Major League Baseball, known as America’s National Pastime, just celebrated its 92nd All Star game. And while the game of baseball has shaped our nation, Americans have become immune to some of the quirky (and dirty) habits that are widely acceptable on the field. But why? Could you imagine your favorite baseball player walking into a restaurant and adjusting his cup every two minutes? Or constantly spitting while in line at the grocery store? So as we hit the midpoint of the baseball season, we decided to explore …
Top 10 strange & outdated things you can do in baseball, but not in public
10. Spitting: No other sport condones spitting. And baseball players don’t just spit, they spit a lot. Both the dugouts and fields are littered with grown men’s saliva.
9. Sunflower seed consumption: Sunflower seeds have become synonymous with baseball. In fact, most dugouts are equipped with a cornucopia of sponsored sunflower seeds.
8. Wearing pants in the summertime: OK, golf is guilty of this as well, but outdoors in the summer is not a time for white pants and red dirt. We get that it offers added protection, but day games in 102 degrees should offer a choice of long shorts.
7. Stadium organists: We realize we are offending tradition here, but organ music was introduced to baseball games in 1941, well before Elvis, James Brown, The Rolling Stones or hip hop. But baseball has stuck with the musical choice and even today, many teams have their own stadium organist. Outside of a Southern Baptist church, we can’t think of a place that refuses to progress past your great-grandmother’s favorite music.
6. Umpires: Baseball still uses humans for a job a robot could do much better. Look, if the human brain was faster than a computer, we would be in favor of the human every time. But a strike zone is a strike zone. So why do we still have humans creating a subjective target that could decide titles and careers?
5. No women allowed: Yes, MLB rosters are completely occupied by males, but this doesn’t mean baseball couldn’t explore more female coaches and personnel. Hats off to the San Francisco Giants for hiring Alyssa Nakken, but this is a needed trend that could lead to a larger audience for the sport (we also realize this one applies across the board).
4. Allowing a pitcher to hit a player: Many major league pitchers throw over 100 mph. And when an inside pitch deliberately strikes a batter, it can end a season for a team’s brightest star. No other sport allows a foe to jeopardize another player’s health and safety with such little repercussions.
3. Using signs: Hand signs and signals are one of baseball’s greatest traditions. But recent revelations (Houston Astros) have taught us that deciphering this method isn’t exactly like cracking the Enigma Machine. This will never change, but if a pitcher ever uses an ear piece, it might make things a bit more discreet.
2. Crotch-grabbing: Yes, baseball players wear protective cups. But even so, baseball players “play the corner pocket” with a habitual obsession. Nowhere, outside of rap concerts, is this even mildly accepted.
1. Coaches throwing temper tantrums: Only on a baseball field could a grown man kick dirt, throw a water cooler and maniacally scream into the face of authority … and not be arrested.