SABR

Heller: Baseball's greatest musicial hit

From Dick Heller at The National Pastime Museum on August 19, 2013:

The tune is simplistic, corny and old-fashioned. A child of five or so can rattle it off with no sweat.  When it comes to musical accomplishment, this banal ditty makes something like “Hail to the Redskins” sound like “Stardust.”

Yet for 105 years, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” has been, for better or worse, baseball’s national anthem.

Tin Pan Alley songwriter Jack Norworth was riding a New York City subway one day in the spring of 1908 when he spotted a sign reading “Baseball Today — Polo Grounds.” Immediately inspired, Norworth grabbed a piece of scrap paper and began scribbling the first verse of a song for his wife, vaudeville actress Nora Bayes.

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Norworth wrote the song in 15 minutes, and it was time well spent. Today, nobody remembers most of the 2,500 other tunes he turned out, but this quick effort is played and sung during the seventh-inning stretch at most games. Heck, it even survived the croaky version warbled over the P.A. system at Wrigley Field by longtime Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/magic-moments-baseballs-greatest-musical-hit

This page was last updated August 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm MST.

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