mouth is watering just thinking about it... And then usually strike three would whizz by me."

Thompson:

"Flynn runs hard and Blake has gumption, why are you questioning me?"

McGriff:

"So it looked pretty hopeless. Flynn hit a soft roller to first base, and we were all pretty worried that it would be a third person bleeding out in foul ground, but McDonald started chasing after the ball with the knife instead of fielding it or covering the bag.

McDonald:

"IT KNOWS MY SECRETS, IT MUST PERISH."

Blake:

"(McDonald) actually started chasing the ball everywhere and then jumped the fence for no reason. We were all confused for a moment."

Kawolski:

"We put in some pitcher or something, just dammit I want my privicy!"

O'Jones:

"Yeah, put in a reliever at first. Two outs, so we figured what the hell?"

Blake:

"So I was up next, and after all that I stopped thinking about cake for a second and I took the first pitch and drove it to the gap in right-center."

McGriff:

"He tore the cover off of it! However, Flynn, for all his purported speed, barely got into third safely."

Thompson:

"Boy, you best stop questioning my decisions if you wanna leave this interview alive. You ain't no manager."

Blake:

"I was pretty excited. It was up to Casey now."

THAT AT-BAT

McGriff:

"Even though there were only 5,000 people who still hadn't hit the bar left, they were loud!"

O'Jones:

"I couldn't hear myself think."

Blake:

"I could see it standing on second. Casey had this cocky attitude about him. He knew he was gonna come through."

Thompson:

"Kawolski started him off with a fastball."

McGriff:

"It caught the inside corner, but the fans weren't happy. Some started shouting 'KILL THE UMPIRE', which after previous events, wasn't totally appropriate. Casey rose his hand and they became quiet. That man had powers."

Kawolski:

"I heard him say 'Not my style' and I got really angry. Like I am right now at talking to you."

O'Jones:

"Yeah, he threw the next pitch high and in, just to send a message."

Blake:

"Casey took a pretty big rip at it, for some reason. Strike two."

McGriff:

"Someone shouted 'Fraud!' after that swing! Casey looked at him and they quieted down. And two other fans took that man and took him out of the stands. He might be dead now."

Kawolski:

"Any idiot, even you, in the world knew I was going to throw him a Change-up next. It made sense in the count."

Blake:

"Casey hit the bat HARD on the plate in anticipation. He wasn't going to let this one by."

O'Jones:

"I don't think I saw anybody swing as hard as he did on that pitch."

Thompson:

"It was an offspeed pitch and he was about 30 feet in front of it and he struck out to lose the game."

McDonald:

"VICTORY GAINED THROUGH CAUTERIZATION OF BLOOD CELLS."

Kawolski:

"Casey was a douchebag."

Blake:

"I just sank to my knees on the base as the Colonels started celebrating. They were the ones to be getting cake."

AFTERMATH

McGriff:

"People may wonder where the hell Mudville is? Was would be a better word for it. It was a thriving town with a strong industrial sector in Northwestern Pennsylvania, between where Erie is now and the border with Ohio. But when those 5,000 people have insatiable bloodlust over a Baseball game, they can do a lot of damage to a city. It was burnt to ash within hours."

Thompson:

"Obviously, with the city destroyed, the team folded after that game. The stadium was outside of the limits, but we all were safe, more or less..."

Blake:

"Casey took it all pretty hard. He basically thought the whole thing was his fault. He moved to West Virginia to become a coal miner. We never heard from him again, though I did hear a story of a miner accidentally wounding another miner's shoulder because of a missed swing with a pickaxe and I wonder."

O'Jones:

"Whole thing was a shame, they had a good squad, and probably could have broken through at some point, but I'm not sorry we won, not one bit."

Kawolski:

"F--- them and f--- you and get off my property."

McDonald:

"SOMETIMES I LIKE TO MAKE PIGEONS FIGHT TO THE NEAR DEATH THEN HAVE THEM MAKE OUT WITH EACH OTHER."

McGriff:

"There really was no joy in Mudville that day... or ever again, because, again, that fire."

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