The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Take Me Out: Baseball Rocks!

Open April 26, 2008 - September 28, 2008

This exhibit celebrates baseball as a pop-culture phenomenon through displays of sheet music, sports memorabilia, records and film. It also includes listening stations stocked with early recordings and will include displays on baseball-associated songs from “I Love Mickey,” Teresa Brewer’s 1956 Mickey Mantle tribute, to the Seattle Mariners/New York Mets anthem “Who Let the Dogs Out?” (Baha Men, 2000). A second area covers the early to mid 20th century and focus on musical tributes to Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Larry Doby, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and entire teams such as the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees.

In addition, the exhibit includes artifacts related to baseball players who were also musicians, like the Milwaukee Braves’ Lee Maye, who enjoyed a successful career as an R&B singer in the mid-Fifties. Rock and roll references to baseball, from Chuck Berry’s “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” to John Fogerty’s “Centerfield,” are also featured.

Other artifact highlights are:

  • Sheet music for the 1911 version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
  • Baseball cards representing players who also had music careers, like Denny McLain (Detroit) and Jack McDowell (Cleveland).
  • Signed balls and bats from the 1997 American League champion Cleveland Indians, members of whom performed at yearly “TribeJam” charity rock concerts, featuring Omar Vizquel on drums and Mark Langston on guitar.

A final section features a collection of filmed interviews with individual Cleveland Indians players, such as Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner, who explain why they chose particular songs to represent them when they are up at bat.

This exhibit is presented in part with the generous support of the Cleveland Indians and Major League Baseball Charities.

Exhibit Details

“We’ve been visiting the Rock Hall for three years, about two times per year. Your displays are fabulous and we learn something new each time we’re here...It’s even allowing us to teach our 9-year-old son about all music...So do we think it’s worth a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Dayton, Ohio in the pouring rain? You bet! Rock on.” “Wow - This is the music of our lives. This place is awesome - extremely impressive. We grew up on Alan Freed, Bandstand and Cousin Brucie. Keep up the good work - we’ll be back.”

- Jamaica, New York