Monday, May 06, 2013

155 Years on June 3

May 6, 2013 So you want to be a copywriter? I get letters from all over the world from those who want to know how I can get them jobs writing copy. I call them my copy club. Can I help you? It’s all in the timing I am looking for someone who can book me and my CASEY AT THE BAT show as theater for groups. I have been performing Casey for 40 years and coincidentally, Casey is celebrating a birthday this year as well, 155 years since its publication. A story. It all started in 1885 when George Hearst decided to run for state senator in California. To self-promote his brand of politics, Hearst purchased the San Francisco Examiner. At the completion of the election, Hearst gave the newspaper to his son, William Randolph Hearst. William, who had experience editing the Harvard Lampoon while at Harvard College, took to California three Lampoon staff members. One of those three was Ernest L. Thayer who signed his humorous Lampoon articles with the pen name Phin. In the June 3, 1888 issue of The Examiner, Phin appeared as the author of the poem we all know as Casey at the Bat. The poem received very little attention and a few weeks later it was partially republished in the New York Sun, though the author was now known as Anon. A New Yorker named Archibald Gunter clipped out the poem and saved it as a reference item for a future novel. Weeks later Gunter found another interesting article describing an upcoming performance at the Wallack Theatre by comedian De Wolf Hopper - who was also his personal friend. The August 1888 show (exact date is unknown) had members from the New York and Chicago ball clubs in the audience and the clipping now had a clear and obvious use. Gunter shared Casey at the Bat with Hopper and the performance was nothing short of legendary

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