banner image for department blog

Six Degrees of Spec. Collections

Collections, Performing & Visual Arts

As noted recently on NPR, today marks the 125th anniversary of the publication of the classic baseball poem, “Casey at the Bat,” in 1888. One of our patrons heard the piece on the radio, and while visiting us in the Reading Room for some other research, asked if we might happen to have any materials related to this poem. A discussion ensued, and while we do not have any direct connection, a challenge was thrown down: Could we find a connection from “Casey at the Bat” to something in our archives in six steps, a laSix Degrees of Separation”?

Well, here we go:

1. “Casey at the Bat” was written by Ernest Thayer.

2. Ernest Thayer was friends with William Randolph Hearst from their days together at the Harvard Lampoon – and Hearst later hired Thayer as humor columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, which first published “Casey” in 1888.

3. William Randolph Hearst was the inspiration for the renowned film Citizen Kane, directed by and starring Orson Welles.

4. Orson Welles exchanged correspondence with theater producer/director Cheryl Crawford; this correspondence is available right here in our archives among the Cheryl Crawford Papers.






Six degrees? Ha! We got there in four. So although there might be “no joy in Mudville,” as “mighty Casey has struck out,” we are feeling a bit victorious here in Special Collections today.

Interested researchers and visitors may view these letters and much more in our Reading Room. The bulk of the Cheryl Crawford Papers dates from 1940-1978, documenting Ms. Crawford’s career in theater through correspondence, production materials, scripts, programs, playbills, audio tapes, posters, sheet music, sound recordings, clippings, budgets, tax returns, legal agreements, contracts, audits, reviews, speeches, and miscellaneous items such as postcards and receipts.

Comments are closed.