What Not To Wear (Ballpark Edition)By
I can’t be the only one who likes to look at all the terrible things people wear at the ballpark, right? There should be a law banning bad baseball clothes. Luckily, I’m a girl, so I’m perfectly prepared to make a proper list of fan appropriate attire, and a baseball fan, so I can judge other fans all I want. I could go on for a while with this, but I’ll only cover general stuff and the two most important things.
- You should only be wearing baseball attire of a team in your current ballpark. The lone exception to this is if you are sporting merchandise of a closely affiliated rival. If you’re wearing Red Sox gear at a Yankees/Twins game, I know who you’re rooting for. If you’re wearing Diamondbacks gear, you just look stupid.
- You should only be wearing the baseball attire of one (1) team that is playing in the ballpark. Anyone who wears both Yankees and Red Sox attire to a Yankees/Sox game should be shot. The point of wearing team colors is to show your affiliation to a team. Wearing both sides is like admitting you have no rooting interest. Why are you at the ballpark if you don’t want someone to win? Corporate event?
- Wearing gear of an affiliated minor league team to the major league ballpark (and vice versa) is very cool. Oh, you watch the Trenton Thunder? You must be wise.
- Don’t wear pink. There are lots of social settings for pink. The ballpark is not one of them.
- You can tell the SABR geeks from everyone else with their oversized calculators. Avoid at all costs.
The jersey is the ideal shirt for any baseball fan. There are going to be a lot of jersey-wearing folk at any game you go to. Obviously, the people wearing the jerseys are the best fans, so if you have any important questions about the team, they’re the ones to ask. Here are some important rules to follow:
The name/number on the back:
- Historical players and current players are both okay.
- The jersey should have the proper name of the player in question. Nicknames are not okay. “Sandman” is for the speakers, not your back.
- Obscure nicknames will be funny to the four people who recognize them, but I would personally advise against it if you don’t want people giving really strange looks to your back.
- “Captain Groundballs” and all other witty nicknames are only funny on the internet, not embroidered.
- Name shortening is not okay.
- Stealing other players’ nicknames is not okay, even if they apply. A friend of mine once saw a 2 Yankees jersey that had “the Franchise” on it. Take that guy outside and shoot him.
- Your jersey player shows what kind of person you are:
- Player working on long, storied career (Jeter, Rivera, Posada): I don’t want to screw up what jersey I have, because I only have one.
- Player just signed to big contract (Sabathia, Burnett, Teixeira): I like buying jerseys of players that are successful. I probably have a few.
- Player recently departed (Pettitte, Mussina, Matsui): I have been a fan since before this year.
- Successful player, but not quite storied (Granderson, Swisher, Hughes): I am trendy, and I’m going to tell people I had this jersey before the player in question got big.
- Any historically great player (Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio): I have more jersey security and less originality than you could ever have.
- Pavano jersey: So, what’s a home run, again?
A few additional notes:
- Do not tuck in your jersey unless you are actually going to play baseball.
- If you’re going to wear a jersey you found on the internet for $20, at least try to find one that looks close to what your team actually wears.
- Don’t wear a Pavano jersey.
Hats are big. Hats are where most fans go astray, too. The great thing about a hat is that it’s acceptable in virtually every social setting that’s remotely casual, so you can take your visible fan affiliation everywhere you go. While there are lots of different hats (and many you shouldn’t wear), I’m going to focus entirely on baseball caps. I’ve separated this category into some easy Do’s and Don’ts:
- Wear the hat most like the players of your team. Official caps are simple and classic. If it’s good enough for the ballplayers to be wearing it, you should be wearing it too.
- The older the cap is, the better. Wear makes hats look better, not worse.
- Got a cap with an old logo the team doesn’t use any more? Wear it. You’re obviously the best fan.
- Wear team colors. Again, no pink. The only other acceptable color scheme for a hat is black-on-black. Simple and classic, folks.
- Wear over-complicated designs. The more stuff going on on your hat, the less sense someone is going to make of it.
- Leave the sticker on your hat. I don’t know when this became cool, but if you take the tag off your clothes, why wouldn’t you take it off your hat?
- Wear holiday-baseball hats. There are no holidays (but there is a Holliday) in baseball besides the All-Star Break.
- Are you a hipster? No? No plaid. Is there a team that wears plaid? No.
- No pink.
Equipped with this knowledge, you can sally forth as the best-dressed baseball fan around. Even if you don’t actually know what you’re watching, you can certainly look like a long-term fan of whatever team you’re going to just by sticking to some easy rules. And after all, going to a ballgame is all about how you look. Right?