Ernest Lawrence Thayer


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(1863–1940), American humorist, author of “Casey at the Bat.” As editor of the Harvard Lampoon, Thayer befriended that journal's business manager, William Randolph Hearst. After college, Hearst offered Thayer a job writing for the San Francisco Examiner, where “Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888” first appeared in print on 3 June 1888. Inspired by W. S. Gilbert's popular Bab Ballads, the poem captures the exhilaration of a two-men-on-base, one-swing- left drama and features a failed hero whose pride is demolished. It was subsequently transformed into a popular stage piece, several films, and even an opera. Several illustrated versions of the poem have been published for young audiences, featuring the work of artists such as Wallace Tripp, Barry Moser, and Patricia Polacco; in 2000, Christopher Bing's illustrated version, which presents “Casey” as a story from a fictitious newspaper, was named a Caldecott Honor book.

From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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