There are certain things every baseball fan should try before the season is over. You may find a new way to enjoy the game in this list or you may rediscover an old passion. There are countless ways to enjoy the sport but here are 10 to get you going as the new season nears.
10. Get Involved In Baseball Discussions
Everyone has an opinion on their favorite team or players so why not share yours? Call into a radio show and let them know what you think of Derek Jeter and his new contract or Miguel Cabrera and how he will perform after this spring's events. Sign up with Fake Teams and share your thoughts in the comments or make a fanpost about whatever it is you want to talk about. It's a great way to meet like minded people and share your love of the game.
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9. Play Fantasy Baseball
If you frequent this site you probably already play but if you're new to the concept it's a great way to learn about the game and spread your knowledge beyond your favorite team. If you know any hardcore baseball fan they are likely in a league so ask if there is an opening. You will meet other baseball fans and it gives you a chance to trash talk your friends when Buster Posey hits three home runs for you and Gio Gonzalez tosses a 12 strikeout shutout gem.
8. Dig Into The Game's Past
Part of baseball's joy is its dramatic history and the characters that played a part in it. A book about the game's past is a good place to start and contain some of the sport's greatest anecdotes. Ken Burns' 22 hour documentary is an epic look at the game's past and even it only covers a small portion of baseball's great stories.
7. Play Baseball Mogul
Download the demo and give it a try. It's a simple gameplay that's easy to step into your role as your favorite team's GM. The feeling of trading for your favorite players, drafting the next breakout star and finally taking your team to the World Series is a must for any baseball fan. Sure it's not running around shooting aliens in their stupid faces or stealing cars and punching hookers but it's a nice way to watch a season of baseball unfold in a matter of minutes. Just a caution; The more into stats you are the more this game will eat into your work, significant other and shower time. The games are released with next year's date on it so Baseball Mogul 2011 is last year's edition and the one for the 2011 season is called Baseball Mogul 2012. Don't ask me why.
6. Catch Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in Moneyball.
Brad Pitt and his hair will play the role of Billy Beane in this drama about Beane's successful transformation of the small market Oakland A's into a contender. Jonah Hill plays the role of Assistant GM Peter Brand based on Beane's real life Assistant GM Paul DePodesta. I think he would have been better cast in the role of Jorge Posada but that went to some guy named Sergio Garcia. Moneyball is scheduled to be released in September. What a curious time to release a baseball movie.
5. Dig Out The Card Collection
There was once a time when my baseball card collection told me the story of what happened in the 1991 season. A Christmas gift of a few cards set off a spending spree where every dollar I saved went towards purchasing some form of paper with a picture of an athlete on it. Until the advent of the internet my main source of information on the year that passed was the cards. Whenever I pour through my collection it takes me back not only to the 1991 season but my childhood.
4. Catch A Minor League Game
If you live in North America there should be some form of professional baseball being played near you. It may not be the highest level of play but you're bound to see a few future major leaguers. The tickets are much cheaper than an MLB game and the games are more intimate in the smaller stadiums. Grab a few buddies or take the kids and rediscover why a day at the ballpark is the best way to pass the time.
3. Watch A Game Commentated By Vin Scully
Vin Scully has provided top notch commentary at Dodgers games since they were back in Brooklyn. The only remaining member of the Brooklyn staff is nearing the end of his illustrious career and you would be missing out if you don't get to listen to him call a game. He is one of baseball's greatest figures in history and may go down as the greatest broadcaster the game has ever seen.
2. Go On A Baseball Roadtrip
Pack the car and hit the road to take in some of baseball's greatest attractions. Check out Cooperstown or the set of Field of Dreams. Make a run down the West coast catching a game in every big league city or help revitalize Japan's tsunami ravaged economy by taking a tour of their stadiums. It's a great way to see some of the countryside and spend some quality time with your loved ones.
Play any way you can whether it's joining a beer league, tossing the ball with friends in the park or hitting pop flies to little leaguers. Your stomach may be more Babe Ruth than your bat but getting out and putting a bat on a ball is a feeling like no other and should be enjoyed as often as possible.