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First published in the S.F. Examiner, ‘Casey at the Bat’ turns 125

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Baseball Hall-of-Famers Goose Gossage, left, and Rickey Henderson, right, pose for a photo with Jeremiah Ellisor, 8, of Ft. Drum, N.Y., at The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., Saturday, May 25, 2013. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Associated Press
  • Baseball Hall-of-Famers Goose Gossage, left, and Rickey Henderson, right, pose for a photo with Jeremiah Ellisor, 8, of Ft. Drum, N.Y., at The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., Saturday, May 25, 2013.

The mighty Casey is still striking out 125 years after he went down in baseball lore, but he has given Tim Wiles a steady side gig.

Wiles is director of research at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. For more than 15 years he has donned a Mudville uniform and recited Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s “Casey at the Bat,” first published 125 years ago Monday in the San Francisco Examiner.

Wiles says since his public debut at the New York State Fair in 1997, he has recited the poem an estimated 2,000 times in 22 states at venues ranging from ballparks to classrooms. His latest performance was Thursday at the Hall of Fame.

The 48-year-old says he’s cut back to eight to 10 public recitals a year.