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1908 Recording of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"

posted Nov 19, 2012, 12:02 PM by Holloway McCandless
Fenway Baseball Park 2012 
Fenway Park on a rainy night in September 2012 (not a season to linger over)

Messing around on YouTube I found a 1908 recording of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" sung by Edwin Meeker and illustrated with old-timey photos of baseball parks. Apparently the sports fan's head covering de rigueur in those days was a straw boater. 

One of the coolest things in the video is a handwritten page with Jack Norwood's lyrics (just past the 1 minute marker). I have no idea if the facsimile in the YouTube video is Norwood's actual handwriting and doodles, but it does show that the song should be sung by a female voice. The first verse, now rarely performed by seventh-inning enthusiasts or anyone else, portrays one baseball-mad "Katie Casey" as the protagonist of the song. It's Katie who tells her beau that she doesn't want to go to a show, she wants to go to a ball game. Here's an interesting write-up of the history of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at the Baseball Hall of Fame website.