Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949): Busby Berkeley’s Musical, Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, and Gene Kelly Starring

Busby Berkeley directed Take Me Out to the Ball Game, a Technicolor musical  produced in the Arthur Freed unit of MGM, starring Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, and Gene Kelly.

The title and nominal theme is taken from the unofficial anthem of American baseball, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

In 1908, a fictional baseball team, the Wolves, start the season on the road against the Washington Senators, and later the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Athletics, and other American League teams. Two of its players, Eddie O’Brien (Gene Kelly) and Dennis Ryan (Frank Sinatra), are also part-time vaudevillians.

The ball club is turned on its head when the team winds up under new ownership, and the distress is further increased when the new owner is revealed to be a woman, K.C. (Katherine Catherine) Higgins (Esther Williams).

Dennis falls for her, and then Eddie as well, while Dennis is the object of the affections of ardent fan Shirley Delwyn (Betty Garrett).

In the end, they all of must contend with a number of gangsters led by Joe Lorgan (Edward Arnold) looking to win a big bet by impairing Eddie’s play and getting him kicked off the team.

Frank Sinatra as Dennis Ryan
Esther Williams as K.C. Higgins
Gene Kelly as Eddie O’Brien
Betty Garrett as Shirley Delwyn
Jules Munshin as Nat Goldberg
Edward Arnold as Joe Lorgan
Richard Lane as Michael Gilhuly
Tom Dugan as Slappy Burke