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How to survive going to a baseball game

Beware of flying bats

A friend of mine is going to a Rays baseball game this weekend (though she’ll be rooting for the evil Red Sox). As far as I know, it will be her first time at a Major League Baseball game, so I wanted to caution her against the dangers of attending a baseball game.

Being at a baseball game can be dangerous, and not just because some Phillies fan might vomit on you as punishment for rooting against his team. There are a lot of things to consider to protect your life and property.

For starters, if you are parking and some guy offers to “watch your car” or “wash your windshield” or anything like that for a few bucks, pay him. I don’t care if he wants $5 to write “Yankees suck” on the dirty windshield with his penis, pay him. You are at his mercy. Once you park, you will leave your car and spend a few hours in a stadium where the car is out of sight. That gives him plenty of time to key your car or steal something from inside it. Don’t make him mad.

Once you’re inside the stadium, if you are prone to fainting, don’t look at the price of beer. If you’re female, make sure you know 30 minutes ahead of time that you will need to use the restroom, because you will stand in line for that long. Hey, maybe if you didn’t go in groups and gossip in there it wouldn’t take so long!

The most important thing you can do for your safety, though, is simply abide by a warning provided by the league. Most people don’t know this, but on the back of every baseball ticket is a warning from MLB telling you to pay attention while at the game. That is because if you’re spending your time chit chatting with the person next to you or talking on your cell phone, there is a good chance I will elbow you in the eye. More importantly, though, it will protect you from objects hurling at you at a high velocity.

Unless you’re behind the net or a skybox window, there is nothing protecting you from foul balls except your own awareness and agility. A pop foul won’t do anything other than sting your hands upon catching it, but if a line drive is heading for your face at over 100 mph, you might want to duck. The same goes for a shattered bat, unless you’re a masochist who likes having broken pieces of wood impaled in you during your S&M dungeon scenes (I’m not judging).

Though this goes against the tailgating mentality, I advise against getting drunk at games. Too much alcohol makes you less likely to pay attention or to rationalize “I should probably duck because getting hit with an object at over 100 miles-per-hour would hurt.” It also makes it easier to navigate steps without falling. Most importantly, it makes railings safer.

Every Spring Break, someone falls to their death at a beachfront hotel after they leaned too far over the balcony railing. This year, the same happened to someone at a Texas Rangers game, who leaned over the railing to catch a ball tossed by Josh Hamilton. The tragedy was almost repeated at Monday’s Home Run Derby when some idiot went over the railing trying to catch a home run ball. Luckily, his friends caught him and pulled him back in, as seen in the photo below.

No, don’t put down the camera. I’m just fine.

Perhaps the worst part of that photo is the guy on the right, leaning over the railing to take a photo rather than helping. Maybe that should be another rule printed on the back of baseball tickets:

Rule: If someone is in danger of falling to their death and you are within reach, try helping instead of taking a picture of his death, asshole. Sincerely, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

If you follow those rules, you should have a safe and enjoyable time at the ballpark. That is, unless you’re a Phillies fan. In that case, you’re such a horrible human being that I doubt you can have joy anywhere.

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  1. July 13, 2011 at 9:07 am

    The Sox aren’t evil.

    My car will not be going down to the game. We’re car pooling and you and I both know that people can’t sit comfortably in my car for a drive across town, much less to the Gulf coast. I have noted your warnings, promise not to get drunk (at the game) and will keep bathroom use in mind. And I’ll duck if anything comes at my face. I like my face. I don’t want it hurt by a baseball.

    • July 13, 2011 at 9:16 am

      For some reason, your comment reminded me of a scene in “Clueless” where they were in gym class:

      “Ms. Stoeger, my plastic surgeon doesn’t want me doing any activity where balls fly at my nose.”
      “Well, there goes your social life.”

  2. Brad
    July 13, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Since when is America’s greatest past time apparently a death trap?!

    I say go, live life with some risk, have a few beers, get a Heater into you and yell as loud as you can when you don’t like the call. And if the guy beside you is getting peanut shells all up in your face, grab the bag and dump it – then yell Go Sox!

    And keep your eye on the ball.

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