If you walked into a restaurant and saw two actors sitting on opposite ends of the room – one an Oscar winning mega star, the other a life-long character actor – which table would you be most likely to approach? Most people would migrate to the Oscar winner just to get that photo and autograph and say they met them, but a handful – myself included – would want to sit with the character actor. He may not be a household name. In fact he probably falls into that category of, “That one guy who was in that one thing.” But the character actor is not only going to take more time with you, being that he isn’t approached as often, he’s going to have way, way better stories to tell.
The Casey brothers, including professional wrestlers Jim and Steve, would comfortably fit into the character actor seat opposite the top draws of their era, but their story is no less compelling than that of Lou Thesz, Gorgeous George, of Buddy Rogers. As a matter of fact, if you were to travel to their native Ireland, you’d find that the Caseys, all seven of them, are legendary figures in their homeland.
I first heard about The Legendary Casey Brothers from Mildred Casey, Jim’s widow. She told me how writer Jim Hudson had come and taken down the stories from Jim Casey himself for the book, verifying everything through news clippings of the time. The result is a well-documented, well-told story about a family that produced some of the most competitive and unbeatable athletes in any era.
The Casey brothers were champion rowers to begin with, having built up their strength working their father’s farm and rowing the nearby waterways all their lives. They soon sought and conquered bigger challenges including tug of war (a huge sport in Ireland at the time), boxing, and professional wrestling.
The Legendary Casey Brothers is more than a wrestling book. It’s a terrific sports book. It’s a wonderful story about a group of brothers whose greatest competition was each other. The wrestling stories are kayfabe, which only makes you love Jim Casey more for protecting the business even as an old man. That said, the author invites you to do the research for yourself should you dispute any of the claims made regarding the Caseys’ dominance on the water, on the mat, and yes, even in tug of war. It’s all public record, and thanks to Jim Hudson, Jim Casey, and Myrtle Casey, it’s been compiled and preserved in a wonderful book.
The Legendary Casey Brothers is available on Amazon.com in paperback and on Kindle.