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Baseball Fan Code of Conduct

After attending one of the Phillies On-Deck Series games last week I was quickly reminded of some of my pet peeves when it comes to attending a baseball game. 

Next time you go to a game, please keep these
suggestions in mind.
Photo: Kevin McGuire/Instagramsby.me 

Following is a list of guidelines that should be enforced in order to enhance the game-experience for all. Feel free to suggest your own as well.

1. Never leave or return to your seat in the middle of an at-bat.

Have you ever sat in a movie theater and had to let somebody sitting in the middle of the row out to use the bathroom an hour in to the movie? It’s annoying, is it not? There is a time for leaving and returning to your seat, and it is not during the featured attraction. The same applies to baseball. Of course, baseball gives you plenty of opportunities to leave and return to your seat. In fact, a typical baseball game will give you at least 16 appropriate times to move to and from your seat for the bathroom, a hot dog or beverage.

A fan should never, ever decide to leave their seat in the middle of the action. If you decide you want to grab some food, you may wait until the end of the half inning, or for a pitching change, to do so. Be courteous to those around you because just because you want to interrupt your game experience, does not mean those sitting around you should have to sacrifice missing a pitch because you need to step by them.

2. Don’t abuse the times to leave your seat

Plan ahead. While baseball builds in adequate opportunities to leave your seat for any reason, it does not mean you need to take advantage of every single one. So if you are going to leave your seat for food, get the drinks at the same time.

The appropriate number of times to leave your seat for a typical game should be no more than three times, and that may be high. Remember, that probably means having people allow you to pass a total of six times if you return to your seat.  Instead of settling in at the start of the game and leaving one or two innings in for food, grab your food on the way to your seat the first time. Then maybe make a trip later for some ice cream in a helmet or cotton candy. A bathroom stop at some point is fine, but if you tend to make multiple stops to the restroom, consider buying aisle seats or take advantage of standing room viewing areas, which many of the newer parks build in for an enjoyable experience no matter where you are located.

3. Be mindful of those around you.

You may come to a ballgame to do nothing but drink beer and shout obscenities to the opposing players, but the family of four with their grandparents sitting in the row in front of you sure did not. If you want to get drunk and taunt the opposing team, that is your right to decide, but don’t be a jerk and ruin the one game some family will get to that entire season. They’re not shelling out big bucks to hear you make an ass out of yourself, and you know that’s exactly what you’re doing.

4. If you spill your drink, clean it up, or at least contain the mess.

This should go with the previous statement, but if you spill your drink or drop your food, the person sitting next to you shouldn’t have to worry about their new shoes being soiled by your mishaps. Get some napkins and apologize. Maybe even offer to buy the person sitting next o you something from the concession stand.

5. If you are going to proclaim to be the biggest Phillies fan, know a thing or two about the franchise’s history.

See those retired numbers? Know who they are. Know about the 1980 team on the same level you know about the 2008 team. Is that too much to ask?

This rule can translate to other franchises for those who are not a Phillies fan.

6. Ban the Wave.

Don’t be the fan who starts the wave. Ever.

 

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