Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Updated on March 12, 2019
Deborah Minter profile image

Deborah is a research enthusiast! She takes special interest in the world's ancient mysteries.

“Take me out to the ballgame” is a song that is sung at baseball games across America. It is part of the tradition of baseball to sing the chorus in the seventh inning. The inspiration for the tune is charming in its creation.


In 1908, Jack Norworth, a 29-year-old songwriter, was riding a subway to Manhattan, New York. The impulse to write all started when Norworth glanced out the window and saw a billboard that read “Baseball today-polo grounds.” With a spark of inspiration, he wrote out the lyrics to “Take me out to the ballgame.” It took him 15 minutes to write out the lyrics on a scrap of paper. His composer friend Albert Von Tilzer added the melody, which in turn was published by the New York music company. They were both part of the Tin Pan Alley musicians of New York at that time. The baseball melody was an instant hit in 1908. Edward Meeker recorded the song for Edison Phonograph Company; it became the hit record top song in the country for seven weeks, and the most popular song of that year.

Jack Norworth and Norah Bayes
Jack Norworth and Norah Bayes

Take Me Out To the Ballgame

The song is about a fictional young woman named Katie Casey who wants to go to the ball game. The tune celebrates shots of the game with, “For its one, two, three strikes, and you’re out.”

Katie Casey is invited out on a date by her young beau, which she responds, “You know what you can do,”… “Take me out to the ballgame.” Katie’s request makes the eight lines of the chorus that ballparks are familiar with. The song is usually sung beginning at “Take me out to the ballgame.” The opening verse is actually “Katie Casey was baseball mad, had the fever and had it bad.’’

The song, although written by a man, is told from the perspective of a young woman asking for admission to a baseball game that at the time was considered a male recreation. It has been historically thought of as a woman’s liberation song, because of Katie’s wish to attend a ballgame.

"Take Me Out To the Ballgame," became the most popular song of 1908.
"Take Me Out To the Ballgame," became the most popular song of 1908.


The original lyrics to “Take Me out to the ballgame,” included the story of Katie Casey:

Katie Casey was baseball mad

Had the fever and had it bad.

Just to root for the home town crew,

Ev’ry sou 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.”

More of Katie Casey is mentioned in a forgotten verse:

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:

The lyrics we have all become familiar with at baseball games:

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 ever 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…!

Baseball cards of everyone's favorite players, were given out, in Cracker Jack boxes.
Baseball cards of everyone's favorite players, were given out, in Cracker Jack boxes.

7th Inning

The song has been considered the baseball anthem. It was first performed at a baseball game in 1934, and then later that year at a Major League Baseball game. The tradition of singing this baseball anthem in the seventh inning first took place in 1946. The band struck up the song during a game while fans stood for the seventh inning stretch.

Chicago announcer Harry Caray occasionally sung the tune in the seventh inning. On opening day in 1976, Bill Veeck noticed fans singing along with Caray, so a secret microphone was placed in the broadcast booth the following day. Caray started singing the song over the microphone, and a tradition was born. Fans now sing “Take me out to the ballgame,” on the 7th inning, at virtually every baseball game in America.

Chicago announcer Harry Caray, occasionally sung "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," in the seventh inning.
Chicago announcer Harry Caray, occasionally sung "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," in the seventh inning.


Jack Norworth attended his first Major League Baseball game on June 27, 1940, 32 years after writing the song. On the 15th anniversary of his song, Major League Baseball, Inc. presented Norworth with a gold lifetime ball park pass. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is now sung at every Major League Baseball game.

  • 2001- “Take me out to the Ballgame” was named the number 8 on the “songs of the century” list.

  • “Take me out to the Ballgame” is the 3rd most frequently sung tune in America.

Questions & Answers


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      • Kosmo profile image

        Kelley Marks 

        21 months ago from California

        Hey, I didn't know the song had so many words. I guess they had to shorten it so it could be sung in a short period of time, that is, between innings. Anyway, thanks for the memories!...


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