Okay, so maybe not every American drives a Chevy, but most boys and girls learn to play the sport in school and adults pay good money to watch professionals play it very well. If you are visiting the U. Tropicana Field in St. Peterburg, Florida, is home to the Tampa Rays baseball team. My father lives in a suburb and is a die-hard Pittsburgh fan, so when his beloved Pirates were in town, we took him to a game as a Father's Day gift.
It's a sport where, more than any other, you look back at the dominance of yesteryear. There are many traditions in baseball.
Some are limited to one team or ballpark, while others are practiced and celebrated throughout the league. The following is a list of 50 of baseball's greatest traditions.
They are in no particular order. After all, you can't put a price tag on tradition. Usually, it's a local celebrity, a local hero or someone of that nature. For the first game of the season, it is typically the President of the United States who throws it out. The tradition began in when President William Taft threw out the first pitch at the Washington Senators game.
For a time, the first pitch rotated to other cities, but now that Washington again has a franchise, the incumbent president usually throws out the first pitch in the Nationals game.
One of the major ones is simply buying food. Yes, it's expensive these days, but it's something you do nonetheless. There are many more too: pretzels, beer, ice cream—the list goes on and on.
Few know the full song, but everybody who's seen a ball game knows the chorus. Harry Caray is likely the most well-known man to sing this. The longtime Cubs announcer began singing it to himself in his booth as the White Sox announcer when Bill Veeck turned his mic on, letting him sing it to the crowd.
When he moved to the Cubs and Wrigley Field, it became a tradition. The tune is sung at each game during the The popular origin of this, though it's most likely legend, is that during a game, President Taft got up to stretch in the middle of the seventh, and out of respect, the crowd joined him as well.
After getting up and singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," people sit back down or grab their final snacks now's the time for ice cream if it's summer , and the game begins to wrap up. Instead of just the crowd singing it, celebrities would be invited to sing it along with the crowd.
If you name a celebrity, there's a good chance they've sung it. T, Ozzy Osbourne, Bill Murray—the list goes on. Some sing it very well.
Others, well, not so much. It's sung at the start of every sporting event, yes, but baseball was the originator, doing it for every game since World War II and even performing it once in a while during the 19th century. The tradition of playing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" is relatively new, as the song began to be played in the middle of the eighth inning each day in It has since caught on, and maybe this is something that helped to break the Curse of the Bambino.
It has since changed to Sinatra's being played no matter the outcome. While it is played at other New York stadiums as well, the Yankees are the prominent example.
I'm not sure where this tradition began, though it seems to be most known as something the Rangers do. In reality, it's a special event several times a year throughout the country. The dollar hot dogs themselves are great enough, but what makes them tradition is what goes along with it.
Getting one and trying them with different toppings, buying 10 and challenging your friends to an eating contest or even just buying the one and getting right back to the game—all are enjoyable.
You keep an eye on others and make sure they don't steal anything from you, and people can be reluctant to help others. Yet all that is thrown out the window in baseball. Many vendors come by, and whether they're selling peanuts, ice cold beer or popcorn, you shout for it, and all you have to do is pass your money down the row.
No matter who your seatmates are, they'll give it to the vendor, who passes your purchase down, and you get it without any problems. You won't find that kind of service anywhere else. If there's one thing people will bring to the game, it's their baseball glove.
It doesn't matter if you're sitting at the foul line, behind home plate or in the nosebleed sections—the glove comes to the park. After all, you never know where those foul balls might end up. Waiting by the Dugout to Get the Inning-Ending Ball 12 of 50 Where the man is pointing is usually about where the ball ends up.
If you have, then you know what I'm talking about.
After each half-inning, one of the last ballplayers that comes into the dugout tosses the baseball up into the stands, usually just barely clearing the dugout, and just enough so that any kids nearby can try to grab it for themselves. It may not be a foul ball or home run, but it's an amazing souvenir nonetheless.
I went to a game in against the Baltimore Orioles, where I recognized their cleanup hitter immediately; the powerful yet unlikable Albert Belle.
Needless to say, all my boos had one target. Kids and adults alike join in on this. Yes, people boo opponents all the time; it transcends baseball. What makes this a baseball tradition is that the boos are not directed at the people as they make their way on the field, or when they're playing on the field; they're directed right at the scoreboard as their picture comes up.
Whether it was one of Albert Pujols or Luis Pujols, you wanted to be one of those people that got one. It's a great souvenir, and while there are many, many other giveaways over the course of a season, there's something about the bobbleheads that will draw a fan.
They're fairly popular now, but their heyday was the s, and as a result it's something the older and younger generations can both enjoy. It's just something that can bring a duo together like little else can. It's a souvenir you'd be lucky to get once.
Catching a home run from the opposing team, however, feels wrong. It is primarily a Cubs tradition to throw the ball back from an opponent's home run, but it does happen nationally as well, especially when the ball is hit by a rival team.
It may sound silly to a non-baseball fan to throw the souvenir back, but it's tradition to do so, even if you never catch another ball in your life.
If someone is going to try to catch one with their glove, though, they better catch it. No letting it fall in the popcorn or bounce off the glove and having it fall back on the field.
The boos that result are not hostile, but simple "you messed up" boos. Putting in the right numbers and dashes when the batters come up is not the easiest tradition to adopt on here, but it does end up bringing you a lot closer to the game.
Often, fireworks are shot after a home run. In some other sports, fireworks are used in the pregame festivities.
When it comes to baseball, the best fireworks are the postgame fireworks. After the field clears and the game wraps up, the fireworks are shot off, and it's a great sight to watch, whether your team won or lost. Only in baseball does that position rise to such prominence.
Each announcer has his idiosyncrasies that you grow up on; it even becomes a way to detect people from your hometown. If the rain is no more than a drizzle, there's always the tradition of putting on a clear poncho and sitting through the game.
If it's bad enough, out comes the tarp and it's a waiting game.