Americans of a certain age all know Casey At The Bat, an 1888 paean to the joys and despair of baseball, our "national pastime." Well, it may have been 124 years ago. Now I think the national pastimes are watching football players devastate one another and electing crackpots to Congress. But I digress.
Last weekend there was an exhibition of "vintage" baseball under the Arch. Using the word vintage is, of course, a malapropism, since vin means wine and vintage refers to the year the grapes were harvested, which could have been just a few months ago. These days it seems to be a synonym for "old." The uniforms and equipment in use were from Casey's era. The players didn't use gloves to catch the ball (ouch!). It was fun to watch but someone needs to tell the pitcher in the second photo that it's bad form to stick your tongue out at the batter.
I never found out who won. Does it matter? But back at that old game...
The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.
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.