Best Ways to Enjoy Baseball This Summer

Summer is here, which means backyard barbecues, outdoor concerts, state fairs, and lots and lots of big-league baseball games happening across the country every day. 2,430, to be exact, not including the postseason.

While you might be counting down the days to football – or don’t care for sports one way or another – baseball is an essential part of the American experience. The more you enjoy baseball, the better you appreciate something passed down from generation to generation for over a century.

With that said, enjoying baseball doesn’t happen overnight. You need to learn the rules, know a thing or two about statistics, and – most importantly – appreciate the game within the game.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the best ways to enjoy baseball this summer:

Going to the ballpark

When it comes to enjoying baseball, nothing beats spending a day at the ballpark with friends and family. While not everyone lives within driving distance of a major league ballpark, many smaller cities are home to minor league teams, giving fans in attendance a chance to see the stars of tomorrow. Even if the game turns into an unfavorable blowout in the first inning, the ballpark atmosphere can’t be beat. From the smell of hotdogs on the grill to the taste of ice-cold beer on tap, most ballparks provide visitors with plenty to enjoy, even if the home team fails to win.

Having it on in the background

Unlike football, where teams only play once per week, baseball is played almost every day. It’s understandably difficult, if not impossible, to pay attention to every pitch in every game. However, that’s what makes baseball perfect background noise at work, home, or in the car. Having baseball on in the background lets you take advantage of the lulls in the action to accomplish tasks throughout the day. If the broadcasters do their jobs correctly, important developments will be matched by a similar uptick in enthusiasm, cluing you into when to pay closer attention. All the while, you’re exposed to hours of baseball-related conversations and insights, helping you understand the game better.

Playing with friends

It all looks so easy on television. Throw a ball, hit a ball, catch a ball…what’s the big deal? If that’s how you feel, then head to the nearest sandlot with some friends and see how you handle the fastball up and inside. You might even be able to sign-up with local amateur baseball clubs and leagues. To be honest, you probably want to start with some softballs before moving on to hardball. However, even a game of catch with someone can be an eye-opening experience. It can also be a lot of fun and an invigorating workout!

Playing with friends #2

The statistics-heavy nature of baseball makes it perfect for video games, fantasy sports, and playing the odds. All three can be done with friends. For instance, if you have a gaming console, buy a copy of MLB: The Show and play online with friends and strangers. The level of development detail is second to none, giving players a hands-on look at how fun and difficult it is to play baseball. Putting some money behind MLB betting odds is another exciting way to enjoy baseball with your friends and put your newfound understanding of the game to the ultimate test. Lastly, fantasy baseball is a thrilling experience for anyone who thinks they have what it takes to be a big-league scout and those just looking for a good time.

Watching Baseball: A Ken Burns Documentary

Appreciating baseball goes beyond watching the current season and extends backward through time to the mid-1800s. That’s because the baseball establishment is obsessed with the ghosts of its past, constantly comparing current players’ statistics with those long gone. It’s a lot to soak in, which is why we recommend watching the PBS documentary miniseries Baseball. Directed by renowned documentarian Ken Burns, Baseball delves into the history of the game, with a focus on the most memorable and infamous moments. Watching Baseball will help you appreciate the game more and leave a lasting impact on your understanding of American history.

With summer in full swing, baseball is the only game in town until fall. With so many games left to be played this season, now’s the time to enjoy baseball more than ever.