Eating food, being with people you like, sitting in the sun relaxing. People like these things. So why don’t people like baseball?
Maybe I like it because my parents have been taking me to baseball games since I was a child. I’ve been to games ranging from pro-league to t-ball as far back as I can remember. Oversized snapback baseball hats and lots of Dodger Dogs were just part of being a kid for me. And while I’ve never known every stat of my team or tracked all games up to the World Series, I’ve never complained about being able to participate in “America’s Favorite Pastime.”
[pullquote]”A lot of baseball is that hometown feeling. It’s like, they’re your boys and they go out and play and make your town proud.”[/pullquote]
But the sad fact remains many people can’t make it to the seventh-inning stretch without wondering why or how they ended up in the stadium. Here are some tips, collected from experience of baseball fans from all different walks of life.
Brush up on your skills
Baseball doesn’t demand that the audience be good at playing the game, but knowing the rules and skill involved will increase the excitement.
Marlaina Lemmon, a first-year law student at BYU Law School, said she played softball and baseball all her life and prides herself in understanding the game.
“It’s exciting if you know what’s going on,” Lemmon said. “If you don’t understand the rules of baseball then I can see why it’s boring because when both teams are really good, there’s not a ton of action going on, seemingly, but if you know the game you know that was a really awesome hit or great play.”
So review the basics of baseball, the stats of a team or bring a friend who knows their stuff and can teach you.
Enjoy the atmosphere
The image baseball brings to mind for many is sitting outside on a hot day with a hot dog in one hand and a cold drink in the other. This atmosphere at games simply is conducive to a good time.
Makenzie Johnson, a therapeutic recreation student from Aloha, Ore., said she remembers going to games with her friends and family since she was young.
“We always watched it because all my siblings played,” Johnson said.
Johnson said it’s the atmosphere and the people that make games exciting, even at the childhood games from her home state.
“They would have hot dogs for $1 and we’d always get a ton of them and we’d go with our family and we were allowed to take friends,” Johnson said.
And listen up ladies — Johnson admitted these days the uniforms are also a compelling part of the atmosphere.
Have an allegiance
Part of baseball, like many other sports, is having “a team.” Even if they play horribly, even when they go through a losing streak, fans stand by them because they have an allegiance to them.
Daxson Hale, a student in visual arts from Oakley, Idaho, said part of his love of baseball is the feelings he has toward his team.
“A lot of baseball is that hometown feeling. It’s like, they’re your boys and they go out and play and make your town proud,” Hale said.
Having a team to root for and opponents to heckle help drive a game even during the slow or bad plays.
Go with people you like
While it’s pretty obvious you shouldn’t go to a game with people you don’t like, in baseball it’s especially important fans attend with other people whose company they enjoy. Because baseball has less contact and a slower pace, it allows for more social interaction than other sports.
One of Hale’s suggestions for baseball-goers who are less than enthused about the game is to attend with people they want to spend time with.
“It’s kind of a social experience just as much as it is an athletic experience,” he said. “Go with people you can talk to and enjoy.”