“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (1927 version), by Jack Norworth

The original version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was released in 1908, written on a piece of scrap paper on a train ride into Manhattan.  Because one version of the song just wasn’t enough, in 1927 Jack Norworth changed some of the lyrics of this classic, set again to the music composed by Albert Von Tilzer.

Nelly Kelly love baseball games,
Knew the players, knew all their names,
You could see her there ev’ry day,
Shout “Hurray,” when they’d play.
Her boy friend 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.”

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.

“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.”


This day in baseball: Ruth’s NL debut

Babe Ruth made his National League debut on April 16, 1935 at Braves Field in Boston.  A band played “Jingle Bells” (I wonder whose idea that was?) as snow fell with near-freezing temperatures enveloping the field.  Ruth hit a homer and a single off Giants’ legend Carl Hubbell as the Braves beat New York, 4-2.

babe-ruth-boston-braves

nydailynews.com


Jackie Robinson, football player

Before Jackie Robinson made his mark by breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier, he was a four-sport star at UCLA, playing baseball, football, basketball, and running track.  He remains the only four-letter athlete in the school’s history.  In his final year playing football for the school, Robinson led the Bruins in rushing (383 yards), passing (444 yards), total offense (827 yards), scoring (36 points), and punt return average (21 yards).  You can see a bit of footage from Robinson’s football days at UCLA here:

Robinson even went on to play a bit of semi-pro football.  In September 1941, he moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he played football for the semi-professional Honolulu Bears for $100 a game. His career with the Bears was cut short, however, when Robinson was drafted into the Army during World War II.

After World War II, Robinson briefly returned to football with the Los Angeles Bulldogs.  He then was offered a job as athletic director at Samuel Houston College in Austin, and as part of that role, he coached the basketball team for the 1944-1945 season.

It was in early 1945 that the Kansas City Monarchs offered Jackie a place on their team in the Negro Leagues.  Robinson then signed with the minor league Montreal Royals following the 1945 season.

The rest, as we know, is history.

 

jackie-robinson

biography.com

 

Happy Jackie Robinson Day!


Water baseball

I found this photograph while browsing the Library of Congress catalog.  Taken in July 1914, it depicts a group of men playing baseball in a large body of water off the beach.  There’s no notation as far as an exact location, unfortunately.  They appear to be playing ball in the ocean, but there are plenty of large lakes and other relatively-smaller bodies of water in existence large enough to not be able to see the shore on the other side.  Regardless, the idea of playing baseball in the water, with other factors such as the tide, rocks, and seaweed, sounds like a fun and interesting twist on the game.  Just keep your fingers crossed that your outfield doesn’t get eaten by sharks!

water baseball


Charlie Brown hits a home run

On March 30, 1993, this strip came out in which Charlie Brown hit a game-winning home run off pitcher Royetta Hobbs.  Knowing how the game typically goes for poor Charlie Brown, and seeing how ecstatically he celebrates here, kind of makes me wish I’d been at the ballpark to congratulate him.

charlie brown homer


This day in baseball: First Fenway game

The first game ever played at Fenway Park took place on April 9, 1912. In an exhibition contest played in the cold and the snow, Crimson third baseman and captain Dana Wingate became the first batter in the Boston ballpark, being struck out on a fastball by Casey Hageman. 3,000 fans braved the wintery weather to watch the shortened contest.

fenway

supermetal.com


Infographic: Big Data & Baseball Statistics

Someone (unknown) once commented, “Baseball is an island of activity amidst a sea of statistics.”  There’s no doubt statistics drive the game.  Here’s a good general timeline on how that has played out over the years.

baseball data