Cracker Jack Cards
The spring I was cruising through the supermarket, passing through the snack aisle, happened to look down at a lower shelf and noticed boxes of Cracker Jacks. I realized I haven't seen Cracker Jacks in years. They were tucked down on a knee-high shelf like an afterthought.
I bought a bunch and handed them out in the dug-out before one of my son's baseball games. Some of the boys had never seen or tried Cracker Jacks before.
Cracker Jacks have survived for a long time but they are slipping away from public consciousness. Too bad. They have been owned by PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division since 1997 so that mostly explains it, as corporate behemoths are good at running iconic American brands into the ground through incompetence.
In 1914, Cracker Jack issued a series of cards featuring 144 star players of the American, National and Federal Leagues. Walter Perry Johnson, who pitched for the Washington Senators in the American League was card number 57.
Cracker Jacks are also immortalized the baseball song that everyone knows and loves. It is often played during the seventh inning stretch and fans jump to their feet and sing the lyrics about buying some peanuts and Cracker Jacks and rooting for the home team at the old ball game.
Jack Norworth, the songwriter responsible for penning the lyrics to baseball's famous anthem, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," likely has little idea that his words would become part of the modern-day game.
In 1908, when he jotted down those now-famous lines, Norworth had never been to a ball game before. He merely was struck with the idea of the song when he saw a poster on the subway in New York. Albert Von Tilzer came up with the melody.