DiMaggio doesn’t scare Casey
Casey's start to baseball doesn't start normally. He is knocked on the head by a foul ball, but seems unaffected. It comes out that Casey is only three weeks old. Casey appears to be a twenty-two year old male, but is in fact a robot. His fastball leaves his catcher’s glove smoking on his first pitch, his curve ball dives and moves all over for his second pitch, and his third pitch, the slowball, takes approximately three seconds to reach the plate. Casey's non-human origins are to be kept a secret between Casey, the doctor, and the manager and he is quickly signed to the Zephyrs.
Casey's first game leaves several impressions on the viewer. First, Casey is told not be nervous. Being a robot keeps Casey from understanding this human emotion. The manger begins to explain, "You know, nervous. Like its two out in the ninth, you're one up and Joe DiMaggio comes to the plate looking intent."
Casey responds that this would not make him nervous as he does not know anyone named Joe DiMaggio. Casey then takes the field against the New York Giants. Then, the screen changes and the viewer is able to track Casey's progress through newspaper headlines. It appears that Casey won 14 games before he got hit in the head by a line drive and wound up being examined by the team doctor. Upon evaluation it is found that Casey has no pulse, which leads to him being outed as a robot.
Upon Casey being identified as a robot, he is banned from baseball. His manager contests that as a lack of a heart is what makes Casey not be human, that if Casey has a heart installed, he should be eligible to play. The National League executive agrees and Casey then undergoes a procedure that gives him a heart. Dr. Stillman notes that Casey now smiles, something that he never had done before. This foretells of Casey’s downfall.
Casey takes to the mound and his pitching performance is far from stellar. Casey seems unable to get the opposition out. Finally Casey and his skipper talk. Casey reveals that he now has empathy. He purposefully lets the batters get hits because he does not want to hurt their feelings. Also, Casey admits that he wants to go into social work to help people. The doctor explains that Casey, being so young has not yet learned of competition and his emotion of empathy seems to be dominating his personality, thus the robot does cannot continue to play baseball.
Also, Twilight Zone creator and star Rod Serling’s hometown baseball team has been in the news recently. The Double-A Binghamton Mets of the Eastern League have made headlines this past month due to their proposed name change. The team allowed residents of New York and Pennsylvania to submit team names via their team website. The six names chosen as finalists, and now being voted on at the team’s website, are the Binghamton Bullheads, Binghamton Gobblers, Binghamton Rocking Horses, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Binghamton Stud Muffins, and Binghamton Timber Jockeys.
Finally, the setting for this episode of the Twilight Zone, Hoboken, N.J., has a very proud baseball history. In the 1840s, the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club, one of the earliest organized clubs, began to play their home games on the Elysian Fields in Hoboken.
Nate Tweedie is the manager of on-site learning at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum