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Ernest Thayer

Ernest Lawrence Thayer (August 14, 1863 – August 21, 1940) was an American writer and poet who wrote "Casey at the Bat". Thayer was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts and raised in Worcester. He graduated magna cum laude in philosophy from Harvard in 1885, where he was editor of the Harvard Lampoon. Its business manager, William Randolph Hearst, hired Thayer as humor columnist for the San Francisco Examiner 1886–88. Thayer’s last piece, dated June 24, 1888, was a ballad entitled "Casey" ("Casey at the Bat"). It took several months after its publication for the poem to make Thayer famous, since he was hardly the boastful type and had signed the June 24 poem with the nickname "Phin". Two mysteries remain about the poem: whether anyone or anyplace was the real-life Casey and Mudville, and, if so, their actual identities. On March 31, 2007, Katie Zezima of The New York Times penned an article called "In 'Casey' Rhubarb, 2 Cities Cry 'Foul!'" on the competing claims of two towns to such renown: Stockton, California, and Holliston, Massachusetts. On the possible model for Casey, Thayer dismissed the notion that any single living baseball player was an influence.

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