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Bat Masterson


NBC Network
1958 - 1961
30 Minutes

Gene Barry starred as William Barclay "Bat" Masterson (1853-1921), a dapper dandy with a derby hat and gold-topped cane (that hid a sword). Bat rode a horse named Stardust.

During his travels in the Southwest, Bat Masterson had many careers, including a gambler, frontiersman, buffalo hunter, Indian fighter, army scout, prospector and US Marshal of Dodge City.

When he wasn't working, or playing in a poker game, Bat found time to romance the ladies and to help those in need.

A debonair charmer, Bat preferred to use his wits rather than a gun, but if need be, he knew how to use one effectively to subdue the bad guys.


Listen to Theme Song

Theme Song Lyrics

Back when the West was very young
There lived a man named Masterson
He wore a cane and derby hat
They called him Bat, Bat Masterson.

A man of steel the stories say
But women's eyes all glanced his way
A gambler's game he always won
They called him Bat, Bat Masterson.

The trail that he blazed is still there
No one has come since to replace his name
And those with too ready a trigger forgot to figger
On his fighting fame.

So in the legends of the West
One name stands out from all the rest
The man who had the fastest gun
They called him Bat, Bat Masterson.

Here is a select list of Bat Masterson's many adventures:

  • Encounter saloon-keeper Big Keel Roberts in Arizona
  • Helps a women herding horses to be sold to the army
  • Rancher prevents Bat from moving his cattle to market
  • Wins a promising boxer's contact in a poker game
  • Acts as a guide for a bear hunting expedition
  • Teaches a man how to use a gun and stand up for his rights
  • Meets President Hayes and General Sherman in Dodge City
  • Investigates the destruction of multiple wagon trains
  • Rescues kidnapped sisters from hostile Indians
  • Tracks down a man who stole his horse, money and gun
  • Helps protect a railroad crew lay tracks through a canyon
  • Deputized as a federal officer to take outlaw to Fort Smith
  • The Denver Fire Dept. wants to tear down Bat's building
  • Wins half of a lottery ticket in a Tucson poker game
  • A Colorado bank believed Bat was dead and closed his account
  • Investigates a crime wave in Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Bat is belatedly involved in the Lincoln Assassination
  • Challenges a blackmailing Confederate deserter to a duel
  • Visits St. Joe, Missouri opera house to see his ex-girlfriend
  • Thwarts a blackmail scheme in Sacramento, CA
  • Intervenes in a feud between the Clementses and Bassetts
  • Helps a sheriff collect revenues from county tax evaders
  • Breaks the plot to keep woman from voting
  • Thwarts road agents robbing stagecoaches
  • Schemer in Liberal, Kansas assumes Bat's identity
  • Stops a bandit from terrorizing a region in Southern California
  • Prevents diseased cattle being smuggled across the Rio Grande
  • Protects Angie Pierce and her son from the Doolin Boys
  • Midas Creek town council hires Bat to judge the turkey-shoot
  • A blackjack gambler breaks the bank and Bat looses his casino
  • Bat races to Nora Grant's farm in Beaumont, TX to help her
  • Bat establishes justice in the desert town of Eden, New Mexico
  • Horse-thieves trigger a war between two Indian tribes
  • Travels to Monument City to work his old silver claim
  • Bat becomes a Pinkerton detective to expose a crime boss


TRIVIA NOTE: In 1876, the real W. B. Masterson was a deputy marshal, along side his brother, Jim Masterson with the legendary Wyatt Earp  In 1907, Bat took a job as a sportswriter for the Morning Telegraph in New York City, where he died typing at his desk in 1921.

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