I’m often asked what I like to do on a typical summer night and I tell them “Head to a baseball game.” They follow that up with a nod of acceptance but then go on to ask what I do on a regular basis and I again answer with “Catch a baseball game.” They ask if I ever go to bars and I say, “Sure I do but not as often as a baseball game.”
They are left perplexed. Why would a mid 20s guy like myself be at a baseball game most nights when I could be mingling with other like-minded mid 20s individuals at the bar. It’s a pretty simple answer really a baseball game presents most of the features of a bar, albeit more costly, but in a larger atmosphere with far more like minded people from all walks of life.
If you have ever attended a professional baseball game, which I am hoping most of you have you know the atmosphere is pretty great. What is better than looking around you and seeing thousands of other people knowing that they are here experiencing the embodiment of America just like you. Okay yeah, maybe the beer is more expensive and the only person you know is sitting next to you but a baseball stadium presents a great way to interact with people and the game itself provides an excellent avenue for those interactions.
Alright some will argue that you’ll probably never meet anybody with the possibility of a date at a game, but I argue that the odds are not any better or worse than at a bar and chances are if they are at the game you already have a common interest, ice breaker anyone?
Nevertheless, going out whether to a bar or a game shouldn’t be about meeting the possible Mr. /Mrs. It’s about experiencing life, having fun, and making memories. Although just for the record, I can recount countless meetings of complete strangers while at the ballpark. Most recently of which was a girl who upon the ending of the game gave me a very flattering farewell of “see you later babe”. It is all about sharing camaraderie with people that you cannot necessarily get at your local watering hole.
I would be remiss if I did not add this little anecdote from yesterday’s Indians walk-off win. While sitting in the bleachers I again somehow just found myself striking up conversation with random fans around me. The first actually being a Phillies fan with his family taking in the game on his way to Detroit to catch his team match up against the Tigers. We talked about the game, the league, and rowdiness of fans from different ballparks. This guy had no investment in the Indians but loved the game of baseball and that was enough to get a candid conversation going. Did I mention that the Philly accent is probably one of my new favorites?
The other fan encounter was a girl decked out in Tribe garb; she even had her nails painted for the occasion. The conversation started over where Brohio section is located in Progressive Field, which we never figured out, and then continued on when drunken fans above us in the bleachers just performed the most hilarious of antics. Fast forward to the bottom of the 11th inning when the Indians won it on a walk-off three-run jack and the place absolutely lit up and we all celebrated with high fives, who said the high five was gone?
I’ve been involved in a few exciting moments in my life, but there are few better feelings than feeling the electricity of being part of a crowd of 20,000 plus people celebrating a victory.
So sure bars are a great time to go out hang with your friends and interact, especially during baseball’s offseason, but heading to a baseball game is how you really experience a summer.