The Story Behind ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’

ST. LOUIS (CBS News) – Everyone knows the seventh-inning stretch song, but there is a love story behind it.

The 1908 ditty was the work of Tin Pan Alley songwriter Jack Norworth.

“It’s sort of a happy, happy tune,” said Paula Homan, who runs the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum. “I think the song really lives in baseball. It’s so enmeshed now with so many people’s baseball experiences.”

Matthew Barton, of the Library of Congress, says he loves old recordings because “they bring you in touch with the drama of history.”

There’s an opening verse to the old song — “Katie Casey was baseball mad, had the fever and had it bad” –that is long forgotten, although historically significant.

“Katie Casey is a fictional young lady,” Homan said. “She was invited out on a date by her young beau.”

That’s right — the song every fan sings was written from the perspective of a young woman insisting on admission to what back then was a mostly male preserve.

So, was “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” a call for women’s liberation?

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