Ball Park Etiquette for Dummies…Part Deux
I recently finished reading a book that my mother gave me for Christmas.Â â€œThe Unwritten Rules of Baseballâ€ by Paul Dickson is an interesting read for any baseball fan.Â It gives you an inside look into the unwritten rules that supposedly govern the game of baseball from the players and managers to the umpires, official scorers and media outlets.Â The must do and must not doâ€™s of the game are drawn out clearly with some great examples sprinkled in.
However, the section of the book on fan etiquette is way (WAY!!!) too small.Â So, expanding on an piece I did a little bit ago (http://www.seamheads.com/2009/07/27/ball-park-etiquette-for-dummies/about) aboutÂ ballpark etiquette for fans,Â here is another list of fan doâ€™s and donâ€™tâ€™s for being in the ballpark.Â Everyone loves to have fun and be at the gameâ€¦ but no one wants to be labeled as â€œthat guyâ€.Â Read this,Â know it, loveÂ it and donâ€™t be â€œthat guyâ€â€¦
1)Â The Phone Guy -Â sorry man, the game is only like 4 hrs or so-ishÂ long.Â There is no need for you to be talking and texting during the entire duration of the game from National Anthem to the walk back to your car.Â Are you really that important that you canâ€™t just put it away for a few hours for the courtesy of others around you?Â If not â€“ go play on the concourse and get away from the fans actually watching the game.
2) Change Guy -Â if you are sitting in the middle of your row and you request any order from a vendor that requires change – don’t take it.Â Nothing is more annoying than the guy who orders an $8.50 beerÂ and wants every penny back from the vendor… so everyone else in the row gets into the “hand me down” game.Â Do not come to the park with a wad of $100 bills and expect change… that’s just stupid.Â Small bills, take your hot dog ,Â pass a five spot down the aisle, Â smile and waveÂ at the vendor as you make his day by giving him a dollar tip.Â If you don’t want to adhere to this exercise – walk your butt down to the concessions stands to get your food and change.
3) Re-Living Your Childhood Guy – if you are over the age of 12 it is unacceptable to bring your over sized ball glove to the park.Â Glove catching foul balls is for kids.Â You’re a big boy – use your hands or your hat, leave the gloves to the kiddies.Â Only exception to this rule is if you are attending a Home Run Derby – than it’s fair game and open season on fly balls.
4) Throwing Crap on the Field Guy – this doesn’t need to be said (because it is common sense) but… there is no reason to throw anything on the playing surface or in the dugout.Â all this does is delay the game and make you and your party look bad.Â Just don’t do it.Â Again, only exception is a home run ball hit by the opposing team and even that is up to the discretion of the catching fan.
5)Â Paper Guy – Did you get a free newspaper on your way to the park?Â Did you read it during pre-game warm ups?Â So why are you still reading it during the bottom of the 5th inning?Â And why are you clipping coupons at a baseball game?Â Put the paper down and pay attention to the game, it is the reason you are here after all.Â Not only are you blocking the view of others around you but you essentially wasted money on a seat to do something that you could do for free on your front porch.
6)Â Work Guy – do not conduct business with co-workers or clients while you are seated in the crowd.Â Game time is just that – game time.Â If you feel the need to entertain your clients or co-workers, get a suite or go onto the concourse.Â Do not disrupt those around you with your sales figures and growth projections while Miguel Cabrera is up to bat.
7)Â Super Drunk Guy – We covered this fan in my last etiquette article but it bears repeating as they keep appearing.Â Good Lord,Â how may $8.50 beers did it take to get you that drunk?Â And why did you pay so much for your seat if you are not going to remember the game in the morning anyway?Â Suggestion from all those around you – go get a case and stay home next time.
8)Â Visiting Team Super Fan Guy – You know the type, decked out in opposing team colors and garb, chanting about how awesome and superior their team is to yours.Â Just a warning buddy – expect to get hassled by the home team fans and don’t whine and complain in your seat as our team kicks your teams butt.Â The umps aren’t against you, your team isn’t being cheated – they just suck.
9) Continual Questions Guy – It is perfectly acceptable to attend a baseball game if you are not a fan of the team or even a fan of the sport.Â But for the love of all that is holy please do not ask questions repeatedly during the game.Â It is in your best interest to brush up on the rules of the game (yes, 3 strikes and you’re out, no there is no half time, they are innings not quarters or periods…) and maybe a player or two before you attend.Â Continual questions are not only annoying to your company, but those around you as well.Â I am all about fans teaching other potential fans about the game, but not giving them a lecture through all 9 innings of a double header.
10)Â Make-Out Guy – If you are smart enough to take your date to the ball game, kudos to you.Â If you feel the need to make out with them and demonstrate a little PDA to all around you – get a room.Â This goes without saying.Â Be respectful of the families around you and keep your hands and lips to yourself for a while.
11) Seat Swapper Guy – If you paid for seats in the third level, sit in the third level.Â Fans find it oh so entertaining when the usher comes to show fans their seats and there are seat swappers sitting in them already.Â Only thing more entertaining is when the seat swappers try to talk their way into staying there even though they clearly don’t belong there.Â Â Everyone around you knowÂ what you are doing, it’s no secret… by arguing you are just embarrassing yourself. Â If you want good seats – pay for good seats.Â Only exception to this rule is when the park is near empty, or you are asked by staff to move (sometimes they gotta fill those camera friendly sections for full TV effect).
12)Â Look at Me Guy/Girl -Â The ball game is not a fashion show or a meat market.Â There is no need to wear your 6″ spike heels and thousand dollar purse to the game.Â If you are coming to the game to pick up a potential mate, reconsider your attire if you think that will get you a date.Â Most fans will look at that statement and think “how impractical, and stupid”.Â Save your mini skirts and sparkly tank tops for the clubsÂ and put on some family appropriate fan garb for the game.
Sad to say that these are all common sense issues, but we seem to be lacking a lot of common sense in our society today.Â It is the responsibility of the adult fans to teach the younger generations the rights and wrongs of the ball park – soÂ do it!Â Imagine how wonderful it would be if we all just sat there, cheered and watched the game…Â ah… to dream the dream…