Podcast Explains History Of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”

May 2nd, 2008 | By | Category: Corporate Podcasts, Podcast Quickies

The latest episode of NYT’s Only In New York podcast celebrates the history of Take Me Out To The Ballgame.

The lyricist was Jack Norworth, a 29-year-old actor and monologist, who was performing that spring at Hammerstein’s in Midtown, and who had already written another classic, “Shine On Harvest Moon.”

Supposedly, Norworth was riding the old Ninth Avenue El when he spotted an ad for the Polo Grounds, the Giants’ home field, in upper Manhattan. For whatever reason, he drew a doodle of a slightly frazzled iconic New Yorker whom he named Katie Casey and wrote in pencil:

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 —

The immortal chorus followed, including the enviable product placement for “Cracker Jack” and the “one … two … three strikes yer out,” which forever glorified not the hit, but the pitch.

The composer was Albert Von Tilzer, a soulful 30-year-old former shoe salesman in Brooklyn — as the authors say, there’s no business like shoe business. His music was being featured at the time in a Lincoln Square Theater burlesque about an Irish politician’s son who falls in love with his father’s German political rival.

You can preview this audio history of baseball’s greatest hit below . The NYT site has a full list of their podcasts.

Image: McBeth

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