Barnett: Documenting baseball history and a feminist revolution through music

From David C. Barnett at Ideastream on October 28, 2016:

After playing to a draw on the North Coast, the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs take their World Series fight to the Windy City, this weekend.  When it comes to baseball battles, music has played a big part in lifting team spirit, for over a century.  Bands, organ players and popular recordings have helped inspire both fans and players of America’s Pastime.  

Some fans show their sports pride by wearing team jackets and caps.   Others go as far as painting their faces.  And still others just sing.

Daniel Goldmark has dozens of sports songs in his voluminous collection of sheet music.  As director of the Center for Popular Music Studies, and as a professor at Case Western Reserve University, Goldmark and his students explore how cultural trends are reflected in music.


A musical artifact of the New Woman movement is the 1908 song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.   Baseball fans know it as soundtrack of the seventh-inning stretch in almost every professional ballpark in the U.S..  What most modern listeners probably don’t realize is that the familiar tune is actually about a forward-thinking young woman, named Katie Casey, who longed to visit a ball park where she was free to be herself, unbound by cultural expectations of the era.

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Originally published: November 1, 2016. Last Updated: November 1, 2016.