A Moving Picture of Glorious, Unadulterated Baseball


Life is a journey of discovery, according to the rustic hand-painted mass-produced wooden signs in the antique store I walked past yesterday. So it proved to be, for as I later wandered aimlessly through the wild internets, I made a fortuitous and fortunate query:


I don’t know what providential force brought the name of Niedenfuer to my fingertips; the world works in mysterious ways. But Niedenfuer I sought, and for my trouble fell upon one imdb page. Surely, I thought to myself, this can only be an appearance in a World Series highlight video or, at best, a quick interview in a hand-taped biopic. Surely one could not expect a film career to rival that of fellow reliever Craig Lefferts. I was lost, I can see now. My heart was full of doubt.

If the fifties were a time of worried cigarette smoking, fallout shelters, and Jailhouse Rock, then one can forgive the current generation their One Direction. For the current generation daily breathes in the midichlorians of that benevolent force, the Internet. And today the Internet earned that capital I, for it presented me – unworthy and lost soul that I am – with the following motion picture event. I share it with you, a humble and converted prophet, a fisher of men. I share with you: Casey at the Bat.


The video linked above is presented by Hulu and is an hour long. You will want to clear some time in your schedule to accommodate it, and then watch it posthaste. But if you, too, are plagued with doubt, please read past the cut and allow me to convert you. Soon you will find yourself changed, and your spirit unbound.

“Casey At The Bat” was created in 1986. It includes but is not limited to:

  • An introduction by Shelly Duvall and her husband dressed as a hotdog vendor
  • A baseball star played by an aging Elliot Gould
  • Timely jokes about the existence of less filling “light” beer
  • Sets!
  • An indoor set of an outdoor baseball field!
  • An indoor set of an outdoor baseball field with bases twenty feet apart!
  • An indoor set of an outdoor baseball field with bases twenty feet apart and a frisbee for home plate!
  • Tom Niedenfuer hitting and running like Jesus Montero
  • Bob Uecker and Howard Cosell in the same broadcast booth
  • Bob Uecker and Howard Cosell wearing plastic pig snouts


Now at last we can begin to understand the steroid era. How else could modern ballplayers face a game that had already been perfected?

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Patrick Dubuque is a wastrel and a general layabout. Many of the sites he has written for are now dead. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.

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Craig Counsell
Craig Counsell

I could definitely go yard in that park.