Study Guide

Casey at the Bat Men and Masculinity

By Ernest Lawrence Thayer

Men and Masculinity

For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat. (20)

Not just Casey, it's mighty Casey to you.Thayer wanted to be sure that we pictured Casey as powerful and impressive—a picture of masculinity. Using the adjective "mighty" does a pretty good job of getting those qualities across. Mission accomplished.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat. (21-24)

This is a high-pressure, high-stress situation. The game is on the line, and it's all up to Casey. Does this make our "hero" sweat and squirm? No way. Like all good alpha-males, Casey relishes the limelight. He thrives on being the center of attention in big, pressure-filled moments. He's cool and calm under pressure. He "smiles" in the face of difficult odds. This calm, cool demeanor lets everyone in the stands know that Casey is indeed the man. He has the crowd in the palm of his beefy hand.

And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;

He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on; (36-38)

Like most alpha-males, Casey is a born leader. The fans follow his lead (luckily for the umpire, in this case). He doesn't have to shout or plea with the rabid crowd, just a simple gesture—"Casey raised his hand"—puts them back in line and lets the game go on. What a guy.