Even the most successful people in the world struggle with failure at times in their life. I love the story of Casey at the bat but I have always struggled with the ending. It’s so abrupt and negative. So I wrote my own ending and would like to share with you now. I believe we can all relate to it at some point in our lives.
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day,
The score was four to two with just one inning left to play.
And so, when Cooney died at first and Burrows did the same
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to leave in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope that springs eternal in the human breast.
They thought, “If only Casey could get a whack,” at that
They’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.
Then Flynn let fly a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the must despised, tore the cover off the ball.
And when the dust had settled and they saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second, and Flynn a’huggin’ third.
There from the gathered multitude went up a joyous yell;
It bounded from the mountaintop and rattled in the dell;
It struck upon the hillside and recoiled in the flat;
For Casey, mighty Casey was comin’ up to bat.
There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place.
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt, ‘twas Casey at the bat.
Ten thousand eyes were watching as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded as he wiped ‘em on his shirt.
Then, while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey’s eye and a sneer curled Casey’s lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling thru the air,
And Casey stood a’watchin’ it in haughty grandeur there;
Close-by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped,
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey…” STRIKE ONE,” the umpire said.
From the benches black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the pounding of the storm waves on some stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone in the stands,
And it’s likely they’d have killed had not Casey raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity, great Casey’s visage shown.
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on.
He signaled to the pitcher and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire called, “STRIKE TWO!”
“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands and the echo answered,
But a scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.
The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip; his teeth are clenched in hate;
As 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.
A 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.
As the stunned crowd watched this giant man fell crumpled to the
And then he stirred…and then he rose…and then he rushed the mound!
The startled pitcher braced in preparation for the blow;
But Casey stopped…and held out his hand…in the greatest
As unfamiliar tears made tracks down Casey’s tarnished face;
The huge crowd stood and roared, and now their cheers consumed the
For Casey showed more courage in this moment of defeat,
Than he could have if he’d ripped the ball clean out into the street.
The world we know thinks Casey lost and his opponent won;
But his example did more good than winning could have done.
And other men, as Casey did, have risen to the call;
They’ve fought the fight and run the race, knowing they might fall.
But the score that really counts is not the one in center field;
Or the headlines in the paper or reports the critics yield.
For as Casey gave his best and from the results refused to run.
On the scoreboard in the sky we find…Casey really won!