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Casey Stengel

"casey At The Bat"

Stengel was soon called up to Brooklyn to play. Because he talked so much about Kansas City, he earned the nickname "K.C.," which became "Casey" after Ernest Thayer's popular poem "Casey at the Bat." By 1914 the press had passed the nickname on to all the fans. During this period, Stengel also earned another nickname that would stick with him in later years. After helping coach the University of Mississippi team, Stengel rejoined the Dodgers so full of campus stories that his teammates began calling him "Professor."

Wilbert Robinson became manager of the Dodgers in 1915, and they played at the newly built Ebbets Field, where Stengel became an expert on the caroms off the angled concrete wall at right field. Always a lover of practical jokes, Stengel was suspected in a prank at Daytona Beach in which aviator Ruth Law was supposed to fly over the field and drop a baseball for Robinson to catch. By some mix-up the ball became a grapefruit; Robinson thought he had been killed when the fruit hit his chest, splattering red pulp.

Stengel played fairly regularly for the Dodgers, sometimes finding himself subject to "platooning," a system of playing a roster to best advantage by shifting players' positions. He was a fast outfielder and a strong hitter, batting .364 for Brooklyn in the 1916 World Series. However, he was traded in 1918 to the Pittsburgh Pirates and sat on the bench for two seasons.

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Famous Sports StarsBaseballCasey Stengel Biography - Young Athlete, "casey At The Bat", Clown And Hero, Shifting Ball Clubs, Managing The Yankees - SELECTED WRITINGS BY STENGEL: