Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Issue Date: July 16, 2008
City: Washington, DC
Baseball’s unofficial anthem, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” was written in 1908 by Jack Norworth with a melody by Albert Von Tilzer. Neither had ever seen a baseball game before writing the song.
Inspired by a sign on the subway that said, “Baseball Today – Polo Grounds,” Norworth got an idea for a skit involving a woman who was more of a baseball fan than the boys. Norworth wrote the song during the 30-minute subway ride, and then asked Von Tilzer to compose a melody. The song was published in May, but was not recorded until October.
The two verses of the song are about a pretty girl named Katie Casey who asks her beau to take her to a ball game rather than a show. The female point of view made the song a hit with women, who bought the sheet music to play on the piano.
In the 1970s, Chicago White Sox announcer Harry Caray and owner Bill Veeck made the song a baseball tradition. Veeck suggested that Caray sing the song over the loudspeaker and now the song is the anthem of the seventh inning stretch in nearly every major and minor league baseball park.
In 2008, the U.S. Postal Service commemorated the 100th anniversary of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” with a 42¢ stamp.