The pitch which suckered Casey was a knuckler low and wide;
It silenced all of Mudville, and it shattered hometown pride.
The catcher too was baffled by the ball's uncanny flight;
The spheroid corkscrewed past him; he fell sprawling to his right.
So the gloom that had descended was swiftly put in doubt;
Because according to the rules, the batsman was not out.
The sullen crowd regained some hope; the ball was still in play;
If Casey could but get to first, he yet might save the day.
"I'm gonna beat that ball to first"; he scrambled up the line.
The thought that he could reach that sack revived the Mudville nine.
The ball banged 'gainst the backstop as the catcher went in chase.
The dugout boys cheered lustily at Casey's rapid pace.
So stunned the rival pitcher was, he stood in place and stared;
Great Casey quickly got to first with ample time to spare.
And when the catcher gloved the ball and saw what had occurred,
Flynn had crossed home safely, and Blake had got to third.
Casey faked a dash to second, and the catcher was surprised;
"Who does this Casey think he is? I'll cut him down to size."
As Casey did his stutter-step, the crowd came to its feet;
In unison they called his name with strong and steady beat.
"Casey! Casey! Casey!" and his run was underway;
There was pressure on the catcher to stop this daring play.
He heaved the ball to second, but the burden took its toll;
Booed by the roaring multitude, he threw with no control.
The ball sailed o'er the shortstop's head and hit upon the grass;
As Casey flew by second, his legs were churning fast.
And while the rivals chased it, Jimmy Blake ran home to score.
Mudville now had tied the game; the fans let out a roar.
With the ball lost in the outfield, Casey saw no need to stop;
He rounded third and dug for home, to put his team on top.
A fielder finally grabbed the ball and fast he let it fly;
The fabled slugger raced for home, and now 'twas do or die.
And so the race began between the hero and the ball;
If Casey beat that baseball home, his team would win it all.
While at the plate, the catcher was crouched low behind the bag,
The vet'ran umpire leaned in close to better see the tag.
On long, cold nights in the Hot Stove League, fans come round to tell
Of that day long past in Mudville when things weren't going well.
Play by play they recount the game and each recurring theme;
They speak of Casey, Flynn and Blake and others on the team,
Of Ebenezer Fizzlebee, the southpaw who is known
For a knuckler, weird and wobbly; 'twas the greatest ever thrown.
But of all the plays on that big day, their favorite to hear
Is Casey's final dash for home -- it's what they hold most dear.
During that dash a thud was heard, a truly awful sound.
The ball conked Casey on the head; into the air it bound.
And up and up the ball flew high, away up in the sky.
Big Casey staggered forward as the fans let out a cry!
There in the land of Mudville, did the sun keep shining bright?
Did the band start playing Sousa? Did Mudville hearts get light?
Five thousand tongues long told this tale of fortitude and fate --
The Mighty Casey, coming hard, fell safe across the plate!