Fan-Tastic, Part 2

Fun Fact: Rain Delays don't last forever.  Fun Fact #2: Rally Towels are very absorbent.

When 30,000 baseball fans get together, one or two will turn out to be jerks.

Not you and me, of course. But, you know, other guys.

I recently wrote about how we are much better behaved today than our grandparents and great-grandparents were. Click here.

A hundred years ago, the unwritten rules for baseball fans were essentially: “Don’t kill anyone. But, if you do – and we know these things happen – please keep bloodshed to a minimum. Also, if you have the Spanish flu, tuberculosis, or the plague, please stay home.”

The only written rule was this:

colored whites sign

That rule’s gone.

But, there are plenty of other rules today.

Good rules. (We don’t care what your great-grandparents brought to the games, leave your guns and knives at home.”)

Weird rules. (No full bodysuits in Cincinnati.)


(Not so fast there, Reds fan.)

And, dictatorial ones. (For a game that segregated fans for years with “Coloreds Only” signs, they really shouldn’t be so self-righteous when it comes to what WE can put on OUR signs.)

These things are banned in pretty much every major league ballpark:

Thermoses, things in glass, hard-sided coolers, noisemakers, fireworks, guns and knives, anything that explodes, anything that could kill you (except, apparently, trans fats and chewing tobacco), anything that could put out someone’s eye.

Also specifically restricted in most ballparks:

Standing or sitting in the aisles, in the portals, or in the tunnels. Sitting in a location other than your ticketed seat.

Running onto the field of play (clothed or unclothed).

Throwing stuff onto the field.

Foul language.

“Disruptive behavior.”


Inappropriate public displays of affection.

Skateboards (except at San Francisco’s AT&T Park where you may stow your ’board under your seat).

Brooms. (Exceptions are made in some parks if the team is going for a sweep. Oakland’s O.Co Stadium says no full-size brooms, but little “whiskbrooms” are OK. Clearly, a grandmother writes their rules.)

Fishing nets. ~ Chase Field, PhoenixCoors Field, Denver

Beach balls.

“Culturally insensitive attire.” ~ AT&T Park, San Francisco

“Food that might be thrown as a projectile … (i.e., oranges, apples and other fruits).” ~ Petco Park, San Diego

“Any fruit or vegetable larger than a grapefruit” unless it is sliced. ~ Coors Field, Denver

“Loud or lengthy” cell phone calls. ~ U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago White Sox

Hairspray. ~ Marlins Park, Miami

Inflatable dolls. ~ Petco Park, San Diego.

stay classy

You stay classy, San Diego.

“Confetti or Glitter” ~ Yankee Stadium, New York

The Pittsburgh Pirates specifically ban footballs from PNC Park. Good for you, Pittsburgh. Footballs should just be banned, period.

The Washington Nationals encourage you to sit still: “Be a team player – Restrict movement in the seating area to breaks in the action.”

The Philadelphia Phillies will let you bring handmade signs, but they provide a lengthy list of guidelines on what your sign may say, its size, what it can be made of, and how you can display it. No “fighting words,” they warn.

“Citizens Bank Park is a baseball ballpark and not a forum for public discussion.”

The Houston Astros insist that your sign must “support” the team or a player and be in “good taste”.

(Trying to come up with a sign supporting the Astros? How about this: “Well, at least you’re not the Rangers.”)

Most places restrict “wrapped gifts.” The Kansas City Royals, recognizing you might be celebrating a birthday at Kaufmann Stadium, earnestly suggest “gift bags” instead.

The Mets allow diaper bags “with children.” I don’t know where to go with this, because I didn’t even know diaper bags could procreate.

St. Louis’ Busch Stadium has a pretty short prohibited list. Leave your big bags and weapons home. That’s about it. Have at it, Cardinals fans!

Oh, except for this:

“Visiting team fans are our guests. Harassment of the visiting team or their fans will not be tolerated and may result in ejection.”

Cardinal harassing is, apparently, a-ok. You may now harass John Lackey with abandon.

The Angels and Dodgers invite you to bring your crappy cameras and iPhones, but no lenses that are longer than 4” (Angels) or 6” (Dodgers), please. The Tampa Rays allow lenses that are 12”. (The better to fully capture the Trop’s Teflon roof.)

The Yankees invite you to bring whatever size lens you like.

Visit the Minnesota Twins’ website and they will offer you security rules for the Metrodome.


They haven’t played there since 2009 and it was permanently deflated earlier this year.

The Mets continue to have tight security at Shea Stadium.


Shea was torn down in 2009.

Most teams explain that the only animals allowed are service animals (except for special “barks in the parks” events).

Miniature horses are specifically welcome at Petco Park in San Diego, as long as they are serving a direct service role. (Slacker horses? Not allowed.)

service miniature horse

By DanDee Shots [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

(Yes, service horses wear sneakers!)

A big tail wag to the Chicago White Sox who allow service animals at U.S. Cellular Field and “offer a Pet Check service for other types of animals.” 

stevie relaxing

Stevie hopes this “pet check” includes snacks and a nice brushing.

Then there’s the Toronto Blue Jays. What a way to ruin a post, what with your “We’re a friendly place and we want you to be happy” rules.

They even promise to greet us with a cheery “How’s it goin’?”

hows it going

(My friend Susie swears that no one in Canada really says “How’s it goin’?”  She’s from Canada, she should know.)

They seem almost apologetic to be restricting anything, and when they do, it’s really just to keep you tidy.

Your own food is welcome, “as long as the items are wrapped, bagged or left inside a container to avoid spillage.” See? They just want to keep mustard off your shirt.

But, there is one odd Toronto rule:

“For obvious safety concerns, guests are not permitted to throw any objects around or within the Rogers Centre seating areas (e.g., baseballs, beach balls, shoes, seat cushions, hats, food, drinks, ice, coins, etc).”

Coins? Shoes? Ice? (There’s a lot of ice in Canada.)

This is ironic since Toronto is fast becoming known for having the worst, drunkest, throwingest fans in baseball(Sorry, Philly.)

Hey, mind the rules, Toronto fans. Don’t throw your beer at Nate McLouth.


And, here’s the one you’ve been waiting for …

Earlier this season, the Texas Rangers “banned” fans from doing the wave.




18 thoughts on “Fan-Tastic, Part 2

  1. At last, a reason to approve of Texas!

    Oh, and how great is it that the only stadium with published restrictions on phone calls is one named for a cellular company?

  2. Fun blog post. (Lots of work, too.) Well done. It’s going out to FB. Here are my top choices: No wave, no cursing, no beach balls, no weapons, no harassment of opposing players or their fans, and no drunkenness. And if I could be so strong, watch the game and talk about work, your boyfriend, the gym, instagram, etc. somewhere else, please.

    • Thanks Bruce! As much as I thought it was a bit overdone for the Nationals to actually request, in writing, that people sit still during the innings … I sort of like the rule. The people who are up-and-down and up-and-down all through the game drive me crazy … especially when it means I have to get up to let them by every time!

      • Maybe it’s their passive aggressive way of reminding people that you are here to watch the game, so don’t leave your seat when there’s high drama out on the field. At AT&T, the ushers will not let people re-enter the seating section until there is a break – new batter, pitcher change, etc. It works okay.

  3. Hi Jackie,

    How’s it goin’? Was wondering if you brush Stevie before or after her bath? Need data for proceeding with our two cats.

    Thanks, Jim

    Typed on the teeny, tiny keyboard of my iPhone

  4. Pingback: Fan-Tastic | The Baseball Bloggess

  5. Thanks for the info. I cancelled my ticket to Toronto and got one to Chicago instead. P.S. Did Stevie put a paw over her eyes when she saw a horse wearing sneakers?

    • And, you thought you were a Cubs fan! :)

      The Cubs had pretty boring fan rules … same with the Orioles. But, I was absolutely delighted to see that the White Sox had a pet check — something must have triggered that special rule; I wonder what it was? I really do want to just show up at a White Sox game some day with Stevie in my arms … “You all said you have a Pet Check!”

      I had laughed when I saw San Diego’s service horse rules … but I read more about the horses and how they are excellent guides and companions for the blind. They are giving guide dogs (and monkeys) a run for their money!

  6. The Mets allow diaper bags “with children.” I don’t know where to go with this, because I didn’t even know diaper bags could procreate.
    LOL! I loved that one. As a Mets fan, I’m sitting here scratching my head as to why anyone would bring in a diaper bag without a child, and why the Mets would feel a need to “crack down” on that “problem.”
    Nice, fun post.

    • Thanks, Bill! I bet some of these odd rules came out of weird, one-time situations that caused some kind of problem — probably years ago. They came up with a rule to make sure it never happened again … next thing you know, it’s a permanent part of their “fan code.” Someone came to a Mets game once with a diaper bag filled with … ? Moonshine? Confetti? Pineapples?

      Of course, it does make me want to bring a diaper bag to the game … just to see if someone calls me on it.

      Oh well, no worries. According to their website Mets’ security rules apparently only apply to Shea Stadium! :)

  7. Rangers fan here, but when I heard about the banning of the wave, I was thrilled! It will never happen though and will never happen. The man behind the music at the stadium likes to put up funny banners like that picture you posted. The best part is he hates the wave more than anything. 1310 The Ticket spoke with him on the radio; really funny guy who knows how to control a crowd (sometimes). Keep up the good work with your blog!

    • I thought the wave ban was brilliant! I also thought it would be obvious that he was joking, but I did get an email from someone wondering how people were being injured in Texas from doing the wave. :)

      I love that black-eyed bobblehead!

      I wonder if someone with the Orioles might try to ban fans from chanting the “7 Nation Army” thing … it’s getting a little tired and a “ban” might be worth a shot.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Pingback: Fan-Tastic, Part 3 | The Baseball Bloggess

  9. Pingback: All Baseball Is Local. | The Baseball Bloggess

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