Take Me Out to the Ball Game

In 1858, the first known baseball song was written, "The Base Ball Polka!" It was not quite as famous as Jack Norworth's 1908 classic, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", which was written on some scrap paper on a train ride to Manhattan, New York. Norworth then provided those paper scrap lyrics to Albert Von Tilzer who composedthe music which in turn was published by the York Music Company and before the year was over, a hit song was born.

Jack Norworth was a very successful vaudeville entertainer / songwriter and spent fifteen minutes writing this classic which is sung during the seventh inning stretch at nearly every ball park in the country. In 1927, he changed some lyrics and a second version appeared. Baseball Almanac is proud to present both versions and an actual print of the original sheet music cover.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"In the seventh inning fans all get up and sing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game,' and they're already there. It's really a stupid thing to say and I don't know who made 'em sing it. Why would somebody that's there get up and sing take me out to the ball game? The first person to do it must have been a moron." - Pitcher Larry Anderson

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Original 1908 Cover
(Click for Larger Version)

1908 Version

Katie Casey was base ball mad.
Had the fever and had it bad;
Just to root for the home town crew,
Ev'ry sou Katie blew.
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,
All along 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:

"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."

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

1927 Version

Nelly Kelly love baseball games,
Knew the players, knew all their names,
You could see her there ev'ry day,
Shout "Hurray," when they'd play.
Her boy friend by the name of Joe
Said, "To Coney Isle, dear, let's go,"
Then Nelly started to fret and pout,
And to him I heard her shout.

"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."

Nelly Kelly was sure some fan,
She would root just like any man,
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along, good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Nelly Kelly knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song.

"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."

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

On the fiftieth anniversary of his song, Major League Baseball, Inc. presented Jack Norworth — who attended his first Major League ballgame on June 27, 1940 (Brooklyn Dodgers 5 vs. Chicago Cubs 4) — with a gold lifetime ball park pass.

Click the player to Hear Organ Version

Click the player to Hear Traditional Version

Click the player to Hear Big Band Version

Click the player to Hear Mandolin Version

Click the player to Hear Goo Goo Dolls Version

Click the player to Hear Ed Meeker Version

Click the player to Hear Orchestral Version

Click the player to Hear Mike Ditka Version

Harry Caray, who is credited with singing it first at a ball game in 1971, once said, "I would always sing it, because I think it's the only song I knew the words to!" On Opening Day in 1976 Bill Veeck noticed the fans were singing along with Caray so a secret microphone was placed the broadcast booth the following day to allow ALL the fans to hear him. Veeck explained to Caray, "Harry, anybody the ballpark hearing you sing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' knows that he can sing as well as you can. Probably better than you can. So he or she sings along. Hell, if you had a good singing voice you'd intimidate them, and nobody would join!"

Did you know that Jack Norworth wrote over 2,500 songs, including "Shine On, Harvest Moon", and several other baseball songs, but none more famous than "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"?

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