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Home Run Records

New exhibit lets you listen to yesteryear's songbook about today's most popular sport.

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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has hit the ball out of the park by pairing music and America's favorite pastime in Take Me Out: Baseball Rocks, which is on display until the end of September. And the concept first materialized at a Tribe game last year, when Rock Hall staffers wondered aloud why players chose certain songs to be played as they walked up to the plate. "It started out as a pipe dream," says Meredith Rutledge, the museum's assistant curator. "We thought it would be interesting to do an exhibit, but I was doubtful there would be a lot of material. As it turns out, there was too much, and I had to eliminate some of it." The memorabilia that made the cut include a copy of the 1858 lyrics to a song about the Minnesota Twins that became the first tune registered as a baseball ditty. Sheet music from 1980 features the song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Even scores by musically talented athletes like former Indian Omar Vizquel are part of the collection. Artifacts also include dust jackets of pop songs that make reference to baseball, such as Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" and Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." But "Take Me Out" remains the sport's unofficial anthem. "It's in the early songs from the (early 1900s) that they talk about baseball being America's game," says Rutledge. "Baseball and music just have this symbiotic relationship since the start of the game." The exhibit is on display from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays through Tuesdays and Thursdays through Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, through Sunday, September 28, at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1 Key Plaza. Admission is $13 to $22. Call 216-781-7625 or visit www.rockhall.com.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Starts: May 11. Continues through Sept. 28, 2008

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