Containing Multitudes Since 2004
Jeeezus! He was a geezer even back then!
I'm pretty sure Stengel was born a geezer.
That was the fun thing about Casey - all of his photographs look the same - try that with a before and after with the logos obscured, betcha can't tell what's before and what's after. His old recordings sound the same as when he was a Mets mgr. so many years later, too. A timeless hero.
The description of Stengel in 1923 - running out his inside the park home run in the World Series - makes him sound like a geezer at age 33:"This is the way old Casey Stengel ran running his home run home when two were out in the ninth inning an d the score was tied and ball still bounding inside the Yankee yard."This is the way-"His mouth wide open."His warped old legs bending beneath him at every stride."His arms flying back and forth like those of a man swimming with a crawl stroke."His flanks heaving, his breath whistling, his head far back. Yankee infielders, passed by Old Casey Stengel as he was running his home run home say Casey was muttering to himself, adjuring himself to greater speed as a jockey mutters to his horse in a race, saying, 'Go on, Casey, go on.'"...The warped old legs, twisted and bent by many a year of baseball campaigning just barely held out under Casey until he reached the plate, running his home run home."Then they collapsed." - Damon RunyonThe made baseball players then and they also made baseball writers.
The story goes that before a pre-season exhibition game at Ebbets Field in 1951, Casey Stengel (who played for the Dodgers in the late teens as well as for the powerhouse Giants of the early twenties) was instructing rookie Mickey Mantle about watching out for caroms off the wall and such, and Mantle couldn't believe Stengel had played there. "He must've thought I was born sixty," Stengel later told the press.
Oh, and one more thing: One of Casey Stengel's classmates at Central High School in Kansas City was none other than urbane actor William Powell. Two complete opposites in sensibilities and personalities, yet both wonderfully successful.
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