Contest Marks Baseball Anthem's 100th Year

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the classic "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Steve Inskeep reports Major League Baseball is celebrating with a singing contest.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now, we just can't seem to break away from our national pastime this morning. And why would we, when we can listen to songs like this?

(Soundbite of song, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame")

Unidentified Man #1: (Singing) Take me out to the ballgame.

INSKEEP: This year marks the 100th birthday of an American classic, the song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Did we even need to name it? Major League Baseball is celebrating the anniversary with a singing contest.

(Soundbite of song, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame")

Unidentified Man #2: Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks...

INSKEEP: And, these are some of the entrants. The winner gets to lead this song for the crowd at next week's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

(Soundbite of song, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame")

Unidentified Man #3: Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks. I don't care if I ever get back.

INSKEEP: Anybody was able to audition - anybody. So we have a kind of barbershop rap artist.

(Soundbite of song, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame")

Unidentified Group: (Singing) Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks. I don't care if I ever get back.

INSKEEP: And we have another contestant, a mom in a Yankees jersey who sings while holding a baby on her hand.

(Soundbite of song, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame")

Unidentified Woman: (Singing) So it's root, root, root for the home team.

INSKEEP: Maybe this contestant is a Bob Dylan fan.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: The people who sponsored this contest contend that thousands of people entered, and the people we're listening to are the semi finalists. Yesterday, the shortlist of nine was wheedled down to three. And among them is the ensemble we heard from at the very top, Adam and Fred Wilbur(ph) of Medford, New York, playing that great classic combo, the ukulele and the sousaphone.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Man #4: (Singing) Won't you please, please, please vote for me, won't you...

INSKEEP: This could only be MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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