I’ve attended many baseball games over the years and recently I was at a Cubs game when I overheard a conversation that would make any avid Cubs fan cringe. I started to notice that there were SO many first timers surrounding me, and trust me, you can tell who is attending their first ballgame.
All of the observations from that game led me to this: fan etiquette. Here is a list of what to do, and what not to do in case you’re not aware. I am in no way saying I’m better or know more than anyone or anything of that sort. I have however been following baseball for a while and my main goal is to prevent you from making thoughtless errors that will affect the game I love and other knowledgeable fans. Avoiding these baseball faux pas will allow everyone to have a great time at the ballpark, after all, that’s what we’re all there for.
1.- This one is obvious, please take off your hat during the National Anthem, and ladies, that goes for you too. Don’t worry about how your hair looks without it on.
2.- Please be aware of the teams that are playing, and if you’re feeling daring, find out the starting lineup.
3.- Get to the game on time.
4.- Don’t start fights with fans of the opposing team. Not everyone roots for the same team you do.
5.- Don’t get up if it’s a pivotal point in the game, buying your nacho helmet can wait.
6.- Don’t leave until the game is over. Unless it’s an emergency.
7.- Never cheer if a player gets hurt, even if it’s from the opposing team.
8.- DON’T EVER DO THE WAVE. EVER.
9.- Don’t go to the game and gossip or “catch up” on how life has been. Please watch the game. Oh, and ladies, it’s also not time to have a photo shoot.
10.- I would also like to remind fans that in “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” it’s not “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks” NO. It’s Cracker Jack.
11.- If you’re going to drink, fine, but make sure you can walk on your own by the end of the game.
12.- Don’t get carried away with obscenities, especially if there are kids around.
13.- Don’t interfere with a live ball. Unless you’re absolutely sure that it’s out of play.
14.- Ladies, please wear proper attire. A Sweater dress with kittens and heels is not appropriate (I have seen this before.)
15.- If there is a perfect game or a no-hitter happening, don’t say anything.
16.- Don’t smoke.
There are unwritten rules, which is mostly what I included, but the Cubs also have a set list of things that are prohibited, including some I have mentioned above.
This is what the Cubs have to say:
Guest Conduct: In conjunction with the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, the Chicago Cubs are committed to keeping Wrigley Field a safe, comfortable and enjoyable environment for all fans. Our associates have been trained to proactively intervene where necessary to respond to unacceptable behavior such as:
o Unruly behavior including but not limited to foul/abusive language or obscene/ threatening gestures, fighting, taunting or making threatening remarks;
o Intoxication or other signs of impairment related to alcohol consumption or any illegal drug;
o Smoking in any form, including electronic cigarettes;
o Displays of affection not appropriate in a public, family setting;
o Obscene or indecent clothing or signs;
o Any disruption of the game or event, including throwing of objects or trespassing on the playing field or in other restricted areas;
o Sitting in a location other than the guest’s ticketed seat; or
o Entering the field of play as prohibited by Illinois law.
Any guest not adhering to the above code or behaving in an unruly manner may be subject to removal from Wrigley Field. The Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field reserve the right to determine what is unruly or unacceptable behavior and to take any and all actions permitted by applicable law, including without limitation removal and prosecution.
If anyone is interfering with your enjoyment of Wrigley Field, please contact the nearest Wrigley Field Associate for assistance or text our fan assistance hotline at 88019, Keyword “FAN” and identify your seating location.
I know some people might be thinking that I am just being too picky but at the end of the day, the reason you go to the ballpark is to escape your life and have a great time. Just make sure that your idea of having a great time doesn’t interfere with someone else’s. I will say that sometimes I get a little impatient when fans don’t know baseball, and I try to understand that not everyone is a dork like me, but again, the point here is to try and if you’re going to show up at Wrigley just because you got a free ticket and just bash baseball or the Cubs, you might as well stay home. I expect every human to act with common courtesy. To new fans of the game, you are welcomed, but just try not to do any of the things mentioned above and you’ll be good to go. To the veteran fans, I’ll just say that you shouldn’t use your passion for the team as an excuse to disregard proper fan etiquette.
Thanks for reading and as always, Go Cubs!