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How not to make a spectacle of yourself in public, Part 1: Baseball Games

There aren’t many things that proclaim the coming of summer in quite the same way as attending a major league baseball game. Sure, you still have your first watermelon of the season, Memorial Day and the blessed re-appearance of sun dresses, but after a long, cold, slushy, grey winter, nothing seems more joyous than heading to your first game of the season. I would even be willing to bet that in places where it’s still un-godly cold outside, that people still flock to their respective stadiums, swill beer, throw back some hot dogs and bask in the meager sunlight.

There is one thing about baseball games, however, that I just don’t understand: What is it about a baseball game that convinces people that shoveling a full pound of garlic french fries into their mouth while fighting with a small child over a foul ball is acceptable behavior? Perhaps everyone’s just cranky after being cooped-up all winter. Maybe it’s the inordinate amount of $8.00 beer consumed. Whatever the reason, professional baseball games invite some of the most questionable behavior of any other public event. And also some of the best opportunities for people-watching.

I went to my first game of the season last Friday. I was so excited I didn’t eat lunch in anticipation of my first ball-park hot dog, and was ready to happily fork over the requisite $8.00 for a cold beer. I found my section, immediately located the nearest hot dog vendor and got in line. And then 3 overweight middle-aged men stepped unceremoniously in front of me without an ounce of hesitation. Happy Friday to me, indeed.

By the time I finally got my pork and beef by-product snack back to my seat, my mood had been kicked down a couple notches and I had formulated a list of rules that should be adhered to at all costs when attending a baseball game. Unless you’re absolutely determined to make a belligerent fool of yourself in front of 20,000 people.

1) Dress appropriately. Please. Yes, I realize that the days when everyone took pride in their appearance are what may now be referred to as “days of yore,” and I’m not suggesting that you wear white leather kid gloves and stockings to the ball game. What I am suggesting is that you don’t wear jeans that reveal your entire rear-end and disclose the color of your panties through the “trendy” slash in the butt pocket.

This could be you

Also, sandals with socks are still not cool, and anything that reveals your stomach is super unattractive. Especially when you just dripped nacho cheese on it.

2) Practice moderation. I will be the first to admit my undying love for french fries, hot dogs, nachos and the ice cream that comes in a mini baseball helmet. Just not all at once. This is not the movie theatre where you can dump an entire box of Raisinettes in your pie-hole while cloaked in darkness. Baseball games occur in public, so perhaps this isn’t the time to suck sauerkraut off your fingers while slopping a half-gallon of Coke (it’s diet) down the front of your bedazzled shirt.

Delicious, but enough to feed Rhode Island.

3) Talking sh*t. Notice I didn’t say talking trash. There’s a big difference, and some well-timed heckling kicks-up the competitive spirit of the game. It’s when people cross over into profanity-laced diatribes directed at their neighbor, opposing fans three-rows up and the hot dog vendor that things get uncomfortable.

Side note: baseball games attract children in droves. Unless you want to start a fight with a Momma Bear over how your gratuitous use of the f-word is ruining Little Jimmy’s 8th birthday party, I suggest you keep it to yourself.

4) While we’re on the subject of children, watch them. Not other people’s, that’s creepy, but if you’re in the company of a little booger miner, keep your eye on him. We all love propping our feet up on the back of the unoccupied chair in front of us, but however adorable your child is, I don’t really want his urine-soaked OshKosh shoes in my hair. Yes, this has happened to me.

5) Finally, enjoy yourself. You’re outside, eating stadium food and soaking up a little Americana. If you’re not into beer and brats, there’s also cute baseball players in tight pants.


About Rachel



100 thoughts on “How not to make a spectacle of yourself in public, Part 1: Baseball Games

  1. Great post! Still looking forward to my first baseball game of the season, though I think it will have to be the minors. Doesn’t matter; hotdogs taste just as good at a minors game as a majors! Well done.

    Posted by comingeast | May 23, 2011, 12:25 pm
  2. Hilarious! I love the picture of the ladies rear end… I mean really?

    Posted by goskinnyexpert | May 23, 2011, 3:04 am
  3. Had to laugh at that picture of the poorly dressed woman at the top of your blog! I have 2 major league games scheduled for this year and cannot wait! My favorite part? Starting the wave during the 6th inning when I get bored. Yes, my family are “those people” who give a big “wooo” and stand up every 30 seconds hoping others will catch on. We don’t blend in very well, but man, it is good old American fun!

    Posted by halfwayto50 | May 23, 2011, 2:54 am
  4. Love, love, love the atmosphere of a baseball game. Outdoors and on the greenest grass that I’ve ever seen. Anticipation, home runs, bunts, and cotton candy.

    Posted by Jimmy | May 23, 2011, 2:37 am
  5. Loved the article..not only well descriptive, but captures the fact that Americans absolutely do have our own unique culture…been living abroad for a while, and it brought back some pride.

    Posted by Sirchow | May 23, 2011, 12:21 am
  6. Brilliant! Really enjoyed reading that. Although I’m English, we have much the same kinds of fans/folks out and about in public so I still recognised them!

    Posted by mountaincoward | May 22, 2011, 8:34 pm
    • Haha I’m so glad you could relate, I love hearing about fans in far away places! Thank you for checking out my blog! Also, I really wish I could get away with using the word “brilliant” 🙂

      Posted by Rachel | May 22, 2011, 8:43 pm
  7. funny!

    Posted by themacadamia | May 22, 2011, 2:34 pm
  8. Thank you so much! I would be so embarrassed if I was that girl. I don’t care if you don’t like belts; you need to wear one if you can’t keep your pants above your butt!

    Legit, people need to watch their watch their children. You should not hand your child a large soda and then turn the other way to have a chat only to be informed that your child doesn’t know how to handle any kind of drink that’s not covered with a sippy-top.

    I’ve noticed that fewer people are watching their profanity in public. I don’t want to hear you cussing out a player on the other team or the ref. Say it politely (or just without the cursing and screaming at a sporting event) or keep it to yourself.

    Posted by rubyjuly | May 22, 2011, 2:06 pm
  9. Good Evening Rachel –

    My Chicago Cubs opened April 1 to a windy, chilly, and overcast day temps of around 48 degrees near the lake. That’s cold but…they sell out and the bars are packed for a 5 mile radius of the ball park. It’s America’s past time in which I played through 4-years of undergrad baseball. Ah the good ole’ days, lol. I miss them. Most excellent blog here. Nicely done! Happy Saturday evening to you. 🙂


    Posted by charlie nitric | May 22, 2011, 3:01 am
    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! My boyfriend and I hope to eventually make the rounds to the historic ballparks, and Wrigley Field is right at the top of the list, we can’t wait! Happy Saturday!

      Posted by Rachel | May 22, 2011, 3:51 am
  10. Rachel! Bravo. I yearn for the days when we could sneak a whole six pack of PBRs into Yankee Stadium, or Madison Square Garden and avoid the horrendous prices for brews. We just buy ONE and keep refilling it from our stash! Oh-oh, tho, the pic of the yellow -shirted chick almost turns me ON!! Yes, it has been years since I “had any” 😀
    But do not discourage the “razzing” of the other team’s batters. True one can do it without the profanity and as far as the brats putting shoes in your hair, “that’s a real get the ___ outta here situation!” Kudos on being freshly pressed like Yankee pinstripes!

    Posted by achilliad | May 22, 2011, 2:10 am
    • I’m not against a little heckling of the players, and I wish I could smuggle snacks into the stadium! Unfortunately they’re pretty thorough when checking purses! Thanks for stopping by!

      Posted by Rachel | May 22, 2011, 2:32 am
  11. Morning again !!

    Posted by thor27 | May 21, 2011, 4:51 pm
  12. I’m beyond words…I do feel sorry for that girl though…she wants attention so bad she’s willing to make a fool of herself to receive it…kinda sad don’t you think.

    Posted by newauthoronamazon | May 21, 2011, 1:06 pm
  13. Nice post

    Posted by SANAM | May 21, 2011, 9:27 am
  14. Being from England and only been to a few nba, nhl and mlb games in florida (yes you guessed it, i indeed have grandparents there haha) where back then the stadiums were pretty empty, so getting a taste of americana was few and far between, but I love post’s like these because they are just like any sports venue back here in merry old england, almost to the tee, except we sell pies and actual pork meat hotdogs haha… great post.

    Posted by cupboardthewardrobe | May 21, 2011, 8:40 am
    • I kind of love that no matter where in the world you are, people are more or less the same…I also wanted to let you know that attending a big, professional soccer (er…football :)) game in England is on my bucket list!

      Posted by Rachel | May 21, 2011, 2:43 pm
  15. Ha ha I love the crack picture! I think that should be a universal rule anywhere you go. Not just baseball games!

    Posted by realanonymousgirl2011 | May 21, 2011, 12:34 am
  16. The picture of the unfortunate woman is on the money. Now, as a resident of Baltimore, MD, I am happy to point out that we O’s fans can be heard at any event where the Star Spangled Banner is sung. We’re the ones saying “O say does that Star Spangled . . . Just a little interesting tidbit about my town.

    At a game played against those horrible Yankees I became embroiled in a bout of tossing popcorn at some of their fans who had the audacity to attend our game. (They totally started it!) I was almost thrown out of the game for this infraction, and admittedly things can get out of hand (so to speak) rather quickly. So popcorn buyers beware! Nice post.

    Posted by flatland57 | May 20, 2011, 9:00 pm
    • I’ve never been to Baltimore, but I’d love to visit! We actually do something similar at Stars games (our hockey team)! Thank you for checking out my blog!

      Posted by Rachel | May 20, 2011, 10:23 pm
  17. Great post. Looks like TBIA in your pics! Go Rangers!!

    Posted by dclark347 | May 20, 2011, 8:56 pm
  18. Hate to say it, but I don’t want to encourage what your blog suggests. I am a people watcher, and if they stop doing these things, I will have nothing to look at! Some of my best baseball memories are of the drunk shtalkers and people dressed funny… but you have a point

    Posted by saltybi11 | May 20, 2011, 5:30 pm
  19. Great rules Rachel, which could probably be applied to many other instances in life where people are gathered enmass. If only they would listen…

    Congrats on being FP’d already – good for you!

    Posted by huffygirl | May 20, 2011, 1:50 pm
  20. If you think food is expensive there, you would probably hate the food prices at an Australian movie theatre!

    Posted by leadinglight | May 20, 2011, 1:10 pm
  21. It is so difficult to teach manners to children when hordes of strangers publicly defy manners, making it seem “normal” to behave badly.

    Posted by acleansurface | May 20, 2011, 7:01 am
  22. Well written post.

    Posted by richannkur | May 20, 2011, 6:29 am
  23. Seconding the cute players in tight pants. Love it!
    And all my friends say baseball sucks. 😦

    Posted by autumnish | May 20, 2011, 6:10 am
    • That’s too bad, they’re missing out! You should tell them you want to go to a game for your birthday or something, that way they can’t argue haha

      Posted by Rachel | May 20, 2011, 2:01 pm
  24. Thanks for the insight into Baseball games. In Switzerland we don’t experience this kind of games like in America. But I have to confess, I would love to watch one game with in a full stadium!

    Posted by AlainSG | May 20, 2011, 6:06 am
    • Dallas isn’t a huge baseball city, but there’s still a big fanbase. If you ever get the chance to go to a game in a baseball town like Boston, New York or Chicago definitely go for it!

      Posted by Rachel | May 20, 2011, 1:59 pm
    • Any full house is great that way. I went to a Geneve-Servette hockey game and the house rocked, especially since there a lot of opposing fans in their corner of the arena. And in Geneva, you don’t really get the low-slung jeans thing going, so that’s another plus.

      Posted by chrismckillop | May 22, 2011, 5:53 pm
  25. Great post! I have never been to a baseball game, but I’m guessing the behaviour and ‘people watching’ is very much the same as here in Australia. Our football and rugby league attracts all walks of life. 🙂

    Posted by SMNM | May 20, 2011, 6:01 am
  26. I always wait until the end of the 3rd inning to get food…just a little exercise in moderation. You forgot to mention people who stand up in their seats during an at bat. Do they think we can see through them?

    Posted by jennavandenberg | May 20, 2011, 5:16 am
  27. Great post- I couldn’t help but laugh. I totally agree with the cute baseball players in tight pants. And congrats on being freshly pressed!

    Posted by wingedcreature | May 20, 2011, 4:17 am
  28. omg, I think that girl from the back WAS me!!!!

    only joking, lol…

    love your humor.

    Posted by awritingprimate | May 20, 2011, 4:07 am
  29. hahahha.. thx

    Posted by ainisastra | May 20, 2011, 3:59 am
  30. This is a good article. Anyone who does the opposite of what you wrote are just people that are looking for attention.

    Posted by Cheval John | May 20, 2011, 3:27 am
  31. What hapened to people smuggling in food? I don’t go to games, but now feel spared. As for the pants – Ugh! I had a couple long distance freinds who, when we visited kept insisting I wear the low slung jeans, and thong underwear. I am not a teenager! I complied when visiting to shut them up, and whenever I bent over, a voluptuous double-mound of ass cleavage was revealed. “Does this make you happy?!” I’d shriek, desperately tugging at my shirt. So maybe, just maybe, the super-sized muffin top girl in the photo is a victim of peer pressure. What other possible excuse could there be?

    Well written post, BTW.

    Posted by Spectra | May 20, 2011, 12:22 am
  32. that reminds me of garlic parm fries at the Counter in LA. anyway, im writing a book, check out my blog if you get a chance 🙂

    Posted by richardchandler | May 20, 2011, 12:20 am
  33. I agree 100%. I do love the people watching at baseball games and wish I had the opportunity more often, do you?

    Posted by brookenan | May 20, 2011, 12:09 am
  34. Side note: baseball games attract children in droves. Unless you want to start a fight with a Momma Bear over how your gratuitous use of the f-word is ruining Little Jimmy’s 8th birthday party, I suggest you keep it to yourself.

    I love your use of “Momma Bear” here. It’s such an apt descriptor, conjuring up the right mix of intimidation and authority.

    Posted by sittingpugs | May 19, 2011, 10:38 pm
  35. This is one of the most hilarious blog posts I’ve read. THANK you and AMEN to all of the above. I learned my lessons about butt-crack jeans and midriff t-shirts back in high school, but I’m still working on hot-dog-scarfing etiquette.

    Posted by elizabethalisa | May 19, 2011, 9:09 pm
    • Thank you! I too had a couple fashion disasters in high school (who didn’t?), and there’s nothint wrong with scarfing a hot dog- it’s when you try to eat 3 hot dogs, a bucket of nachos and a funnel cake that things start to get tricky.

      Posted by Rachel | May 20, 2011, 1:46 pm
  36. Couldn’t agree with you more. Some people need to learn how to control themselves when they are out in public, but it does make for some good people watching. I sat by some guys once that would place like dollar bets on if the ball would land on the grass or the dirt by the pitchers mound at the end of an inning.

    Posted by prafeston | May 19, 2011, 8:45 pm
  37. I went out with a guy who loved baseball and he wanted me to share his “passion.” The only thing I like about going to baseball games are the garlic fries and the Carnation chocolate malts. When he got me those two things, my mouth was too busy chewing to complain. But I think your list can pertain to just about any situation. Come visit me sometime.

    Posted by lafemmeroar | May 19, 2011, 8:38 pm
  38. I think the number one reason people make a spectacle of themselves at baseball games is sleepingwalking. Five minutes into any soul-crushingly glacial first inning and whammo! They’re asleep! After that, they’re not accountable for their actions.

    Posted by maximumfiction | May 19, 2011, 7:50 pm
  39. Congrats on being “freshly pressed”! I love your blog.

    Posted by blpc59 | May 19, 2011, 7:10 pm
  40. What? No painted faces and naked bellies??

    Posted by charlywalker | May 19, 2011, 7:00 pm
  41. i appreciate the non-obnoxious people that can just have a good time.

    Posted by Eva McCane | May 19, 2011, 6:40 pm
  42. This is an awesome post! I’m not a baseball fan, but I do enjoy attending sporting events. The one Mariners game I went to was a blast! (I even got an Ichiro bobble head!)

    One time, at a hockey game, I got an $8 burrito that possibly gave me food poisoning. I doubt it was the $4 coffee… but that was expensive food poisoning.

    ❤ Milieu

    Posted by milieus | May 19, 2011, 6:39 pm
  43. I LOVE this post! My husband, two young daughters, and I just recently went to a Rangers game, and I always leave events like this a little depressed of what’s become of the general population. Old Ladies pushing children out of the way to get a hot dog!! Don’t worry, I’m sure they have plenty more! And I cannot even get myself started on what these people were wearing. I’m glad someone else feels the same way.

    Posted by The Big E | May 19, 2011, 6:26 pm
  44. Haha! Loved your post. My sister and I have posted similar ones. You should check us out. I think you’d like it. 🙂

    Posted by ournote2self | May 19, 2011, 6:19 pm
  45. You nailed it! Still laughing at the muffin-top crack pants! And $8 beer is an insult; just sayin’.

    Posted by johnmcgeeblog | May 19, 2011, 6:17 pm
  46. Love it…however, you forgot “Turn off your frickin’ smartphone and watch the game, since you’re paying to be here anyway.”

    Posted by Howlin' Mad Heather | May 19, 2011, 6:15 pm
  47. Wait is that serving of fries too big?:)

    Posted by Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide | May 19, 2011, 5:07 pm
  48. Great post, although the tight-pantsed players don’t do it for me. That does beg a question, though: why don’t baseball teams have cheerleaders?

    Posted by Mark Petruska | May 19, 2011, 4:55 pm
  49. Oh my… and eating was my favorite past-time at a ball game… lol… I feel quilty now dipping into my mountain of fries…lol

    Posted by I Made You A Mixtape | May 19, 2011, 4:46 pm
  50. I completely agree with this . . . Have you ever attended a college football game though? (or a basketball game?)

    There, you get all of those plus some . . . and it’s rather . . . disturbing . . .

    GREAT to make fun of though!

    Posted by someone2442 | May 19, 2011, 4:42 pm
  51. That second photo is a fitting argument why the 80s really were the last fashion decade with any good sense. Waist of body == waist of pants. Any clothing that sits the waistband anywhere except AT THE WAIST, be it empire or hip-hugger, is a walking disaster.

    Posted by fireandair | May 19, 2011, 4:19 pm
  52. Interesting blog I put your link here http://thor27.wordpress.com

    Posted by thor27 | May 19, 2011, 3:39 pm
  53. Love this list! Might I add “If you’re going to a baseball game, then actually watch the baseball game.” At my last game I swear everyone around me was on their phones texting/watching TV. It was ridiculous. What’s the point in going?

    Posted by girlonthecontrary | May 19, 2011, 3:36 pm
    • I agree- just be at the game!

      Posted by Rachel | May 19, 2011, 4:11 pm
    • I think that is the state of America… we can never just be… we typically don’t live in the moment we are waiting for the next big thing. I use to work at a baseball stadium and thought it was funny we would always get a fan or two who would bring in a portable TV… before the cellphone improvements. At least they would be watching the game… but it took me a long time to figure out why, but they wanted it for the replay’s and commentary. So interesting the way times have changed over the years. We should take some time out to just be… or just live in the moment instead of waiting for the next big thing… Hmmm I think I have found something new to blog about. Now if I had the time. 🙂

      Posted by agirlajeepandahouse | May 19, 2011, 6:57 pm
  54. Agree on all counts. I think this list could apply to other sporting events too!

    Congrats on making FP!

    Posted by ThingsYouRealizeAfterYouGetMarried | May 19, 2011, 3:33 pm
  55. Great points! will keep them in mind the next time I go to a game 🙂

    Posted by The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife | May 19, 2011, 3:31 pm
  56. Yay for baseball! And super cute hot guys in tight pants.

    P.S. I adhere to all those rules.

    Posted by Bella Foxx | May 19, 2011, 3:27 pm
  57. They serve this sandwich at the ballpark in my town that is bigger than my head. Literally.

    I don’t even know how someone tackles the “eating” of that monstrosity…

    Posted by Mikalee Byerman | May 19, 2011, 3:26 pm
  58. Yes- what is it about sports jerseys that seem to scream to teenagers “Make me into a belly shirt?!”

    Posted by auntflosvisit | May 19, 2011, 3:20 pm
  59. Hilarious! I especially love the captions on the photos. I nominate blogging as the next in the “How not to make a spectacle of yourself in public” series; it’s so easy to have your metaphorical crack showing out the top of your Bloggerpants.

    Posted by k8peterson | May 19, 2011, 3:19 pm
  60. I’m trying to figure out if her pants are pulled down that far solely because they are three sizes to small and can’t fit on her hips? I can’t believe someone would leave the house like that!
    Garlic french fries sound super good though. Might have to make some for dinner!

    Posted by 41StarsStudio | May 19, 2011, 3:19 pm
  61. Going to baseball games are super fun, but the food is SO expensive!

    Posted by Lakia Gordon | May 19, 2011, 3:17 pm

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