With its popular reputation and good wages, the Sousa Band was able to recruit some of the best musicians around.
For 39 years, this large group toured the country by train. A Sousa Band tour would last for many months, often with several performances each day and only a few days off for travel between cities. The band traveled to every corner of the United States and did several European tours and one world tour. Together they traveled more than 1 million miles, and they still managed to find the time for other fun. The band had its own baseball team, and Sousa was the pitcher. They played against local baseball teams and those of rival bands. Sousa even wrote a march song about baseball called "The National Game."