The Mighty Casey

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Jack Warden (McGarry)
Robert Sorrells (Casey)
Abraham Sofaer (Dr. Stillman)

"The Mighty Casey" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.

The episode title is a reference to the baseball poem "Casey at the Bat".

Contents

Synopsis

"Mouth" McGarry, the manager of a broken-down baseball team on its last legs, allows a robot named Casey to play on his team. Casey has the ability to throw super-fast balls that cannot be hit. Eventually, after Casey is beaned by a ball and given a physical examination, the National League finds out and rules that Casey must be taken off the team because he is not human. Casey's inventor, Dr. Stillman, gives him an "artificial" heart to have him classified as human. Now that Casey has human emotions, he refuses to throw his fast balls anymore. He says that he feels empathy with the batter and does not want to ruin the batter's career by striking him out. With the team sure to fold soon, Dr. Stillman gives McGarry Casey's blueprints as a souvenir. Glancing at them, McGarry suddenly has a brilliant idea, as he and the scientist set off to create an entire pitching staff of "Casey" robots...

Location

The baseball scenes were filmed at the Los Angeles version of Wrigley Field, an often-used venue for Hollywood films featuring baseball action scenes. The TV series Home Run Derby was also filmed at Wrigley, and also aired that summer of 1960.

Other notes

According to The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic by Martin Grams, the entire production was originally filmed with Paul Douglas (the manager in the 1951 film, Angels in the Outfield) in the role, calling him "MacGarry" rather than "McGovern". Before the episode could air over the network, Douglas died (in September 1959). The entire production was refilmed at the expense of Rod Serling's Cayuga Productions (not the network) with Jack Warden in the role.

In Serling's original first-draft script (and in his short-story adaptation that appeared in the 1960 anthology, "Stories From 'The Twilight Zone'"), the team was supposed to have been the Brooklyn Dodgers [their stadium in the original story: "Tebbet's Field"], who, like the fictitious "Hoboken Zephyrs", moved West in 1958 to become the Los Angeles Dodgers. The closing narration is a possible reference to the original draft: at the time of broadcast, the Dodgers had beaten the Chicago White Sox to win the previous year's World Series, doing so with a dominant pitching staff featuring Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres and a young Sandy Koufax.

Although there was never actually a major league team in Hoboken, the earliest documented baseball games were played in Hoboken, in the 1840s.

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