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“Take Me Out to the Ball Game”: The Story of Katie Casey and Our National Pastime

The little-known story of one of the best known sing-along songs, and its connection to women's suffrage.
Every summer, in ballparks across the country, a familiar refrain is heard during the seventh inning of every game:

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.

Although this memorable chorus of peanuts and Cracker Jack is part of our national consciousness, the song’s little-known verses tell a deeper story, about a woman and her desire to be part of the rooting crowd. Her name was Katie Casey, and in 1908 she was affirmably baseball’s biggest fan.

Katie Casey was base ball 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:

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was Katie’s well known reply, but in 1908, a woman at the ballpark rooting and cheering was neither a common sight, nor was it fully accepted. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” advertises just the opposite: that a woman’s place was indeed in the grandstand at the ballpark and not just safe at home.
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