when the Angels used to play in the old Pacific Coast League
they used to have some good players on their team throughout
the years:   Jigger Statz, Celo Carlyle, Frank Demaree, Jimmy
Reese, Truck Hannah… and there were other goodies in the
league too–Lefty O’Doul, Joe DiMaggio…
I used to watch the games at Old Wrigley Field, and just
before the league disbanded they got hold of a first baseman
who couldn’t hit.
they sent him up to the Cubs anyhow but he came back fast.
what he did, though, and what he continued to do was to recite
“Casey at the bat” over the field mike before each game.
the fans loved it but I didn’t love it anymore than I did his
a couple of seasons went by and he couldn’t get it above .260
and he didn’t hit the long ball either so they let him go.

now years later I see him in these cheap tv movies.
when I first saw him in these he was a bit player
now he’s a star and he doesn’t act .260 like he played,
he acts .189
and he got started by reciting “Casey at the bat.”

so don’t give it up, boys and girls, you can make it
too.    drink lots of milk, get that sunshine, you don’t
even have to be good.   in fact, sometimes it’s better if
you aren’t.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: