There Used to Be a Ballpark
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The song expresses sadness at the loss of a baseball team and its ballpark, which once gave its fans and players joy, along with other childhood delights such as "rock candy and a great big Fourth of July".
A key phrase in the song is "Now the children try to find it / And they can't believe their eyes / For the old team just isn't playing / And the new team hardly tries."
The song has often been cited by books and websites that discuss old-time baseball. It is typically assumed to be about Ebbets Field and the Brooklyn Dodgers, even though composer Joe Raposo once told Larry King the song was about the Polo Grounds, which had been the home of the New York Giants until 1957 and which had been the home of the New York Mets in 1962 through 1963 (who, ironically, won the National League pennant in 1973), which explains why the lyrics refer to two different baseball teams: "Cause the old team just isn't playing / And the new team hardly tries." In his Joe Raposo Songbook writes that he went to Brooklyn with Pete Hamil to gather material for a Barbra Streisand TV special. First stop - Ebbets Field housing project with sign "No Ball Playing Allowed.
The song can also be seen as a metaphor for any kind of loss, as suggested by the next-to-last line in the song, which is not necessarily connected with baseball: "And the sky has got so cloudy, when it used to be so clear..."
It was used in the HBO documentary Brooklyn Dodgers: Ghosts of Flatbush.
Terry Cashman sang the song in the 1990s on the Passin' It On LP. In the beginning of the song, Cashman lists the names of all of the former stadiums in which the professional teams use to play, including the Polo Grounds, and Ebbets Field, which were all demolished.
On October 2, 2016, the song was played over the PA at the conclusion of post-game ceremonies following the final Atlanta Braves baseball game at Turner Field.
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