Baseball's most famous song

For kids: Did you know that 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' was written 100 years ago aboard a train?

Charles Cherney/Chicago Tribune/Newscom/File
All together: Announcer Harry Caray led fans at Chicago's Wrigley Field in singing 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' in 1988.

Sitting in bleacher seats, middle of the seventh inning, you hear "Get your popcorn! Get your peanuts!" Then music rings out over the baseball diamond. Time to stand up and sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

Ever wonder about that song everyone loves to sing? One hundred years ago, before electronic scoreboards flashed home runs, before television, before your parents and grandparents were born, Jack Norworth wrote the words. When he dreamed them up in 1908, he had never been to a ballgame!

Although Norworth had written more than 2,500 songs, including the famous singalong "Shine on, Harvest Moon," he's mostly remembered for this baseball song.

As he later recalled, he'd just stepped onboard a New York City subway train when he noticed a sign announcing "Baseball Today – Polo Grounds." Words popped into his head, he patted his pockets searching for scrap paper, and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was born.

The song gained popularity in early movie theaters called nickelodeons. Since the movies had no sound, an organ usually played in the background. "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was a favorite.

Norworth's subway ride that day lasted just 30 minutes, enough time to write one of the most famous songs in America. The next time you stand up to sing "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack – I don't care if I never get back!" thank Jack Norworth and his subway ride.

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