If you have ever attended a baseball game, you likely participated in one of baseball’s oldest traditions, singing, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the 7th inning stretch. The song has been part of the collective experience of baseball fans for decades.
The song was written by a vaudeville entertainer, Jack Norworth, on scrap paper in about 15-minutes on a train ride to Manhattan, New York in 1908. Albert Von Tilzer composed the music and the rest is history. Mr. Norworth wrote an alternative version of the song in 1927. The most recognized part of the song is the chorus which is what is sung at ballparks around the country. The complete version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” follows:
Katie Casey was baseball mad,
Had the fever and had it bad.
Just to root for the home town crew,
On a Saturday her young beau
Called to see if she’d like to go
To see a show, but Miss Kate said “No,
I’ll tell you what you can do:”
Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.
Katie Casey saw all the games,
Knew the players by their first names.
Told the umpire he was wrong,
Good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Katie Casey knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song:
Of the many versions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, my favorite is Carly Simon’s rendition which was produced for Ken Burns’ 1994 documentary Baseball.
Fans can also add a comprehensive history of the song to their baseball library by purchasing, Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. http://www.amazon.com/Baseballs-Greatest-Hit-Story-Take/dp/142343188X