I attend major and minor league baseball games for a few reasons. I enjoy walking into the ball yard and seeing all the colors. The green grass, oh so green. The advertisements and the color they bring, never the message. I love going into the team store to buy a team jersey and logo baseball. Of course, the food choices are a reason to attend as well. However, the main reason for my visit is to actually watch the game. See the plays being made. Follow the strategy of the manager. Review the statistics of each player as they enter the batters’ box or take the mound. I imagine myself as a youth playing the game and as a grown man managing the game…What would I do as the manager?
Being at a game provides me with a sense of freedom and peace. I am away from the “real world” for a few hours that day. I am immersed in child’s play. It also gives me an opportunity to spend time with myself or friends and family and just be me! It is a time for low stress and no life drama.
However, at some ballparks, and in today’s world of selfishness and self-centeredness many fans ignore the fact that you are surrounded by 40K+ other people. As an aisle- seat guy, I am always on the walkways to and from various parts of the stadium. My recent experiences are that many other fans do not care that I am there to watch the game. They talk, get up to stretch, make phone calls, walk up and down the aisle 4 to 5 times per game. For what, I do not know. At a recent game, there were two women sitting behind me. For the entire 8 innings I was there, all they did was talk. One woman never. I mean never shut up! This is annoying and distracting to the real baseball fan.
At many ballparks, the patrons are inconsiderate of others around them. They will leave their seats and walk out while the game is being played. They stand on the aisle when the plays are being made. It seems that they just do not care that others want to watch the game! Why spend $80 on a ticket, $30 on parking and at least a $50 bill on food then go to the game to talk on the phone or never stay in your seat? That is an answer I am going to continue to search for. I know that is not my reason for spending $80.
On the bright side, there are a handful of stadiums that employ folks to monitor fan movement during the actual playing of the game. They will not allow people to move up and down the aisle while a batter is at the plate. They hold you back until the play is over and that particular batter is done with his at bat. This helps reduce the fan movement, thus increasing the enjoyment of those of us who attend to actually watch the game.
I’m no saint, so there are times that I too am guilty of this behavior. It happens on occasion when I need to utilize the men’s room at a moments notice. I am 58 years old for goodness sake! I do try to minimize my disruption of those fans around me.
So, there is a baseball ballpark etiquette that needs to be established and followed. This will increase the enjoyment of all of those who attend. If you want to talk on the phone, catch up with your neighbor about the divorce of Karen and James, then please stay home. Save your money and save me aggravation and stress. Watch the game on TV at home. It is easier and much less expensive.