Take Me Up to the Ball Game is the sixth animated television special from Nelvana Limited….which was released in September of 1980. The title is a play on the song title “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”….as a children’s baseball team….consisting of anthropomorphic animals….encounters a talent scout from outer space named Irwin (voiced by Phil Silvers)….who offers them the chance to play against a team from another planet. They later discover that they’re playing in a championship game….and that the opposing team has never been defeated because making up one’s own rules….which Earthlings call “cheating” is a common practice in interplanetary baseball.
During the first few innings, the Earth team is not doing well against their opponents….and some of the players suggest that they should cheat as well….but the team’s leader, however, insists that it would be wrong because “cheaters never prosper”….which is an assertion that provokes laughter from the entire stadium.
The Earth players start anticipating their opponents’ tricks and countering them without breaking the rules….as the spectators are thrilled by this unexpected turn of events….and the Home Team actually enjoys having a genuine challenge to face despite the fact that the Earthlings are now winning. Irwin, who’d bet heavily against the Earth team….tries to put the odds back in his favor by entering the game himself….but it’s no use….as the Earthlings win the game.
There are three songs in this special, all sung by Rick Danko of The Band….“Hey Kids”….in which Irwin is talking the Earth team into playing against the alien team….“We’ll Find A Way” during which the Earth team is being badly beaten by their opponents….and “Cheaters Never Prosper”….during which the Earth Team is making a comeback.
Any way you cut the pie….this video is truly a “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.