What to expect at an American baseball game
1. Vocabulary you need to know
Ask an American friend to explain these simple terms for you, and you will understand the game of baseball!
– Home run
– Grand slam
2. When to arrive
Baseball fans have differing opinions on when to arrive. In some stadiums, fans chose to “tailgate,” which means to have a BBQ in the parking lot of the stadium before entering. Others like to arrive a bit early to see the crew prepare the field. Most agree that you should be there for the National Anthem, which is always sung at the beginning of the game.
3. What to wear
Chances are, most people will be wearing the colors or the jersey of the home team. Baseball games are very casual: jeans are always a good idea. Closed-toed shoes are a good idea as well: you might do a lot of walking around these huge stadiums!
4. Opening Traditions
Several things always occur at the beginning of a baseball game:
* The National Anthem
While the National Anthem is being sung, the crowd stands. It is proper etiquette to stand and to take off your hat if you are wearing one. Additionally, everyone places their hand over their heart. During the anthem, you should not talk.
* The Opening Pitch
Someone from the community (a local celebrity, politician, etc.) will throw the “first pitch” of the game. This ceremony is a fun one: sometimes, the person can’t throw so well! But the crowd always cheers anyway.
5. Traditions during the game
Expect a few things to happen during every baseball game:
*The Hat Dance.
This silly game is on the large TV screen. There are three baseball hats, and a ball is under one. The hats “dance” around each other and then you must guess which hat the ball is under.
*The Seventh Inning Stretch.
Games are long! At the seventh inning, everyone stands up, stretches, and sings this song:
Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.
6. What to eat
A hotdog, of course! Hotdogs, peanuts, Cracker Jacks (as mentioned in the song from above), popcorn, lemonade, beer, and malts (similar to soft chocolate ice cream) are all game-time traditions.
If you are not interested in these traditional foods, do not worry: there will be many vendors selling all different types of food at a baseball game. You can wait in line at one of these vendors, or, you can stay in your seat and order from one of the employees walking by. (The second option is definitely more fun!)
Would you like to attend a baseball game while studying at CISL? Check the CISL Activities Calendars to see when you can attend an upcoming game! Click here for the CISL San Diego calendar and here for the CISL San Francisco calendar.