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How to Participate in Baseball Fan Traditions

Going to a baseball game can be a lot more fun if you get in on the action and participate in the traditions.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Turn your cap inside out or wear it upside down if your team is losing in the late innings. This superstition began in the late 1970s and was originally practiced only by players, but, by into the 1980s, fans began to join in, too.
  • Step 2: Participate in traditions specific to individual teams. If you're an Angels fan, for instance, bring a plush monkey to the game. The "Rally Monkey" works much the same as a rally cap. Just don't bring out the monkey before the seventh inning.
  • FACT: The Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates played the first World Series in 1903. Boston won the best-of-9 series, 5 games to 3.
  • Step 3: Boo the opposing pitcher when he throws to first base to try to pick off a runner. Often, pickoff throws are an attempt to get into the heads of the opposing players. In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, "Baseball is 90 percent mental, and the other half is physical."
  • TIP: Some fans keep the ball anyway, or give it to a young fan who will appreciate it. While intended to insult the visiting team, the players aren't likely to care what happens to the ball once it's left the park.
  • Step 4: Sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch. Fans sing the song between the top and bottom halves of the seventh inning in every Major League ballpark. The tradition dates back to the 1970s, reportedly started by legendary Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray.
  • TIP: Fans at Boston's Fenway Park also sing the Neil Diamond classic, "Sweet Caroline," at the middle of the eighth inning.
  • Step 5: Throw back a home run ball hit by the visiting team. This tradition shows that a true fan wouldn't want a souvenir symbolizing the opposing team's victory, even if it's just one run.
  • Step 6: Stand up and stretch between the top and bottom of the seventh inning. No one really knows the origin of the seventh inning stretch, but it's a welcome relief from sitting in your seat.

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