“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was written by Jack Norworth in 1908 after seeing a billboard for a baseball game. The song was popularized by vaudeville singers and wasn’t played during baseball games until 1934. Norworth attended his first baseball game in 1940 and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. A monument was installed in his honor in 2010.
Jack Norworth, who wrote the lyrics to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in 1908, hadn’t attended a single baseball game before writing the song. Norworth was inspired to write the song after seeing a billboard for a baseball game at the Polo Grounds while riding the New York City subway. He later worked with his friend and composer, Albert Von Tilzer, to set the lyrics to music. The original song describes Kelly that she only accepts a date if the man takes her to a baseball game. The song was popularized by vaudeville singers, but wasn’t played during baseball games until 1934 at a high school game in Los Angeles and a major league game later that year. Norworth finally went to his first baseball game in 1940 and didn’t hear the song about him at a baseball game until 1958 for the song’s 50th anniversary.
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Norworth was born Jack Godfrey Knauff, but changed his name when he entered show business.
He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
In 2010, baseball fans who learned that Norworth wrote the famous seventh inning song raised money to have a granite monument installed at Melrose Abbey Memorial Park in Anaheim, California, commemorating Norworth.