Traditions in Baseball- National Pastime
Baseball is thought of by many to be a national pastime. It is a game rooted in tradition, and has a lot of history. Watching and playing baseball is a way for different generations, races and genders to connect with a common interest. Some rituals have been observed for over one hundred years and continue to be practiced today!
Traditions in Baseball- Throwing Out the First Pitch
It is a common practice, both in professional and lower level leagues, to have a notable person throw out the first pitch of the ball game. Depending on the level of play and importance of the game, this could be someone as famous as the President of the United States, or someone who is locally known and respected.
Throwing out the first pitch of a game or of the season is an honor for whomever is chosen. Oftentimes, the person chosen is a baseball fan, and it is surely a special moment for anyone who has the honor of participating.
Throwing from the pitcher's mound and making it across home plate is no easy feat for non-athletes. Ensuring that your pitch crosses the plate can require practice. For a moment that is important, it is worth the extra effort!
Traditions in Baseball- Stadium Food
One of the most iconic things about a baseball game is enjoying some typical stadium snacks. Some popular items are peanuts, hotdogs, cracker jacks and popcorn. Stadiums have started to offer more gourmet options, and you can now get items like bratwurst, sausage and peppers and even pulled pork nachos and donut burgers.
For baseball players, it is common to enjoy sunflower seeds or large wads of chewing gum while you are playing. These snacks have been enjoyed by players for such a long time that they are part of the culture of playing baseball.
Traditions in Baseball- Seventh Inning Stretch
Baseball games can be time consuming and sitting down for long periods of time can be hard on your body. At almost every baseball game, they enjoy a seventh inning stretch to encourage movement, and participation. Oftentimes, stadiums will play “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and everyone will sing together. The seventh inning stretch is also a great time to go get a final snack or drink before the game is over.
Traditions in Baseball - Taping your Bat
Players wrap the handle of their bats with grip tape to improve the grip they can get on the bat. Wood bats are typically made with no grip, so most players use a sticky substance like pine tar or tack or a tape to get extra friction and increase their hold.
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Traditions in Baseball- The Memories
Collecting memorabilia related to baseball can be almost as fun as enjoying a game. Baseball cards are a great way to enjoy the game year round, without having to attend a game. Many fans bring baseball gloves to games, with the hopes of catching foul balls. Some fans collect commemorative bobbleheads, jerseys or even baseball caps.
There are many ways to enjoy the sport of baseball. Some traditions are universal, and some might be specific just to you or your family. Regardless of how you incorporate baseball into your life, it is sure to be rewarding and enjoyable!