The most enduring song to come out of the game of baseball was written by two guys who had never seen a game. Tin Pan Alley's Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer wrote the tune in 1908. At the time, composers like Norworth were trying to write popular songs that would sell a lot of sheet music. Norworth did not have an interest in baseball, but in this time before mass media, going to a game was a shared experience that made good subject matter for a song.
There were many other baseball songs of the era, including one written two years earlier called "It's Great At A Baseball Game," but "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" is the one that caught on. Norworth was married to a famous vaudeville singer named Nora Bayes, which gave him a huge advantage in promoting his songs.
By 1930, Vaudeville was dead, but the song lived on. In 1934, nearly 30 years after it was written, the song finally made its debut at a baseball game in St. Louis during the World Series.
Jerry Silverman, author of The Baseball Songbook
, told us: "It's an easy song to sing, obviously. It's a nice, catchy melody, a nice bouncing three-quarter-time song. But there's no intrinsic value to the song. I mean, it's just another pop song."