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Jack Norworth & Take Me Out to the Ball Game

In addition to co-writing Shine On, Harvest Moon, Jack Norworth also co-wrote Take Me Out to the Ball Game with Albert Von Tilzer. This song is sung during the seventh-inning stretch at just about every Major League Baseball game (and probably a lot of minor league and college games, as well). One of the songwriters (I think it was Norworth) got the idea for the song from a subway advertisement. He had never seen a baseball game, but wrote the song that has been associated with the game ever since.

Frank Aronoff of Laguna Beach, California, sent the following additional information:

Jack Norworth's other legacy to baseball is his founding of the Laguna Beach Little League in 1952. Cracker Jacks honored Jack on the 50th anniversary of writing the lyrics by giving LBLL the Jack Norworth Trophy. This was presented to Jack at a 1958 Dodgers game along with life passes to ML Baseball. The trophy is still awarded each year to the league champions. Jack's other tradition is still in place after 46 seasons: every ball player is given a box of Cracker Jacks at opening day ceremonies.

The information below was found at http://www.baseball-almanac.com/poetry/po_stmo.shtml

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 composed the 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 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 music.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game - 1908 Version
Author: Jack Norworth
Composer: Albert Von Tilzer
Published on: 1908, 1927
Published by: York Music Company

Katie Casey was base ball mad.
Had the fever and had it bad;
Just to root for the home town crew,
Evry sou Katie blew.
On a Saturday, he 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, your out,
At the old ball game."

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. 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 in the broadcast booth the following day to allow ALL the fans to hear him. Veeck explained to Caray, "Harry, anybody in 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 in!"

From http://theiceberg.com/artist/25009/jack_norworth.html


b. 5 January 1879, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 1 September 1959, Laguna Beach, California, USA. A songwriter, producer, and all-round entertainer in the musical theatre, Norworth started out as a black-faced comedian, and spent several years in minstrel shows and vaudeville at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1906, he appeared in Lew Fields's elaborate vaudeville revue About Town, and two years later joined contralto Nora Bayes - his second wife - in Florenz Ziegfeld's Follies Of 1908. They introduced their most famous composition, "Shine On Harvest Moon", in that show, and were together again in Follies Of 1909, The Jolly Bachelors (1910), Little Miss Fix-It (1911), and Roly Poly (1912). In the early years of World War I Norworth was in London, where he starred in productions such as Hullo Tango (taking over during the run in 1914), Rosy Rapture-The Pride Of the Beauty Chorus and Looking Around (both 1915), specializing in tongue-twisting numbers such as "Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts For Soldiers" (R.P. Weston-Herman Darewski) and "Which Switch Is The Switch, Miss, For Ipswich?" (Darewski-F.W. Mark). He made his final Broadway appearance in Odds And Ends (1917), which he also co-produced. Norworth's other compositions with Bayes included "Turn Off Your Light, Mr. Moon-Man", "Fancy You Fancying Me", "I'm Sorry", and "Young America". He also wrote the lyrics for composer Albert von Tilzer's immensely popular "Take Me Out To The Ball Game", and other numbers such as "Honey Boy", "Smarty", and "Good Evening, Caroline". Norworth and Bayes's most famous song, "Shine On Harvest Moon", was sung by Ruth Etting in the Ziegfeld Follies Of 1931, and it was the title of the Norworth-Bayes 1944 film biography, which starred Ann Sheridan and Dennis King. In 1948 Norworth was still reported to be active in benefit shows, as well as running a novelty shop in California.