“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.”
Cleveland County has caught baseball fever now that the American Legion Baseball World Series calls Shelby, NC home from August 17th-21st. I catch myself humming a hauntingly familiar melody that is baseball’s informal hymn.
In 1908, two songwriters from New York’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’ wrote the timeless tune, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Lyricist Jack Norworth and composer Albert von Tilzer worked together to create a song that would connect itself to the game eternally. Over the last 104 years, American culture assimilated “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as baseball’s unofficial anthem. As tradition has it, between the top and bottom of the 7th inning of a ballgame, a short break is taken for both the players and fans. During this time, the crowd finds a renewed inspiration stretching and singing which is where it got the nickname, ‘the 7th inning stretch.’
Usually accompanied by organ, this song was first recorded by Edward Meeker in 1908. Since then, a long roster has performed this song, featuring names like Frank Sinatra, Harry Caray, and even the alternative rock band, the Goo Goo Dolls.
In 1941, the emergence of organists at baseball games swept the nation. These musicians could add magical dimensions to an otherwise rowdy stadium by improvising melodies and songs as the game was played. In the 1990s, many organists were out of work, being replaced by recorded music. Some stadiums have kept then tradition alive and feature live organists who watch the game from video monitors.
Calling all students songwriters, musicians and singers! We are looking for submissions to be showcased in our Cleveland County Artists feature: