Was the First Published Song About Baseball Written Before the Civil War?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about music and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the movie urban legends featured so far.

MUSIC/BASEBALL URBAN LEGEND: The first published baseball song pre-dates the Civil War!

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is now over one hundred years old. And yet, there was a song that pre-dated that tune by fifty years! Before the United States Civil War!

In the earliest days of baseball, teams were pretty much just based in New York. One of those teams was founded in the Niagara area by Jim Creighton. Polka were a very popular style of song during the 1850s and 1860s, so in 1858, the first year that the Niagara baseball club began to play, J. R. Blodgett composed and published the very first published song about baseball, “Baseball Polka.”

Polkas about baseball were quite popular over the next decade or so. Here’s one from 1867…

Isn’t it amazing to think of a published baseball song pre-dating “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” by FIFTY YEARS?!

The legend is…

STATUS: True

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

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