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The Seasons of Baseball and Love

by Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

“Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out on to the crowds;
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks,

I don't care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,

If they don't win, it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game.”

Spring has sprung!  In the Spring, all things are possible, every team can win the Pennant, and love is born!  In so many ways, Spring is a metaphor for love, and hope, and the boundless promise of the dawn of a new season.  In so many ways, the game of baseball speaks to all of these.  And lest you think we are baseball fans – we are!

First, do you remember that old familiar song, “Take me out to the ball game?”  According to some reputable sources it is the third most sung song in America.  One and two are “Happy Birthday” and “The Star Spangled Banner,” respectively.  We can find no evidence to dispute this notion.

And while most people are familiar with the chorus, almost no one has heard the rest of the popular song written by Jack Norworth in 1908 and revised in 1927.  We have quoted the rest of the song below from the 1927 version.

Nelly Kelly loved baseball games,
Knew the players, knew all their names.
You could see her there ev'ry day,
Shout "Hurray"
when they'd play.
Her boyfriend by the name of Joe

Said, "To Coney Isle, dear, let's go,”
Then Nelly started to fret and pout,

And to him, I heard her shout:


Nelly Kelly was sure some fan,

She would root just like any man,
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along, good and strong.

When the score was just two to two,
Nelly Kelly knew what to do,

Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song


Nelly Kelly was in love with Joe.  But being the independent minded women she apparently was, she told Joe she would rather go to a baseball game with him than join him for a day at Coney Island in New York City.

For those of you who may not know, Coney Island is a neighborhood in the Big Apple and it is home to one of the most well-known and longest running amusement parks in the United States.  During the summer in particular, lovers flock to Coney Island for roller coaster rides, cotton candy, hot dogs, and romance.  It is a destination for lovers both young and old.  You can lose all of your cares and woes at Coney Island, if only for a day.  A lot of budding romances have taken seed at Coney Island, that’s for sure.  But Nelly Kelly it seems found love in the Spring at the baseball park.  More on this notion a little later.

As a metaphor for love, the seasons of the year speak to love in all the right ways.  The seed of love is planted in the Spring, begins to grow as it is nourished by April showers. It blossoms into a beautiful flower in May.  It is nurtured through the Spring and Summer, matures in the Fall, and settles in for Winter.  Love has its seasons.  Love has its Spring of birth, its Summer of love, its Fall of maturity, and its Winter of warmth by a crackling fireplace.  Love is a many splendored thing.  Love is a many seasoned thing.

Now we come to baseball.  Ever notice how baseball fans become convinced in the Spring that this is the year their team is going to win the World Series.  Optimism abounds.  On Opening Day all things seem possible.  The grass is dark green and freshly manicured, the stadium is squeaky clean, the smell of great food permeates the air, and the crack of the bat is a sound you have missed for far too long.  When baseball season begins in the Spring, life begins again for young and old alike.  Baseball begins in Spring for a reason!  And so does love.

Over the years we have marveled at the parallels between the seasons of the year, and baseball and love.  Nelly Kelly certainly had it right – “Take me out to the ballgame.”  She had it all – someone to love, her favorite game, and the seasons of love, life, and baseball to enjoy.  May you enjoy your seasons of baseball and love as we have.

Love Well!