The Unspoken Laws of Baseball

Since this is my first year living with David during baseball season I have become increasingly aware of what goes on in the stands. In the minor leagues the wives are seated in the family section, not unlike Major League games. The main difference, however, is that in the minor leagues, they sometimes mix fans with the family–or in a streak of bad luck, the opposing team’s fans (this is reallllllly fun when the Phillies or Mets affiliates come to town).
I am usually good at biting my tongue but for the number of times I have had to turn around and say something to someone, I felt that it would benefit us all if I wrote a list of things to consider while at a baseball game. I am going to be a little sassier than usual, therefore, here is a warning to the sensitive – read with caution. Frankly there’s no crying in baseball and I feel like having some fun, so here goes.
1. Standing Etiquette
This is a big one folks. I think some people forget that we are all there to WATCH a game and standing up in the middle of an at bat is a NO NO. I personally love when someone stands right in front of me for a good minute while David is up to bat. Obviously I have invested interest in number 35 at Trenton Thunder games, but at the end of the day I like watching everyone’s at bats. Let’s just say, you make a better door than a window. SIT DOWN!
Another important thing I have to acknowledge is when people get up a zillion times during a game, especiallllllly when they are in the smack center of the isle. I really don’t mind moving my legs but if I see the same person over and over and over, it gets a tad annoying. Give it a rest! If you can’t sit still for at least an hour, then news flash – you probably shouldn’t go to baseball games. Try basketball or football, where people stand the majority of the time. 😉
2. Autograph Abuse
I love when David gives out autographs and we all understand that it’s a big part of the game but some people are flagrantly ungrateful. I can’t even tell you the amount of times that the guys will sign for an hour and it’s the last fan that was turned away who has a fit. I have also experienced getting yelled at – that was fun. One day after David signed four baseball cards for two girls, they came back for another two. He very nicely said, I’ll get you next time. Apparently they didn’t like that, so they shared their not so nice thoughts as we walked away. For a good read on Autograph Etiquette you should read Dallas Latos’ post Autographs and other FANcy things. She does an amazing job of explaining what is acceptable and what isn’t in regards to autographs.
3. Trash Talk
I am all for having a little fun at baseball games but blatant trash talk is inhumane. Maybe I am strange, but I have consideration for other people’s feelings. Consideration, empathy, respect…do we leave all these at the door when we walk into a stadium? I’ll never forget the time I went to a game this season and a fan was screaming “I pay your salary” obnoxiously over and over again. I get it, but if you have a problem with paying an athlete’s salary, then stop attending games. Come on everyone, and YES, I am talking to you too, family and friends. I always joke around with my mom and David about the first Big League Spring Training game I brought her to. First thing I told her was, keep your comments to yourself. I do not want to hear the good, the bad or the in between. When we are sitting around family, I have no idea who is in front of me, behind me or next to me. Last thing I want to do is make anyone feel uncomfortable because I am talking about his or her husband, son or brother. Same goes for me, I don’t like to hear people say, UGHHHH he should’ve made that play as much as OHHH he has a .300+ batting average. If you are sitting in the family section, keep this in mind. If you rather trash talk go sit with fans. I don’t mean any disrespect by this but I feel like I have to stand up for my husband and his teammates. Put yourself in our shoes, as wives -it’s not nice.
4. Free Tickets
I love sharing the game with our friends and family and inviting people to attend games, but there is one thing that I think many people don’t realize – tickets aren’t always free. Once the guys sign their first big deal with a team – if they are one of the lucky few- they are able to negotiate tickets, but until then, they can be really expensive for players. In the minors the guys do get free tickets as a perk, but in the big leagues ballplayers have to pay for each ticket given out. This is true for Spring Training games where minor leaguers are invited. I have actually heard a minor league wife say that she wasn’t going to a game because she didn’t want him to pay for her ticket. I think a lot of people assume that guys have unlimited free tickets as a benefit, but in fact, they only get four tickets and the full amount is deducted from their pay check. Anytime the guys need additional tickets they need to ask their teammates to transfer a few to their name. This is not as easy as it looks and it’s important to remember when you invite people he may or may not know. (Note: all these facts are based on my knowledge of Spring Training games, not regular or post-season.)
5. Baseball is All American
Now this, you would think is common sense, but after what I saw this weekend I knew it had to be addressed. Baseball and America are synonymous. It is only fitting that the National Anthem and God Bless America is sung at games, thus, when the announcer asks you to stand, this should not be an option. I was in utter disbelief when I saw at least 10 people in my section alone completely disregarding GBA. This really sickens me. My parents are Cuban and they appear to have a far greater appreciation for their adopted country than some naturally born Americans do. To make matters worse, the lady behind me at said game, stood the minute Take Me Out to the Ball Game started playing. She had the audacity to say “Now this is a song that deserves respect. They had it all wrong. This is the one we are supposed to stand for.” WOW. It took everything in my power not to turn around and send that lady to the moon. I am really a very nice and agreeable person, but outright disrespect infuriates me beyond measure. I don’t care if that lady was an American citizen or not, if you are in the United States of America, you respect our country. The sad part is, I am nearly certain they were American. I wanted so badly to turn around and tell that lady – “if you do not like it then move!” There were many other not nice things I really wanted to blurt out but I bit my tongue and ended up changing seats. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
Now that I got all that out of my system I feel better. If you agree with the points that I made feel free to share, you will be doing all of us a favor!

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  1. Reply

    marksackler

    August 20, 2012

    For some reason I never noticed the Yankee logo in the margins before. Now I like your blog even more! What level is your husband playing at? We still miss our Eastern League team. We saw Jeter play here in New Haven when he was in AA.

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      August 20, 2012

      He is in AA with the Trenton Thunder. Glad you’re a Yankee fan!

      • Reply

        marksackler

        August 22, 2012

        Wow, if I had known sooner, I would have looked out for him when the Thunder came to New Britain earlier in the season. I did catch one game in that series. My nostalgia for the Eastern League compels a few visits to the Rock Cats each season. If you get a chance read the post “15 Minutes and 45 Seconds of Fame” on my blog.

        • Reply

          Baseball Serendipity

          August 22, 2012

          I definitely will! It’s ok but I agree, the Eastern League is a great one to follow. They only have a few games left and I think they are against Akron and Harrisburg. Possibly New Britain too.

  2. Reply

    Bronwyn Mills

    August 22, 2012

    I am enjoying reading your blog, Camille!

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      August 22, 2012

      thank you!!! 🙂 Glad you are!! miss you pretty lady! xoxo

  3. Reply

    CoCo

    October 15, 2012

    Hi, I came across your blog post following an internet search on “God Bless America” and baseball (prompted by the 7th inning stretch of tonight’s NLCS game). I strongly disagree with your characterization of fans who do not stand during GBA. I am an American and a baseball fan and I remain seated during GBA. My remaining seated has nothing to do with my feelings about America (which I love!). Instead, I am opposed to the song for religious reasons. I will not remove my hat or stand during a song that promotes religious ideas that I find offensive. Instead I will quietly remain in my seat and respect the right of other fans to do as they choose.
    If a non-theistic patriotic song (of which there are many) were played during the 7th inning stretch I would certainly stand and honor our nation. I think that if you were to engage a fan who chooses to remain seated during GBA (after the song, of course 😉 you would find that most share feelings similar to my own. They are baseball fans who love and appreciate this nation as much as you do, and would be happy to stand up in appreciation and respect of America if a non-religious song were being played.

    • Reply

      Baseball Serendipity

      October 16, 2012

      Hi CoCo. Thank you for stopping by my blog. As a Christian, I never really looked at GBA as offensive to others. You really do make a good point. I really just viewed the song as one that promotes love for our country, not one that alienates citizens. I’m sorry if I offended you. Thank you for your insight.

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