Ms. Diane’s Guide to Manners at the Ballgame

Baseball is a civilized sport, and its fans should be civilized too.  Attending a game at the ballpark should be a pleasant experience.  Not only are you watching a baseball team you love, you should also be having a fun time with your family and/or friends.  Unfortunately, there are some fans that spoil the fun.  Let’s lay down a few rules to help make attending a baseball game a good experience.

  1. Watch your language.  And I don’t mean using run on sentences or the wrong tense of a verb.  I’m talking about cursing.  Fans bring their children to a ballgame and they will not appreciate having to tell them the meaning of that word you used.  If you wouldn’t use that language in front of your mother, then don’t say it at the ballpark.  If drinking makes your language more “colorful,” then perhaps you should only drink at home or at a bar.
  2. Don’t smoke in your seat.  Smoke is irritating to non-smokers. You will be removed from the stadium.  Busch Stadium has designated smoking areas at Gates 1, 2, and 4.
  3. Don’t let your kids kick the seat in front of them.  I went to a game a couple of weeks ago and the kid who was sitting behind me kept kicking my seat. I turned around and glared at him a couple of times, but he didn’t seem to get the message and the dad seemed to be oblivious to what his kid was doing.  I finally moved up to the edge of my seat so that I wouldn’t feel the kicking.  The simple rule of “keep your hands and feet to yourself” is always good to teach your children.
  4. Be courteous and careful when you try to catch foul balls/home run balls. Don’t dive over everyone else or push people out of the way so you can get that foul ball/home run ball.  You could seriously injure someone (or yourself).  And if there is a child sitting near you, consider giving that child the ball.  Children are future baseball fans.  If we are nice to kids and go out of our way to make the game a pleasant experience for them, they will want to become baseball fans too.
  5. Be polite if you have to leave your seat during the game. Say “excuse me” if you have to leave your seat to go to the bathroom or to the concession stand.  Try to limit leaving your seat to the time between innings or between halves of innings.  It’s hard to watch the game when there are people standing and moving in front of you.  If you are seated and a person is trying to get to the aisle, please stand up to make it easier for the person to get through.
  6. Be courteous to stadium workers. They are often standing for hours either directing fans to their seats or working in the concession stand.  Be nice and say “please” and “thank you,” and smile at them.  They’re working hard to make your ballgame experience a pleasant one.
  7. Be courteous when asking players for autographs. And don’t be upset or angry if you don’t get an autograph.  The schedule can be pretty tight and there may not be much time for players to stop and give autographs before the game starts.  After the game, players are tired and they may just want to get home and relax, just like we do after a long day at work.  If you do get an autograph, don’t forget to say “thank you.”
  8. If drinking makes you obnoxious, then don’t drink at the ballpark.  If you want to watch the game and get drunk and obnoxious, do it in your own home or at a bar.  Being around a drunk at a ballgame does not make for a good experience. If you do happen to be sitting close to an obnoxious drunk at a ballgame, let an usher know so that the person can be removed from the stadium.
  9. Don’t use racial or sexual orientation slurs.  Like cursing, this is something that is very hard to explain to a child. It also makes you sound pretty stupid.
  10. Please dress modestly. This is mostly directed at the ladies, although sometimes there are guys who take their style cues from plumbers and let their butt cracks show.  The rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t wear it in front of your mother or your children, then don’t wear it to the ballpark.
  11. Clean up when you leave.  Make sure you have all your personal belongings and throw away your trash.  There are lots of receptacles to recycle plastic bottles in the stadium.  The folks that clean up the stands would be very appreciative if you take a couple minutes to pick up your trash.

If you have any other suggestions to make for good manners at the ballpark, please leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!


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