Baseball is a wonderful summer pastime and one of the rare opportunities in which the spectator can say things to a player and the player will actually hear it. Sure, depending on the venue, you may have to yell, but when the bleachers1 are pressed close to the backstop2, there isn't much to block the sound. This can create a highly personal experience for the spectators and somewhat of a distracting situation for the player. Heckles are an extremely important aspect of the game and should be treated with respect.
The following are guidelines on how to properly heckle during a baseball game.
- DO make jokes and puns about the opposing team's mascot. Example: 'What is a Sea Wolf? Is that a real animal? Are you a mythical creature?'
- DO comment on the attire of the opposing team. Example: 'You've got some mighty fancy pants there, batter! Where'd you get such fancy pants?'
- DO shout nonsensical phrases, movie quotes or general facts aimed at distracting and confusing players. Example: 'Yogurt is alive! I'm riding a furry tractor, Ron!'
- DO make puns based on or around the player's number.
- DO express your disagreement with calls in a polite and civil manner. Example: 'I question your value system, sir. I urge you to reconsider.'
- DO NOT make comments based on race, ethnicity or perceived sexual orientation. If the best thing you can come up with is, 'Pitcher's got a gay hat', then your heckling privileges will be removed.
- DO NOT not tell any players that they 'suck'. Yelling 'You suck!' merely demonstrates that you yourself suck at the noble art of heckling.
- DO NOT use profanity. If you can't think of a creative heckle without swearing, you don't deserve to heckle. This is a family sport and should be treated as such.
- DO NOT heckle an injured player or umpire. It may be tempting to yell, 'Karma's a b*tch!' at a fallen ump but that is not sportsmanlike.
Baseball games are only as fun as the people watching. So go to a game, have fun, get involved, heckle your heart out and try to get the rest of the crowd involved. Keep it fun, keep it good natured and keep it sportsmanlike.