Date: Sat, 20 Dec 1997 16:33:08 -0500 From: Gerald Cohen Subject: "Mudville" article #2 Here is the second article on "Mudville," from the Peter Tamony Collection. At the top of the page Tamony stamped S.F. Examiner, S.F. Chronicle, June 3, 1979 and wrote Scene p.8/2-4. The article is by Art Rosenbaum, Chronicle Sports Editor. "Two punches ago we undertook an update of the great American baseball ballad 'Casey at the Bat,' as it relates to the city of Stockton. Our treatment was an amused skepticism. The conclusion, if any, was that the Mudville of the poem was not Stockton despite all claims to the contrary. This piece becomes Part II and will probably leave the issue as clouded as ever. But first a backgrounder. University of Pacific is planning a new Events Center for basketball, graduations, concerts and allied performances. Out in the foyer, or in a separate room, there will be a Stockton-area 'Hall of Fame' to include memorable moments of the school and that port city. The history of 'Casey' will be included because, it has been argued, author Ernest L. Thayer was inspired by the Mudville that was Stockton when he wrote the poem in 1888. ...Thayer wrote for the San Francisco Examiner in 1888, but this particular piece was mailed from his home in Worcester, Mass. Boston claimed all territorial rights. The late Jack O'Keefe, then Chief of Police, brought Stockton's claim to the fore again in the 1950s when he staged 'Casey at the Bat' days to open each Stockton Ports season, with former heavyweight champion Max Baer playing the strikeout role that had been done in three movies by DeWitt Hopper (who recited the poem for the first time on stage), Wallace Beery and William Haines. Stocktonites do not like the nickname 'Slough City' but are willing to accept 'Mudville' only in reference to the old dock area of the mid-80s, the takeoff point to the gold country as well as the site of early baseball games. John DePangher of Palo Alto, a physicist at Stanford University, satisfied his curiosity by conducting a search for the feats of his uncle Michael DePangher with the A&G Stockton team of 1887. He found something else--box scores to support the theory (fact) that there was a Casey, except his real name was Cahill; that two players mentioned in the original poem, Flynn and Cooney, were actually on the team. He is convinced that Thayer got the idea for his poem from two games in Sacramento and his observations of the Stockton team. 'The old files show,' he writes, that in one of these games Cahill was put out three times by a very blind umpire...[dots present in article; G. Cohen] in another game, Flynn, on loan to Sacramento from Stockton, made three great rents in the air when he struck out. De Pangher has also gone to the archives for newspaper game stories titled 'Mobbing the Umpire' and 'A Pitcher Slugged' in which anonymous writers show a style similar to Thayer's. Best of all, DePangher says, he learned that his uncle Mike was probably the catcher of this most famous 'ballad of the republic.' Chief O'Keefe was league president and a Stockton Ports director. He played up 'Casey' to the hilt. Jimmie Longe, Stockton's best-known sportscaster, was recruited by the Chief to do the research on the poem, write a script for the dramatization and rehearse a very willing Max Baer, already something of an actor, for his role. Baer was a tremendous man--shoulders like airplane wings and a barrel chest, to mix a description. They gave him an oversized bat with Longe reciting, Max looked fiercely comical striking out, then reverting to his boxing pose of being knocked out." [G.Cohen: I omit the final five paragraphs of the article, which contain nothing substantial. BTW, could there possibly have been two Mudvilles, one in California (Stockton) and one in Massachusetts, that inspired Thayer? I'll check the book _Casey at the Bat_ by Jim Moore and Natalie Vermilyea to see if any mention is made of a Mudville in Massachusetts.] gcohen[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]