Davenport Cartoon Contest

2018 Toon Con

Once again, the Homer Davenport International Cartoon Contest returns to Silverton. After all, a festival that honors a famous Political Cartoonist seems almost naked without some kind of competition focused on that endeavor. To that end, the International Cartoon Contest has returned! As in past years, the competition is for “political” or “editorial” cartoons on any topic as long as they are not libelous, slanderous, racist, sexist or salacious.

As with any activity that as lasted over thirty years, adjustments are often required. In light of that fact, we have substantially increased the prize money award amounts. The new prizes will now be $750, $500, $300 and $200 respectively, with an entry fee of $25. We hope that this change will attract a wider range of entries, and more actively reflect similar international cartoon contests. And frankly, keep our modest competition relevant and competitive. We are especially interested it the work of new and emerging cartoonists including communities of color.

All cartoons will be judged in three categories: Artistic skill, clearly implied message, and the Cartoon’s over all appeal. All prizes will be determined by a blue ribbon panel of judges, with five non-cash “Peoples Choice” awards determined by popular vote, cast during the Festival. Winners will be announced Sunday afternoon at the festival, and announced online on the Web at the “Homer Page.” Entries will be prominently displayed in Silverton during the Homer Davenport Community Festival, (August 4 through 6, 2023). Deadline for submission is Friday, July 26, 2024.

Our 2024 Blue-Ribbon Panel of Judges:

Sen. Lew FrederickOregon State Senator Lew Frederick (D-Portland) first took office as an Oregon State Representative on October 30, 2009 during a swearing-in ceremony in the House Chambers of the Oregon Capitol Building. Professionally he is a Strategic Communications Consultant, focusing on Strategic Planning, Community Relations, Science/Technical issues and Media Crisis Communications. With an academic background in biology, theater, and political science, his professional life has included seventeen years as a television reporter at KGW-Channel 8 in Portland, thirteen years as the Director of Public Information for the Portland Public Schools, teacher, actor and ranch-hand.

Elvi Cuellar Sutton, is a native-born Silvertonian, and its first Latina City Councilor, who has served the community for the last two years. With the election of Council President Jason Freilinger as Mayor, Elvi was appointed Council President. As a local business owner and active Rotarian, she has enjoyed taking part in all aspects of our town including its amazing festivals. Her latest adventure has been taking part in Silverton’s new All-Abilities Park and she looks forward to providing safe spaces for all to indulge in our slice of heaven!

Rep. Rick LewisOregon State Representative Rick Lewis, (R-Silverton) was appointed to the Oregon House after the resignation of Vic Gilliam. Prior to joining the legislature, Lewis served as the Mayor and as the Chief of Police for Silverton. He is a life member of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police and served as the organization’s President in 1991. In 2005, he took a six month leave of absence from the Silverton Police Department to teach the Executive Leadership Program for the Iraqi Police leadership during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rick lives in Silverton with his wife of 39 years, Pat.

We look forward to their collective judgement! Rules, Official entry forms and more details can be found on the Web by Clicking Here:

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Oregon’s Media Super-Star

On Saturday, August 5, 2023, The Davenport Project in partnership with the Silver Falls Public Library and the Homer Davenport Days festival, will reprise our annual presentation on the life and times of political cartoonist Homer C. Davenport, late of Silverton. There will be two showings: 12:30 p.m. and again at 3:30 p.m.

Homer C. Davenport

In the decade of the 1890s, just before the dawn of a new century, American society was going through a transition; from horses and trains to automobiles and airplanes. Change was everywhere. Through it all, Oregon-born cartoonist Homer Davenport was there, wielding his pen to spray a steady stream of caustic caricatures onto the notables and notorious of the global political scene.

Homer Davenport (1867-1912) was Oregon’s first media super-star. Born in Silverton, Oregon, into the pioneer Davenport and Geer families, he became a world traveler and developed a second career of breeding Arabian horses. His life is a story of fame, political influence, family connections, artistic creativity, and discovery. Yet, few outside his hometown are even aware of the impact this self-described “country boy” had on society.

His unique rural Oregon upbringing, along with a supportive and nurturing home life, equipped Davenport with the intellectual tools and the artistic skills needed to hit the ground running, in spite ofsome would say because ofa lack of formal training. He arrived on the scene during a perfect storm of technology and public sentiment. One New York State Senator even sponsored a bill to outlaw political cartoons, because of the influence of Davenport’s work.

For this presentation, Davenport historian Gus Frederick will present a visual overview of Davenport’s art, life and times. With emphasis on the enabling reprographics technology of the era, as well as a snap-shot of Davenport’s contemporaries, Frederick will show graphically how the turn of the Twentieth Century was the golden age of the cartoonist and graphic illustrator. And how a small-town Oregonian occupied a major role. Also included will be an update on recently acquired original Davenport cartoons, and of course Silverton’s annual Homage to its favorite son, the Homer Davenport Community Festival.

Frederick is the creator of The Annotated Cartoons by Davenport, an annotated edition of Davenport’s 1898 collection of cartoons, as well as Silverton from Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series. He also compiled the extensive social commentary of The Collected Works of T.W. Davenport, comprising Homer’s Oregon pioneer politician father’s writings from the Oregon Historical Quarterly. Most recently, he created an annotated edition of Davenport’s second cartoon collection, The Dollar or the Man, published in 1900. Copies of all four books will be available for purchase. Additionally, he is continuing work on a video documentary of Davenport’s life and times.

The Silver Falls Public Library is located at 410 South Water Street, in Silverton. Doors open at 12:00 p.m. with the presentation starting shortly after. Free and all ages are welcome!

The City’s Cartoons

Mary Delle & Alice Davenport

In the early 1960s, Homer Davenport’s sisters, Alice Davenport Bernard and Mary Delle Davenport Havens (right), gifted to the citizens of Silverton a number of original political cartoons, photographs and other artifacts from their famous brother. The cartoons have been on display in City Hall for decades, since they were donated to the Silverton Library, then part of the City of Silverton.

Main Street Coffee and Bistro in partnership with the City of Silverton will host a special exhibition of these eight original Davenport cartoons. The cartoons, dating from 1894 through 1904, will be displayed the upstairs gallery in the newly remodeled Wolf Building, located at 201 East Main Street, in Silverton Historic downtown core. All of the City Cartoons along with annotated descriptions will allow visitors to examine up close and personal, the artwork of Oregon’s First Media Super Star. The eight cartoons set to be displayed cover a period of time from 1894 through 1908.

The oldest piece, is a portrait of Davenport’s father, Timothy, (left). It includes the note, “Portrait of My Father, October 6, 1894.” At this period of time, Davenport was firmly established with Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner, and was no doubt home visiting.

The next earliest, is an image of lame-duck president Grover Cleveland, sitting secure at work, with a Tammany Tiger-skin rug under his chair, being confronted by an old begger. A partial penciled-in title starts “To Busy…” Owing to Homer’s notoriously bad spelling, it most likely meant “TOO busy…” Probably done in late 1895 or early 1896.

Another Tammany-tied cartoon from around 1896 features Tammany Hall Boss Richard Croker, with his bags packed and ready to head off to his Irish estate, while stuffing the Tammany Tiger up his sleeve…

“Now for Prosperity” features House Speaker Thomas Reed (R-ME) and Congressman Nelson Dingly (R-ME) “shake down” Uncle Sam for the benefit of the corporate trusts. This cartoon was included in Davenport 1897 collection “Cartoons by Davenport.”

“God’s in it. We’re in it. There’s money in it.” Here we see Dollar Mark Hanna and the Trust Brute mugging a Cuban. From Davenport’s second published collection, “The Dollar or the Man?” published in 1899.

Wolf Building Display

The final two cartoons date from around 1904, during Davenport’s post-Hearst period. Both feature person hand-written notes dated August 30, 1908. These he apparently gifted to Dr. Charles H. Brewer, an Oregon doctor and his wife Nettie Mae Brewer, during a visit with Homer, most likely in New Jersey. Mrs Brewer, (formerly Nettie Mae Munkers) was a school mate of Homer’s (albeit in an earlier grade level).

One features a ghostly Lincoln with his hand on old man’s shoulder, holding a newspaper reading “Parker’s Letter – I Will Revoke.” This is in reference to 1904 Democratic Presidential candidate Judge Parker, who vowed to revoke a pension extension passed as an executive order by President Roosevelt for Civil War veterans. The hand-written inscription says: “To Mrs. Dr. Brewer, who as a girl was my school mate. Me at one end of the classroom, and she at the other. (Those that know me will know which end I was). It’s with the greatest happiness that I give her this cartoon which bears a likeness of my father, he of whom all Silvertonians—yea Oregonians loved. [signed] HCD. Aug 30, 1908” Homer often used people he knew as models.

President Roosevelt on a stage with audience, handing his Message to Congress, over to House Speaker Joseph Gurney Cannon (R-IL). The hand-written inscription says: “To my dear friends Dr. and Mrs. Brewer who have made me so happy with just a visit, but after all, what is greater than a visit between old friends? Yours with Love, [signed] HCD. Aug 30, 1908”

The final image is a self-portrait of the artist, possibly done during the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition, owing to the appearance.

Eventually all of these pieces need to be re-framed in an archival manner to ensure their preservation for
the decades to come. Here is your chance to help the Homer Festival at the same time as helping to preserve history. By donating to the Davenport Cartoon Re-framing Fund, you will get the same tax-deduction as well as the knowledge that you have personally helped keep Davenport’s art safe and secure for future generations to enjoy. Plus you will be the first in line to view these restored pieces, when they are eventually displayed to the public.

Ask your Homer Day Contact about the Cartoon Re-framing Fund!

T.W. Davenport; Indian Agent

twd_mug01On January 28, 2014, The Davenport Project heads over the Cascades again to present a talk entitled “T.W. Davenport: Experiences of a NE Oregon Indian Agent” at the History Pub. The free presentation will be held in the Father Luke’s Room at the McMenamin’s St. Francis School in Bend. It focuses on Silverton pioneer Dr. Timothy Woodbridge Davenport (right), father of the famous political cartoonist and his experiences serving as a temporary Indian Agent at the Umatilla Agency during the Civil War, as well as other encounters with Native Americans he had over the years. Taken from his own extensive four-part series first published in the Oregon Historical Quarterly in 1907, Dr. Davenport’s recollections are an incredible glimpse into an often unknown era.

An abolitionist and charter member of the Oregon Republican party, Dr. Davenport, was a very remarkable person. He was a medical doctor, pioneer farmer, surveyor, Indian agent, store owner, state legislator and state land agent. He was born on July 30, 1826, in Columbia, New York. The Davenport family left New York and settled in Ohio for several years. In 1851, the family headed out to Oregon Territory by wagon train. They arrived in the Silverton Country, in the fall of 1851, and established a donation land claim in the Waldo Hills South of Silverton.

Dr. Davenport gave up his medical practice to concentrated on surveying, a skill much in demand in the pioneer Willamette Valley. In his later years, he took to writing. He was a distinguished member of Silverton’s community leaders, earning the nickname, “The Sage of Silverton” for his incredible intellect and humanity. Over a period of several years in the early part of the 20th Century, he contributed over a half dozen papers to the then-new Oregon Historical Society.

“Recollections of an Indian Agent” of which this talk is based, as well as the two-part “Slavery Question in Oregon” are long-lost gems of historical perspective from Civil War era-Oregon, eloquently written by someone who was there. And Dr. Davenport  found time to raise a family, that just happened to include William Randolph Hearst’s leading political cartoonist, Homer Davenport. A collection of Dr. Davenport’s writings converted to Adobe Acrobat files are available from “The Homer Page.” As you will soon discover, the Davenport family story is both wide and deep.

Presented by The Davenport Project’s Gus Frederick, this highly visual presentation will take you back to the Oregon of the Civil War era. Doors open around 6:00 with the talk starting at 7:00. The Old St. Francis School is located at 700 N.W. Bond Street in downtown Bend, Oregon, and is sponsored by the Des Chutes Historical Museum, Oregon Historical Society, and the Oregon Encyclopedia.

The Colonel Visits Oregon

He's Good Enough for MeOf all the famous personages that Homer Davenport knew and called friend during his brief years in the limelight, perhaps none was more influential than the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Davenport’s respect and enthusiasm for “The Colonel,” as he preferred to be called, supposedly was the reason Davenport left Hearst in 1904. This year he also created one of his more famous cartoons, the influential He’s Good Enough for Me (left), with Uncle Sam’s arm resting on T.R.’s shoulder.

Many have said that this single cartoon elected a President. Whether or not that’s true, the facts are that two years later at Davenport’s request, President Roosevelt directed the State Department to initiate contact with the Ottoman Empire, for the purpose of importing Arabian horse breeding stock. This acquisition expedition was a success, and today the Davenport Arabian Horse is the offspring of that one cartoon.

Colonel Roosevelt has remained a household word over the years, and even boasts a head on Mt. Rushmore. So much so, that in mid-May of 2013, the Oregon Historical Society with sponsorship by Wells Fargo Bank hosted a week-long “Roosevelt Roadshow” featuring Theodore Roosevelt re-enactor Joe Wiegand. They visited numerous Oregon communities, culminating with his last performance at the OHS Annual Membership Meeting in Portland.

I figured it might be a good gesture for The Davenport Project to present the Colonel with a framed reproduction of the He’s Good Enough for Me cartoon. I assumed that I could walk up after his talk and present the cartoon and maybe get a picture. That was the plan anyway. As it turned out, I arrived too early for the festivities, so I killed some time exploring the Museum.

The Colonel plugs Davenport

The Colonel plugs Davenport

While in the USS Oregon/Spanish American War room door stairs, I encountered a familiar character who immediately struck up a conversation with me, introducing himself as Theodore Roosevelt. I shook hands and said “A pleasure to meet you, Colonel.” to which he exclaimed that “My friends call me Colonel! I detest Mr. President.” He asked where I was from and if anyone of note was from there. I answered that I was from Silverton, Hometown of one of his old friends. I then gave the “Homer Davenport” elevator speech and mentioned the famous cartoon.

I then presented him with the framed copy I was carrying. The Colonel was obviously impressed. He was quite well acquainted with this particular cartoon, but was apparently unaware of Davenport’s Oregon roots. He said it was the best gift he had yet received during this trip. I included a letter with a brief bio of Davenport and his T.R. connection. He then asked me if he could incorporate the picture into his talk, and the rest was a delightful presentation of history, complete with a rather robust tribute to Davenport and Silverton! And as Homer could attest, even this “T.R.” put on a great show!

“Theodore Roosevelt is a humorist. In the multitude of his strenuousness this, the most human of his accomplishments, has apparently been overlooked. There is a similarity between his humor and Mark Twain’s. If Colonel Roosevelt were on the vaudeville stage he would be a competitor of Harry Lauder. At Denver, at the stock-growers’ banquet during his recent Western trip, Colonel Roosevelt was at his best. He made three speeches that day and was eating his sixth meal, yet he was in the best of fettle. You couldn’t pick a hallful that could sit with faces straight through his story of the blue roan cow. He can make a joke as fascinating as he can the story of a sunset on the plains of Egypt.”

—Homer Davenport. Philadelphia Public Ledger, October 23, 1910

Kickstarting Davenport

Annotated Cartoons by DavenportUpdate: With Homer Days here, the Annotated Cartoons is finally a reality! The Kickstarter premiums are being assembled, and will be available for pick-up this weekend in Silverton. For our out-of-state backers, your packets will be mailed out at the same time. The author will be on hand to sell and sign copies. Noon to 2:00 on the loading dock of the Historical Society’s Depot Annex, and out at GeerCrest Farm on Sunday.

A little after 7:00 am on July 1, the Kickstarter Fund Raising Project for The Annotated Cartoons by Davenport successfully wrapped up. Over the course of 30 days, dozens of folks from around the country, contributed varying amounts of money, to help get 200 copies of the second revised edition produced.

The main action that put us over the top occurred 24 hours earlier, when Dr. Michael Kim, DDS, of Silverton, pledged the balance of the amount needed in the name of Dr. Kim’s No Cavity Kids Club. The amount was just shy of $1,300, and insures publication. Thanks Doc!!!

In 1898, Homer Davenport published Cartoons By Davenport, a collection of over 80 cartoons which originally appeared in William Randolph Hearst’s New York Evening Journal. It was a large format work, with hardbound cover and an introduction by Senator John J. Ingalls, (R-Kansas).

In 2006, Davenport historian Gus Frederick researched, compiled and reprinted a fully annotated edition of this historic work. The faces and the issues behind Davenport’s witty, satiric caricatures were teased out in a cartoon-by-cartoon commentary. However, due to the costs associated with the production, this edition was limited to just 100 strip-bound copies.

We are coming to Kickstarter to raise funds to make possible an updated, revised edition of the 2006 reprint.

Using state-of-the-art print-on-demand technology, this soft-cover perfect bound annotated edition will provide commentary which add historical context to these amazing images. Funds are needed to purchase and register our ISBN number, get it plugged into Amazon, and facilitate the printing of an initial run of 200 copies of the final book.

This revised, expanded edition will number just under 200 pages, and measure slightly over 8 by 10 inches. “Annotated Cartoons by Davenport” will be the first publication of The Liberal University Press, based out of Silverton, Oregon. Additionally, in recognition of many more works of merit now forgotten, the Liberal University Press will serve as a conduit. Using the best technologies of today to reproduce for a new generation the thoughts, ideas and art of our ancestors.

Future titles include the collected works of Timothy W. Davenport, (1827-1911). The Cartoonist’s father was a prolific social commentator. His writing reflects a very unique view of different aspects of society from the 19th Century. Davenport’s second book, “The Dollar or the Man?” is slated for a similar treatment as this current edition. As well as a collection of fifty cartoons from the 1920s created by Portland Oregonian cartoonist Edward S. “Tige” Reynolds, (1877-1931).

Why a 2012 re-issue of a 1898 book?

During the three-year sliver of time captured by Davenport’s newspaper cartoons, the Republicans regained control of the White House in what many pundits have identified as the first modern political campaign. This was also a time of great economic debate, concern about special interests influencing the government, jobs, and of course the immigration issue. On the global scene, the United States was beginning to flex its military muscles, a conflict with Spain was starting to simmer, and a border dispute in Venezuela threatened war with Great Britain.

Through it all, Davenport was there, wielding his pen to spray a steady stream of caustic caricatures onto the notables and notorious of the global political scene. Davenport went on to author three more books; A second collection of cartoons in 1899 entitled The Dollar or the Man? The Question of To-Day; a travel book on his 1906 acquisition expedition to to Syria to purchase Arabian horses, My Quest of the Arabian Horse; and his autobiography, The Country Boy, written towards the end of his life in 1910.

Support our re-publication of this lost work by one of America’s most influential political cartoonists. Check out our rewards!

Davenport in Stumptown

In April, The Davenport Project heads over to the Jack London Bar, the basement “speakeasy” for the Rialto Pool Room at 529 SW 4th Avenue in Portland. Each week they host the “Stumptown Stories” history lecture series. We’re set for action at 7:30 on Tuesday evening, April 24th. Come on down to hear about Homer Davenport, Late of Silverton!

Joining TDP Lecturer Gus Frederick, will be noted Silverton storyteller, Gordon Munro. Gordon has build a local cottage industry around his dynamic recreations from the stories of Silverton’s famous Country Boy.

Gordon will recount an early newspaper gig of Davenport’s for the Sunday Mercury, as it was called 1891. Known then as a “Sporting Weekly,” he pitched them the notion of sending him to New Orleans to cover the landmark middleweight boxing match on January 14, 1891 between Portlander Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey and Bob Fitzsimmons.

Fitzsimmons pummeled Dempsey. And he went on to become the heavyweight champ as well. He and Davenport later became close friends.

Two days later on Thursday, April 26, the Jack London Bar will be hosting an event with Stumptown Comics and the Portland Mercury. The following weekend is the 9th Annual Stumptown Comics Fest, taking the Oregon Convention Center by storm. TDP will be hosting a panel discussion at that event on Saturday, April 28. Times TBA.

More details as they develop!

Homer on the Bus!

TDP and The Bus ProjectFor a week this April, Oregon’s premier progressive grassroots activist organization, The Bus Project features Rebooting Democracy, a week-long democracy festival, in Portland. Rebooting Democracy will draw hundreds of young leaders from around the state for a series of workshops, presentations, scavenger hunts, film screenings and more in order to create a more engaged and educated generation, with the action taking place April 16 through 22, at various venues throughout Portland.

The Davenport Project is pleased and honored to join The Bus Project from 2:35 to 3:45 on Saturday, April 21, at The Backspace Cafe for a panel discussion titled: “Drawing Attention: Politics & Comics.”

The speakers include Jason Leivian, owner of Floating World Comics; Gus Frederick, lecturer for The Davenport Project; Tyler Chin-Tanner, local comics author/artist (“American Terrorist”) and Breena Wiederhoeft, local comics author/artist (“The Picket Line” & “Easel Ain’t Easy”). The panel will be moderated by Sarah Mirk of the Portland Mercury. A mini-exhibit entitled “Occupy Davenport” will feature a sampling of Davenport’s work for folks to check out.

Update: A successful panel! Quite a fun and varied line-up! The biggest success was when I nabbed the gnarly dude attempting to walk out the door with The Davenport Project’s DSLR. He offered no resistance, which would have been futile anyway, and quickly slithered out the door. Would have put a real crimp in the Davenport project if he had been successful…

After the drama, the panel continued. Tyler gave me a copy of his book, in exchange for a copy of the upcoming second edition of “Cartoons by Davenport.” An advance pre-release “Authors Proof” is in production and should be ready for show & tell at the Jack London Bar this coming Tuesday.

Davenport at GeerCrest

The Davenport Project EventThe GeerCrest Farm family invites you to join us at GeerCrest Farm on April 7 at 6:00 pm, for our Spring Farm Dinner. Guests will experience a seasonal, 4-course feast made from farm fresh fare, skillfully paired with regional organic wines, and prepared with love by the GeerCrest Farm family. This evening is an occasion to taste the local flavors of the growing season, while supporting GeerCrest Farm in the company of your friends and neighbors.

For this dinner program, we will be featuring a talk by GeerCrest Board member and Davenport Project lecturer Gus Frederick, on the life and times of Oregon Cartoonist Homer Davenport, as well as the contributions to pioneer Oregon by his Geer and Davenport relatives.

GeerCrest Farm began as a homestead in 1848 by Mary and Ralph Geer. Through the last Century and a half, the land has remained a working farm and has been handed down through successive generations of the Geer Family. Recognizing the tremendous legacy the land and historic farmhouse hold, including sanctuary to Homer Davenport, the W.R. Hearst Political Cartoonist, a group of volunteers formed to preserve the farm and way of life.

Today, GeerCrest Farm & Historical Society’s mission is to live and teach agrarian culture, encouraging people to rely on each other and cooperate with nature to provide a livelihood for themselves. GeerCrest invites students of every age to visit the farm and learn farming skills including caring for goats, sheep, pigs, horses and chickens as well vegetable and fruit culture, cheese-making, canning, and much more. Students stay for the day on field trips, the week as part of school curriculum and summer farm stays, or a weekend up to several months as a farm family member.

Help support GeerCrest’s Legacy of Education, Preservation and Agrarian Culture today by reserving your tickets. The dinner is $60 per plate, and includes local libations. The event is limited to 30 folks, so reserve your seat at the table today by registering Online at the GeerCrest site, or by calling GeerCrest Farm at 503-873-3406.

Casey in the Dark


TDP Event - Seven Brides TaproomFor the next “Dining in the Dark” Forth Sunday Candle lit Dinner at the Seven Brides Taproom in Silverton, The Davenport Project’s chief lecturer will give a recitation of the classic American poem, “Casey at the Bat.” If time and the audience permits, we may offer up the Garrison Keillor “Road Game” version as well.

Davenport, a longtime baseball aficionado since his teen years in Silverton, was a close personal friend to Albert Spalding, the sporting goods magnate. He hired Davenport to illustrate his 1911 baseball history book, “America’s Favorite Game” with 17 cartoons, including an homage to “Casey” and the orator that first made it famous, De Wolf Hopper.

The poem was made famous by the late 19th century comedian De Wolf Hopper, who made “Casey” his signature piece. Like Davenport, Hopper is relatively unknown today. His son Bill Hopper on the other hand, is fondly remembered on re-runs of Perry Mason, as the private detective Paul Drake. Below is the back story of Casey, from the Baseball Almanac Website.

Casey at the Bat - illustration by Davenport

"Casey at the Bat" illustration by Homer Davenport for A.G. Spalding's book, "America's Favorite Game."

Casey at the Bat by Ernest Thayer

It all started in 1885 when George Hearst decided to run for state senator in California. To self-promote his brand of politics, Hearst purchased the San Francisco Examiner. At the completion of the election, Hearst gave the newspaper to his son, William Randolph Hearst.

William, who had experience editing the Harvard Lampoon while at Harvard College, took to California three Lampoon staff members. One of those three was Ernest L. Thayer who signed his humorous Lampoon articles with the pen name Phin.

De Wolf HopperIn the June 3, 1888 issue of The Examiner, Phin appeared as the author of the poem we all know as Casey at the Bat. The poem received very little attention and a few weeks later it was partially republished in the New York Sun, though the author was now known as Anon.

A New Yorker named Archibald Gunter clipped out the poem and saved it as a reference item for a future novel. Weeks later Gunter found another interesting article describing an upcoming performance at the Wallack Theatre by comedian De Wolf Hopper – who was also his personal friend, (illustration right, by Davenport). The August 1888 show, exact date is unknown, had members from the New York and Chicago ball clubs in the audience and the clipping now had a clear and obvious use.

Gunter shared Casey at the Bat with Hopper and the perfomance was nothing short of legendary. Baseball Almanac is pleased to present the single most famous baseball poem ever written.

“Love has its sonnets galore. War has its epics in heroic verse. Tragedy its sombre story in measured lines. Baseball has Casey at the Bat.”
– Albert Spalding

Click to hear De Wolf Hopper recite Casey at the Bat.