The first known instance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" being played for a baseball game took place in 1862. However, it was not until World War II that it became customary to play the song before every game. Before the introduction of public address systems, it was cost prohibitive to hire a band so such ceremony was reserved for special occasions such as Opening Day or the World Series.
As most American schoolchildren learn - particularly those who grow up in Maryland, the words to our national anthem were written by Francis Scott Key. Key was inspired by the Battle of Fort McHenry which he observed as a prisoner on a British ship during the War of 1812. His poem, "Defence of Fort McHenry," was later set to the tune of "The Anacreontic Song" by John Stafford Smith. It did not officially become the US national anthem until 1931.
Bold Proposal 2013
Following are the initial 2013 standings for my proposed baseball
realignment, essentially based on the European soccer league concept.
The basic idea is explained here. Last year's final post, including explanations for this year's alignment, is here.
11. White Sox
2. Red Sox
8. Blue Jays
As always, I will declare my concept a failure if one of my second division teams wins the real-universe World Series. Over the past three years of the experiment, it hasn't happened. Normally, this would be the point in my post where I'd say that I want this to happen. I want to believe that the balance of power in baseball is more flexible than it actually is. However, my Orioles are finally in the first division which means, at least according to my theory, they have a better chance of winning it all this year than they did last.