LeRoy Neiman breathes new life into the classic American poem by Ernest L. Thayer, first published in 1888.
Leaving aside his trademark splashes of bold color, Neiman limns the tale of the Mudville Nine in black and white charcoal. The deceptively simple drawings highlight Neiman’s skill as a master draftsman and his meticulous attention to detail, from the position of the batter’s hands to the cuts and folds of the uniforms. In his lively drawings the reader hears the roar of the crowd and feels their anxious anticipation as Casey steps up to the plate.
Neiman also brings a new and modern perspective to the poem. For generations the verse was recited as a lesson about false pride, how an arrogant would-be hero brought ruin to his teammates. But Neiman knows that home-run hitters have their place in the game. Like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or Mark McGwire, it is simply Casey’s job to swing for the fences.
The limited edition is hand-signed by the artist and bound in genuine baseball cowhide. The trade edition, featuring an Introduction by Joe Torre, Manager of the New York Yankees, is published just in time for Father’s Day, 2002.