As the Chicago Cubs advance toward the team’s first World Series in more than a century, Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra root, root, root for the home team with a spirited rendition of the theme song of the Major Leagues, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”*
Fun facts: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was also written in 1908 — the year of the Cubs’ last World Series — by Tin Pan Alley composers Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer and published by the York Music Company. Legend has it that neither Norworth nor von Tilzer had ever attended a game before they penned the tune. To mark the song’s 50th anniversary, Major League Baseball officials presented a Norworth (then 79) with a gold lifetime ball-park pass.
In 2001, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” came in at No. 8 on the “Songs of the Century” list, compiled by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. The song, of course, became a national phenomenon, thanks to a Chicago legend. In 1971, longtime announcer Harry Caray introduced the tradition of singing the song during the seventh-inning stretch. After years as the voice of the White Sox, Caray changed teams, and in 1982, switched to the Cubs. And it was Caray who kept the faith, proclaiming in 1991: “As sure as God made green apples, the Cubs are going to be in the World Series again.”