Waleik: How the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ became a baseball mainstay

From Gary Waleik at WBUR on August 31, 2018, with mention of SABR member John Thorn:


John Thorn is the Official Historian for Major League Baseball. He has strong feelings about the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I think it is a terrible song,” Thorn says. “It is interesting that a song that is so frequently sung — and so frequently sung badly — has not aroused more protest against its very existence.”

So how did the song even come to be played before every game?

The 1917 baseball season began five days after the United States entered World War I. Fans more inclined to think about the national pastime than about the national crisis worried about how the military draft would affect Major League rosters.

Read the full article here: http://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2018/08/31/star-spangled-banner-national-anthem-1918-world-series

Originally published: September 7, 2018. Last Updated: September 7, 2018.