No matter what your age, listening to “Take Me out to the Ball Game” always brings upon a smile to your face.

And with baseball season just around the corner, let’s take a stroll down baseball’s memory lane to discover where this classic originated…

Cubs Announcer Harry Caray

You can’t speak of baseball’s infamous song without the mention of Hall of Fame Sports Caster Harry Caray.

For those who don’t know, Caray was responsible for making the singing of the song a 7th inning tradition with fans.

Apparently, Caray was so enthusiastic about singing the song, his radio producer in the early 70’s turned on Caray’s mic without his knowledge, and thus the fan favorite tradition was born.

During his tenure with 4 MLB franchises (White Sox, Cubs, Cardinals and A’s),  Caray made the song famous by inserting the home team’s name for “the home team” in the song’s lyric, a ritual practiced by many baseball fans around the country.

Coincidentally, the year the song was written (1908) is the last year the Cubs won the World Series.

The Original Song

-Was originally written in 1908 by Jack Norworth with another version written in 1927

-The “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” as we know it today, was actually the chorus of the original songs. The following are the versions from 1908 and 1927 side by side for comparison

1908 Version
Katie Casey was baseball mad,
Had the fever and had it bad.
Just to root for the home town crew,
Ev’ry sou1
Katie blew.
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:”
1927 Version
Nelly Kelly loved baseball games,
Knew the players, knew all their names.
You could see her there ev’ry day,
Shout “Hurray”
When they’d play.
Her boyfriend by the name of Joe
Said, “To Coney Isle, dear, let’s go”,
Then Nelly started to fret and pout,
And to him, I heard her shout:

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:
Nelly Kelly was sure some fan,
She would root just like any man,
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along,
Good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Nelly Kelly knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song:
[repeat Chorus]



Fun Facts

-At Dodgers stadium the song’s chorus is played and sung twice, but the second time is done a half-step higher.

-During the April 17, 2008 Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres 22 inning game, the song was played at the 14th Inning Stretch and once again at the PETCO Park unprecedented 21st Inning Stretch.

-On January 1, 2009, the NHL held the Winter Classic outdoor game at Wrigley Field including a version of Take Me Out to the Ball Game performed half-way through the third period by Ryne Sandberg, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard. Though, the lyrics were altered in reference to hockey rather than baseball. (“Root Root Root for the Blackhawks”)


There are always exceptions…

After Harry Caray passed away, the Cubs tradition of having someone sing the infamous song was kept. And sometimes, previous singing experience isn’t a requirement.

I always wonder what the team’s PR representative is doing while someone bombs on a traditional song. Are they laughing, angry, sobbing or just packing up their desk?

Here’s the former Cowboys/Bears coach and now announcer, Mike Ditka, giving the tradition a go some years back:


Other Hilarious Renditions of Take Me Out to the Ball Game….

Mr. T Rendention–I have no words…simply amazing and everything I ever imagined.

Ozzy Ozbourne–A simple song such as this is a little too much for Ozzy and the meds.

Jeff Gordon-– He was doomed when he said Wrigley “Stadium” instead of Field but he didn’t even have the balls to sing out the song. He deserved the boo’s.


The most beautiful version has no words at all

As much as I hate all things Yankee, Bernie Williams has a beautiful guitar rendition of the song.

Skip the first 17 seconds and just close your eyes if you don’t want the images of Bernie and the old Yankee stadium to ruin a perfectly good song.