Did the First Song About Baseball Come Out Before the Civil War Even?

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

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, that’s not even CLOSE to the oldest song about baseball!

Read on to see what was the first song ever published about baseball!

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…


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

2 Responses to “Did the First Song About Baseball Come Out Before the Civil War Even?”

  1. It’s not surprising that some songwriter tried to latch on to the popularity of baseball so soon. EVERY person, place or thing of note could immediately become the subject of a bunch of hack songwriters. Kind of the Internet Meme of the 19th Century. As Charles Foster Kane said, “You can’t buy a bag of peanuts in this town without someone writing a song about you.”

  2. Excellent point, Mark.

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