Today is the 130th birthday of Jack Norworth.You've probably never heard of him.
The man never played a game, maybe never ever saw a game, but he has had as indelible in impact on the game of baseball today as almost anyone.
Still don't know who he is? Here's the explanation from Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac.
And it's the birthday of Jack Norworth, (books by this author) born in Philadelphia in 1879. Jack Norworth had never been to a baseball game, but one day in 1908, he was riding the subway and he saw a sign that said "Baseball Today — Polo Grounds," and he started thinking of baseball lyrics. He wrote them down on a piece of scratch paper, and then took them to the composer Albert Von Tilzer, another man who had never seen a baseball game, who went ahead and wrote the music. And the song became very famous: "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
Norworth also wrote "Shine on Harvest Moon". But TMOTTBG was his biggest hit, one of the top songs of 1908. Legend has it that it is the third most-often-played song in the country, after the National Anthem and Happy Birthday.
So here's to you, Mr. Norworth. Baseball wouldn't have been quite as fun without you.