Casey's Redemption Song
The Mudville nine were down ten runs and didn't have a chance,
With one out to give, they hung their heads like vanquished champs.
Most had parted for their cars, kids threw popcorn on the grounds,
For on this day, boos and jeers were about the only sounds.
From the dugout came the Mudville lead-off, another out for sure,
But when he swung at pitch two, the ball sailed high and pure.
With one to spare and nine runs behind, the Mudville crew was down,
The next bloke rapped his bat, and the ball flew to another town.
After two solo shots, the fans sensed their team's fate,
And more disappointed men and kids headed toward the gate.
The next three Mudville batters singled hard to right,
It seemed a magnet on the wall, just beyond the outfield light.
With the bases loaded and a stick walking toward the dish,
The sparse voices began to shout, "We want Casey, that's our wish!"
On this day, Casey was not near the rack of ash and wood,
He was in the bullpen, warming up his left arm good.
With the bases juiced, Stick fought off six before he let one go,
The ball sailed in the gap, between outfielders Manny and Moe.
Moe chased with vigor, and Manny slacked behind,
The bases cleared, but still down five were the Mudville nine.
From behind the dugout, three kids yelled and cheered for more,
They refused to see their heroes settle for the door.
Having scored five, the Nine neared the dugout step and began to encourage their mates,
Five more runs they needed, without one batter falling on his face.
Another Mudville slugger walked toward the ump, catcher, and plate,
Would he be the one to decide the Mudville fate?
With one hearty swing and two more to go, Flake stepped outside the box,
I should lay one down, he thought, I'm as quick as a red-tail fox.
The next pitch came, and Flake laid down a perfect ten,
He ran to first with all his might, and slid to safety on his chin.
A few yells echoed throughout the empty park,
The sun was leaving, and upon the Nine was the shadow of the dark.
Another slugger danced in the box, waiting his turn to be the last,
But like the others on his team, he refused to go without a final pass.
On the first pitch, Flake took second and eyed Slapper who stood on third,
After that, the Dancing Slugger hit one that was absurd.
The ball launched into dusk, disappearing at an alarming rate,
It went so high the fielders engaged in serious debate.
With two outs, Slapper and Flake ran home without a single care,
And Dancing Slugger flew around the paths as fast as he could dare.
Slapper and Flake scored two, and Slugger added another,
After the change went on the board, the ball plunked down between Moe and his brother.
Down only two and still holding the rope,
The Mudville manager called the pen and summoned his mighty hope.
"Get Casey ready!" he shouted through the phone,
"We have a chance and he's our last bone!"
Casey threw and threw until he was loose, he'd be ready if he got a shot,
For the Mudville nine there was no choice, he was the only arm left to rot.
Worried and stiff, the pitcher threw four straight outside the zone,
The ump called four balls and said, "Number Nine, you may walk to first alone."
With a mate on first, Lead-off blasted one through the hole,
Short and Third dove hard, but couldn't come up with the ball.
With two on base and two runs to tie, the next winger came to hit,
But before he dug in, the manager came out to chat with the ump for a bit.
The manager waved at the pen and signaled and spat,
Soon out walked the former slugger Casey, carrying his mighty bat.
The ump whispered to the manager, "You'll be forced to France!"
The manager shrugged, "I like Casey, he deserves another chance."
On his way to the plate, there were three shouts for "Mighty Casey!" throughout the den,
For the three behind the dugout believed the nine would win.
Casey cleared the box with his spikes and dug them in the dirt,
If he went down on three again, boy how it would hurt.
He eyed the pitcher, who held the ball with a tight grip across the laces,
While the Mudville dugout and the three behind watched with frozen faces.
The pitcher threw number one, and down the pipe it came,
Casey swiped and missed, with no one else to blame.
A man on first, a man on second, all for Casey to plate,
If he didn't do it this time, the fans would surely hate.
Number two danced and swirled toward home and wouldn't hold still,
The curve was Casey's weakness and he couldn't see the pill.
Casey swung and missed and completely lost his foot,
When he rose from the dirt, his mouth was full of chalk and soot.
Casey brushed off and gripped his bat with all his strength and might,
He gritted his teeth and said a prayer, wishing to have good sight.
His Mudville mates couldn't watch strike number three,
So they all turned away and pretended not to see.
Casey dug in and set his feet; he tapped the plate with his powerful lumber,
In the dugout the manager hung his head, looking pale and somber.
The pitcher wound, the three behind the dugout sang, the ball came screaming home,
Casey took his inward turn and set to rap his bat through the zone.
His legs stretched tight, his arms unfurled, and his head stayed on plane,
The bat flung neatly through the zone, creating a hurricane.
Leather struck lumber, ball struck bat, the sound echoed for years,
The Mudville nine had come back, there would be no dreadful tears.
And to this day, only Casey knows what happened and how it sized,
The ball soared far beyond the fence, because he swung with open eyes.