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Take Me Out to the Ball Game was another successful Arthur Freed musical which teamed Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra with the talented writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
1. Judy Garland was supposed to be the female lead.
Gene Kelly and Judy Garland previously worked together on For Me and My Gal and The Pirate. The studio wanted them to team again, but Garland’s personal struggles made it impossible for her to join. The original treatment suggested Kathryn Grayson, but in the end, Esther Williams was cast.
2. The film was Kelly’s idea.
Gene pitched the idea of a baseball musical to producer Arthur Freed in 1946. Later, he and Stanley Donen worked out a synopsis for the movie as they drove cross country from the East coast to the West. Kelly said, “I based my idea on famous ball player Al Schacht and his partner who used to be the clowns of baseball.”
3. That song got rejected again!
“Boys and Girls Like You and Me” was a song originally written for Oklahoma! by Rogers & Hammerstein. After it was cut from that musical, it became part of Meet Me in St. Louis as a love song between Judy Garland and her crush after the “Trolley Song”. While the song was cut, it didn’t make the final edit. The song came up again for Take Me Out to the Ball Game but it once again didn’t make the cut, despite all of their efforts to finally make it work.