Cracker Jill has arrived at the ballpark. The special edition version of the classic baseball snack, Cracker Jack, has gotten a female makeover with girl-branded bags to celebrate women in sports.
This baseball season, Cracker Jack is donating $200,000 to Women’s Sports Fund, there are five new bags with “Jills” by artist Monica Ahanonu and singer Normani has recorded an updated version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” with the lyrics, “Buy me some peanuts and cracker jill, no one can stop you if you have the will…”
Turns out, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” has always been girl-powered, though. Let us explain.
The sports anthem, usually sung during the seventh-inning stretch of a baseball game, was written by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer in 1908. Norworth dashed out the lyrics on a napkin in just a few minutes while riding a subway train and Von Tilzer later added the music. The pair had never actually attended a baseball game and the song was sung by Norworth’s then wife, Nora Bayes, on the vaudeville circuit. In 1934, the song was played at the World Series and it became a tradition.
The song you know, though, is just the chorus of the original. Before that verse comes the story of Katie Casey, who was simply “mad” about baseball. When a suitor comes calling, Katie will only agree to the date if they go to a baseball game, not the theater as originally proposed. Katie goes to the game, cheers for her favorite players, heckles the umpire and when spirits are low, leads the “gang” in the song, which is when the chorus kicks in for the second time.
In 1927, the pair rewrote the song to feature the tale of Nelly and Joe, who go to a game at Nelly’s urging instead of Coney Island. Nelly would go to the game and “root like any man.” So, you see, it’s been about the baseball gals all along, not the popcorn, darling.
Cracker Jack has been around since the mid-1890s based on the slang “crackerjack,” meaning of excellent quality. The song was giving the snack a little free advertising with the shoutout in the chorus of the tune and it is ever intertwined with baseball season.
So, we’re all for the summer of Cracker Jill, but we hereby petition to bring back all the original verses of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and laud it for the female sports anthem it has always been.