Base-Ball Ballads

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About the Book

Published in 1910, Base-Ball Ballads was Grantland Rice’s first book of poems, and the only one that contained baseball verse exclusively. The book includes some of the best-known poems about baseball ever written, including “Casey’s Revenge” (a sometimes-anthologized piece that redeems Ernest Thayer’s unlucky slugger), “Mudville’s Fate,” and the original version of “Game Called” (later revised on the occasion of Babe Ruth’s death).
An immensely popular writer of sports columns and essays, Rice was also well regarded for his humorous and sometimes touching verse. It is as the author of a couplet, in fact, that Rice may be best remembered: “For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name / He writes—not that you won or lost—but how you played the Game.” These lines, so strongly associated with baseball—though in fact they come from a poem about football—find their earliest expression in Base-Ball Ballads, where three poems (“Play Ball,” “Game Called,” and “The Test”) provide different wordings of the same idea.

About the Author(s)

Grantland Rice was considered the pre-eminent sportwriting stylist of his day and was the sports editor for the Nashville Daily News/Tennessean, the Atlanta Journal, the New York Herald and the New York Sun. He died in 1954.

Bibliographic Details

Grantland Rice. Series Editors Gary Mitchem and Mark Durr
Illustrated by C.H. Wellington
Format: softcover (6 x 8)
Pages: 143
Bibliographic Info: photos, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2038-4
Imprint: McFarland
Series: The McFarland Historical Baseball Library

Table of Contents

Table Of Contents

Editors’ Note      1

Play Ball      7

When the Bug is on the Bawl      8

Casey’s Revenge      10

The Bug’s View-Point      15

The Courtship of a Son of Swat      17

The Bush Leaguer’s Dream      20

Springtime in the History Room      22

The Hold-Out League      24

The Song of the Base Hit      26

On the Road to Rooters’ Row      28

“Till the Last Man is Out”      30

The Bushers      32

The Climax of Fan Joy      33

Songs of Swat—“You Uster Bat .300”      36

The Test      38

The Laugh on Nero      39

Curfewed      42

The Fan and His Way      45

Over the Plate      47

Knocking Slang      49

The Real Springtime      51

The Raven Up-To-Date      53

A Day in the Bleachers      55

A Warning      57

Out on The Lines      60

On Memory’s Wall      61

The Game      63

Mudville’s Fate      64

A Toast Worth While      67

The Champs of The Alley League      69

The Man Who Played with Anson on The Old Chicago Team      72

The Record      77

“The Major Leaguer’s Daughter;” Or, “The Turning of the Tide”      78

Pen Snapshot of The British Fan      81

On the Coaching Line      83

The Goods      85

The Winter League Wonder      86

A Tip to the Fan Flock      88

As the Game “Breaks”      90

The Grand Old Winter League      92

The Slide of Paul Revere      93

The Annual Return      96

In the Good Old Winter Time      98

After the Game      100

On Rooters’ Row      101

The Love Sonnets of a Son of Swat      103

At the End of the Game      107

The Mogul’s Dream      109

Hard-Luck Adam      111

Denton (Cy) Young      112

The Ump’s Midwinter Dream      114

A Real Job for Teddy      116

The Shock      119

When “Wifey” Reads Dope      120

A Hard-Luck Yarn      122

A Fan’s Diary      124

Game Called      128

Index Of Titles And First Lines      129

Book Reviews & Awards

“One of the best but least-heralded developments in the recent history of baseball literature was the inauguration of the McFarland Historical Baseball Library in 2003”—I>Spitball; “invaluable McFarland Historical Baseball Library series”—Edward Achorn, The Providence Journal.