How old is “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”?
Baseball fans likely know its familiar refrain by heart, and even non-fans can probably identify it the moment it begins playing. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” has long been part of the fabric of American culture, but even the most ardent fans of America’s pastime may be surprised to learn just how long the song has been around. According to the Library of Congress, the United States Copyright Office first received two copies of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on May 2, 1908. The song has proven so influential and popular over the years that legendary broadcaster and journalist Walter Winchell once asserted that it embodied the very popularity of the sport by painting the ballpark as an “island of innocent excitement in a world of wild despair.” The song is still routinely played at ballparks across the country, and perhaps no park has become more synonymous with the song than Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. During the seventh inning stretch of each game at Wrigley, fans are led by a celebrity and join in singing the song. That nightly sing-along is widely considered one of the most festive traditions in North American professional sports. TF22A404