Baseball on the Brain

In the song shown here, a local coroner, a former umpire, and a jury of baseball fans certify that an unclaimed corpse has died of “baseball on the brain.” The corpse’s ghost goes on to haunt the ballpark at night, except during the off-season, when it spends the winter in Florida.

E. E. Hummer and J. T. Nealon. “Baseball on the Brain.” Chicago: Nealon and Hummer, 1910. Sheet music. Music Division, Library of Congress (033.00.00)

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Baseball in the Heart

In this song, the Empire City Quartettte, a famous burlesque group, is featured by noted Tin Pan Alley music publisher, singer, and comedian Harry Cooper. The classic cover art personifies the coupling of baseball with popular American music.

Joe Cooper and George Moriarity. “I Can’t Miss That Ball Game.” New York: Harry Cooper Music Pub. Co., 1910. Sheet music. Music Division, Library of Congress (034.00.00)

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Baseball Fever

In this song, the term “baseball bug” in the title was synonymous with “baseball fever.” Both expressions refer to a condition incurred by baseball fans in the early spring that only subsides after the last autumn leaves blow away.

Nellie Nichols. “Base-Ball Bug.” New York, NY: Ted Snyder Co., 1911. Sheet music. Music Division, Library of Congress (035.00.00)

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Fans and the Color Line

The song shown here, published in 1913, is the earliest example of a baseball sheet music cover depicting a black baseball player. It would take more than three decades until black baseball fans could see black baseball players alongside white players in the major leagues.

Genevieve Scott and Clarence Allen. “The Baseball Fan.” Washington, D.C.: H. Kirkus Dugdale Co., 1913. Sheet music. Music Division, Library of Congress. (032.00.00)

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