Major League Baseball teams are auditioning fans such as this one for the chance to perform "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at the All-Star Game in June.
It's baseball season again, and that means it's time for pop flies, cotton candy and, of course, the seventh-inning stretch. But another baseball tradition is coming alive: The song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" turns 100 this year.
To commemorate the anniversary, Major League Baseball teams are auditioning their fans to find the most talented performers of that iconic song. The winner will have a chance to lead the crowd at this summer's All-Star Game. At Turner Field in Atlanta, home of the Braves, the search has taken on the proportions of an American Idol contest.
On the Terrace Level, across from aisle 228, there's a makeshift audition booth with lights, video cameras and a microphone. People are lining up to belt out their own version of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
While a few have had star quality, there are plenty of lame acts. Some have forgotten the words. Some just walk away, unable to stand the pressure of performing. Some sing their own renditions — like Marvele Spader, whose version was perhaps inspired by rapper MC Hammer.
While many fans are out just to enjoy the moment and have fun, one contestant, Jason Rice, thinks the contest has a bigger meaning. "To go up on top of the dugout and lead 45,000 people in a chant that everybody knows, is a big honor," Rice says. To cover his bases, Rice sings his version in Spanish.