People say that baseball is boring. People say that steroids have ruined the game. People say it is their least favorite sport. People say that the players are just awful, unlovable monsters.
But there are a few things that baseball still does right (do right? Help me here).
Sure, they may not know exactly how to implement an instant replay without apparently making the game four times longer, but at least they’re not constantly screwing up instant replays like football officials.
Sure, they may not know what a salary cap is, but at least the teams with small caps still often are talented enough to compete.
Sure, they may not know how to have a draft that doesn’t involve 700 players being picked, but at least they have a really awesome minor league system.
And more importantly than that, baseball gets the aspect of actually being in attendance dead on. If there is one thing baseball always has and always will rule other sports at, it’s the ballpark experience.
In this, the final post in a three part series about baseball, we will discuss The Ballpark Experience.
Most sports fans will agree that there is nothing quite like being at the ballpark. The joy of throwing down hotdogs and peanuts on a beautiful spring day is just amazing.
It’s not that other sports aren’t fun to be at. Quite the opposite. You won’t find more exciting environments than a tense football or basketball game. And it’s just cool (pun totally intended) to check out a hockey fight. Cause that’s all anyone actually watches hockey for.
But going to a baseball game isn’t about the excitement. It’s about the truly unique experience. Let’s take a look at what you can expect at the three main types of parks you’ll find yourself at.
The Minor League Park – There is only one thing that keeps people coming back to minor league games: gimmicks.
Every night at a Minor League Park is ladies night, or donate a kitten night, or wrestle and alligator for free entry night. Basically, at any given point, you can find a way to get the best seats available for half off.
But if that wasn’t enough, there’s also always the chance that you’ll be treated to a show. Not just a spectacle during the game, but probably also fireworks or a sheep-herding monkey.
And possibly even more amazing than that (dare I even say it)? Only at the Minor League Park could a character like Rojo Johnson make an appearance.
College Park (No, not THAT College Park. Sorry, Ludacris) – College baseball has actually grown in popularity over the past two decades. Of course, all this means is that the teams can have about 7 full scholarships and games on ESPN2 sometimes.
But there are a few things that, like all intercollegiate athletics, are unique to the College Baseball Park.
For starters, the fans have much more interest in being there. People who love college sports love college sports more than they love their children. It’s just how it is. So naturally, the environment can get pretty rowdy.
Plus, what other sport lets you tailgate AT the game?
Also, as the fans are highly devoted, you always inevitably run into the grandfather of baseball. You know him. He’s the old guy who has been there for the past fifty years. He probably lives in that seat. And he’s awesome, cause he’s at the age where he doesn’t care what he yells anymore. He’s probably earned the right to by now.
Major League Park – Every single professional sport arena/park/stadium suffers from the same thing: forced crowd noise. Every thirty seconds, a public address guy is announcing that we are on defense. If not that, then we’re getting amped up by the best pop-rock hits of the ’80s. That’s right. Amped.
But baseball is much different. Major League Parks have more natural energy than other professional sports. A major part of this is that the parks themselves are just special places.
Major League Baseball still holds on to some of the elements that make baseball special. You still have the screaming guy selling peanuts (or whatever) for example. And of course the 7th Inning Stretch.
And there are a lot of traditions still prevalent at Major League Parks. Organ players? Sure, they still hang around some places. The scoreboard at Fenway? Classic. A good ol’ Tomahawk Chop? Hardly anything gets me more excited.
And sometimes, there’s nothing finer than getting a couple of friends together for a little bro time.
There still is nothing quite like an afternoon or evening at the ballpark. It is still something that is so very unique and enjoyable. And that’s why baseball is still the Great American Pastime.
So get out and enjoy a game!
What do you love about the ballpark experience?