Press Releases

Professor Robert Thompson Co-Authors New Book "Baseball’s Greatest Hit"

Date Released: 3/24/2008

Purchase College Professor Robert Thompson,is the co-author of Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (Hal Leonard, 2008).

Thompson and co-authors Andy Strasberg and Tim Wiles have created a book celebrating the 100th anniversary of the beloved song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

Baseball’s Greatest Hit is a gorgeous celebration, not only of a song, but of baseball, music, pop culture, and the creative ways that Americans have always taken popular music and made it their own. And as the book traces the song’s evolution over the last 100 years, it also traces the evolution of American culture—from the days of Tin Pan Alley and sheet music pluggers; through the early role of women as baseball players and fans; through movie musicals, baseball’s expansion west, rock and roll, and modern ballparks; right up to the present-day when in July 2007 the largest crowd ever to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremony witnessed every living Hall of Famer come together to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is the third most frequently sung song in America, after “Happy Birthday” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” With the release of this special edition, full-color, hardcover book, the complete story of the song is presented, taking the reader on a fascinating journey into how “Ball Game” has come to take a unique place in the American cultural landscape. With images of historical newspaper clippings, baseball cards, sheet music, movie stills, ballplayers at the mic, and of course, Harry Caray leading the crowd at Wrigley, Baseball’s Greatest Hit also comes packaged with a CD of rare and classic recordings and features an introduction by baseball commissioner Bud Selig and a foreword by Carly Simon.

Robert Thompson is director of the Arts Management program at Purchase College. A conductor, professor, writer, and producer, Thompson was the Chief Executive Officer and President of Universal Edition (Vienna-London-New York), the world’s sixth largest classical music publisher, and produced two Grammy-nominated recordings. He holds a doctorate in music from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, and heads his own company, the Thompson Music Group, LLC, which publishes and produces music.

He is the founder and director of The Baseball Music Project (, a multimedia series of concerts with orchestra that celebrate America’s national pastime. The Baseball Music Project will be performed May 3 in Appleton, Wisconsin; July 1 and 2 in Boston, Mass. with the Boston Pops; and August 8 and 9 in San Diego, Calif.

Co-author Andy Strasberg was an executive with the San Diego Padres for more than 20 years. In 1996, Strasberg created ACME (All-Star Corporate Marketing Enterprises), whose clients include the National Baseball Hall of Fame and many retired major leaguers. Tim Wiles is the director of research at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and has authored and edited numerous books and articles on baseball.