Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Edward Meeker, Harvey Hindermyer, Harpo, etc.

(Credit: Watchdog)

Below are links to vintage audio and video to go along with my feature for Sunday's paper on the 100th anniversary of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

There are links to more versions on the Web page where the column is located, as well as a sidebar on a real, live version of the song's famous baseball fan, Katie Casey. (Check out the YouTube link to Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly singing the obscure 1927 rewrite of the lyrics.)

First, here are the three versions that each hit No. 1 on the charts in the fall of 1908, by Edward Meeker, the Haydn Quartet and Harvey Hindermyer.

My personal favorite is Harpo Marx's version, here in a clip from "I Love Lucy."

Click below for the MLB press release regarding its "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" promotion, in which fans will be invited to compete for a chance to sing the song at the All-Star Game in the Bronx in July.

(UPDATE: Here is a later version of the story from the Sunday paper in which Ball Game is properly written as two words. It also includes the lyrics.)Major League Baseball and Baby Ruth, the Official Candy Bar of Major League Baseball, announced the 2008 MLB season will be ushered in with a nationwide celebration in honor of the 100th anniversary of one of America’s most well-known and well-loved songs, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Beginning Opening Day and continuing throughout Opening Week, Major League Baseball, along with many Major League Clubs, will host in-park searches for the most talented performers of the unofficial anthem of baseball fans everywhere.

Starting on Opening Day and continuing through June, fans will also be able to enter by submitting audio or video clips of their performance to Major League Baseball at MLB.com. Club winners will also be featured on MLB.com.

One fan will have their rendition of this iconic song named as the grand prize winner, and they will have the unique honor of leading the crowd in the singing of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th Inning Stretch of the 2008 All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

Additionally, Baby Ruth will undertake a fan-oriented multi-platform campaign to support the promotion. Details will be announced in early 2008.

In commemoration of this unique anniversary, Baby Ruth will also be releasing a special seven-inch long “stretched” version of the popular candy bar. This limited edition “7th Inning Stretch” Baby Ruth bar will be available during the Major League Baseball season at retailers nationwide.

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was composed on a New York City subway in 1908 by Jack Norworth. Notable recordings of the song include: The Haydn Quartet, with popular tenor Harry MacDonough, who recorded a popular hit rendition of the song in 1908 for Victor Records; and Harry Caray, the Hall of Fame sportscaster who made the song a popular staple of ballpark entertainment beginning in the early 1970’s.

The song was also made popular in the 1949 MGM musical film, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. The original lyrics penned by Norworth in 1908 are part of the collections at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown.

“Singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ is a quintessential part of every ballpark experience and giving our fans a fun and interactive way to honor its 100th anniversary is a perfect way to start the 2008 season,” said Bob DuPuy, President and COO, Major League Baseball. “Baby Ruth knows how to help our fans take time to savor the baseball experience and we are delighted to partner with them to celebrate one of the great American traditions – Opening Day – and this timeless song.”

Baby Ruth will undertake a fan-oriented multi-platform campaign to support the promotion. Details will be announced in early 2008.

“‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ is a song that belongs to baseball fans everywhere," said Hyder Raheem, Marketing Manager for Baby Ruth. “No matter what team you root for, the song has been a part of our collective baseball experience throughout the years. Baby Ruth is thrilled to be able to give fans the opportunity to have some fun and really express their unique style and passion for their teams while also savoring one of the truly great moments in life: the Seventh Inning Stretch."

Tags: baseball

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