October 4th, 2008

krazy koati

Katie Casey was baseball mad

At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, my parents, my aunt, and I started out in a well-organized group that actually got into the entry way (and got little plastic wrist bands) before getting hopelessly separated. Again, my mother wants to see these things as through a jet, and I want to read every label. But the opening exhibit particularly interested me even though in hindsight it's only sort-of connected to Rock and/or Roll.

It was instead a diorama of baseball songs, commemorating the centennial of the composition of Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer's ``Take Me Out To The Ball Game'', which you might have seen mentioned here and there. Surrounding the display was various of the enormously many piles of baseball memorabilia that have accumulated over the past century, including newspapers from back in 1948 when the Indians had a pretty good year. (Not from 1954, though, when they had an even better year except for the whole ``blowing the World Series thing''.)

There was some actual rock-and-roll content, with single records (remember records?) featuring a Padres promotional song from 1984 or things like that. More fascinating to me were sheet music and cover envelopes for ephemera like the 1957 Phil Fooster/Rey Ross song ``Let's Keep The Dodgers In Brooklyn''. Some were more apparently obscure: a tin-pan alley tune named ``Brother Noah Gave Out Checks For Rain'', which casts various figures of the Old Testament into a baseball game and features the sort of cover art that leaves me feeling squeamish but at least doesn't suggest at all that baseball fans might have a slightly overblown attitude about the greatness of the game.

Where I completely lost my parents and aunt was at a listening station which had various songs ready for playing, including a cover of ``Take Me Out To The Ballgame'' as performed by ``Bruce Springstone''. Typo, parody, or Flintstones character? Bit of the last two: it was a 1982 novelty record halted when Hanna-Barbera ceased-and-desisted over the sleeve artwork. But the relevant song here played ``Take Me Out To The Ball Game'' --- 1927 lyrics, incidentally, not the originals --- so that it sounded as much as possible like ``Born To Run'', which fits in fairly well. I would only catch glimpses of my parents after that.

Trivia: Wells, Fargo & Company was the San Francisco agent for the Pony Express line, and itself operated only a short pony express service from Placerville, California, to San Francisco, for only two and a half months. Source: The Saga Of The Pony Express, Joseph J DiCerto.

Currently Reading: Disaster! The Great San Francisco Earthquake And Fire Of 1906, Dan Kurzman.