Here we present 5 things that every baseball fan should resolve to do this year. The key to these is that they are feasible without needing really hard to get tickets; we’re not presenting “Attend World Series/All Star Game” or “Meet Mike Trout”. Every fan can do each and every one of these with a little vacation from work and travel funding.
1) Attend a game of the World Baseball Classic
The triennial event comes again in 2013. States side, games will be played in Miami, Phoenix, and San Francisco. But there are opportunities to visit Puerto Rico, Japan, and Taiwan. Tickets should be mostly available, you might consider attending a matchup between two non-US teams to see some of the passion of overseas fans. It is certainly acknowledged that not all the stars from each country will play, but you’ll see some up and coming stars on the big stage that might play their way into the Majors.
2) Attend your favorite teams Spring Training Home
Having done this more times than I can count, it’s a baseball fans dream. The camps are conveniently located in warm locales like Orlando, Miami, and Phoenix. Game times are early afternoon, meaning you can spend the evenings at your leisure or mornings at the beach. Many teams open up their morning workouts to the public, so you can go early and see your favorite players close up. Spring Training is a great place to meet other fans, interact with players and coaches, and get out of the winter cold. Tickets are mostly available if you buy in advance, autograph opportunities are abound, and souvenir baseballs are “cheap” as players liberally toss them to the crowd.
3) Attend a game on Opening Day
Admittedly in many cities this can be a tough ticket, but notimpossible. At least tickets on the secondary market are not too expensive. But Opening Day is a religious experience for most baseball fans. To have that feeling of everyone being in the pennant race, meeting the new faces on the team, seeing fans you haven’t seen from last year (if you’re a regular). The pregame refreshments at the bar near the stadium, the excitement of the first home run, everything. The enthusiasm of the players is palpable.
4) Attend batting practice for a regular season game
Maybe not on opening day, but choose a weekday game, leave work early, bring the kids, and get to the stadium right when the doors open. Most stadiums will let fans down to the field rail without a ticket (or you can at least ask) and see the players up close, chat with them, watch how that middle infielder utility guy knocks 4 home runs in a row out (and realize how good these guys are). Especially if you’re a fan of the visiting team, this is a great chance to get an autograph, have a quick talk with your favorite player, or just watch the outfield ball-shagging players clown around.
5) Attend the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
If you go, you might see me there, it’s on my 2013 “to do” list (admittedly dependent upon who is being inducted). If you haven’t been to the Hall of Fame, then don’t expect to see it this weekend because it’s closed to the public. But if you have visited before, I imagine seeing this will only add to the experience. Most living Hall of Famers will be in attendance. Cooperstown has the small town charm (but must be bustling at the seams for this weekend). Feel like you’re part of history as you watch legends be humbled by their inclusion in baseball’s most prestigious circle. Attendance to the induction ceremony is free, just gotta get there, get there early, and find a spot on the lawn.
I will admit, I’ve only done 3 of these in my lifetime, I probably won’t do #1, but as I said, I plan to do #5 this year. But no reason a true baseball fan can’t do all five this year!
– Dave (@lhd_on_sports)
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