The lifestyle of a baseball fan is a unique one. From ballpark food and MLB At Bat alerts, to sunny days and rain delays, each day is a new experience when it comes to baseball. Even though every baseball fan has a different lifestyle, we can all relate to each other’s stories.
Being a San Francisco Giants fan in New York City is definitely interesting. Only seeing the team play when they visit the Mets, and having to stay up beyond 1:00AM EST to watch the conclusion of games are just some of the struggles of being a fan located in the Big Apple. Wearing my Giants beanie in winter following the 98-loss season turned some heads in New York. But even at the lowest points, I wouldn’t trade that hat and my fandom.
My baseball lifestyle goes beyond being a fan of professional baseball, as I’ve been involved with Little League Baseball for as long as I can remember. Having siblings that play travel baseball means spending every weekend during the season in a different town, on a different ballfield for hours a day. The baseball lifestyle has been part of my life in many ways.
Lifer is a column dedicated to the baseball fan lifestyle, featuring a variety of contributors, and will serve as a way for baseball fans to share experiences, recommendations, and connect. All aspects of the baseball fan lifestyle will be covered, including ballpark food, baseball apparel and merchandise, and team promotions that we consider interesting, and might peak your interest, too.
We're ready to connect with you, devoted baseball fans, over our shared baseball fan lifestyle!
Pop-Up Hot Spot
By: Karen Soutar
You’ve heard of a pop-up shop, how about a pop-up kitchen? At the Rogers Centre, home of the Toronto Blue Jays, fans can find this unique variation on a popular trend. For those looking for a change from more typical ballpark food, this adds variety. You can find this pop-up kitchen at Section 209 starting June 5th for every home game for the Jays’ regular season.
Fans have a choice:
Leading off, selections from Cherry Street Bar B Que. (June 5-July 13)Chopped Beef Brisket Sandwich, Double Play Sandwich (Pork & Beef), Pulled Pork Sandwich, Frito Pie and Veggie Frito Pie.
July 20-Aug 26 menu items from Mi Taco Taqueria will be available.
This is a great opportunity for the Jays to promote local businesses while offering hungry fans a greater variety of culinary options. It’s a win-win, so be sure to check it out if you are at the Rogers Centre.
The Baseball Gypsy
By: Kat Cornetta
Born with “a heart that craved travel,” Korrin Torres has certainly lived those words. The former Fox Sports producer, and wife of baseball player Nicholas Torres (Kansas City T-Birds of the American
Baseball), Torres has built a brand touting the life of The Baseball Gypsy https://www.thebaseballgypsy.com/), which includes a blog, YouTube channel and Instagram account.
Torres brand includes an eight piece collection, such as baseball hats, at left. A highlight of the line is something for those with a love for '90s sitcom, “Friends” - a t-shirt with “Gypsy” written in the television show's iconic style. “This shirt tells the story of grinding through life with the help of the friends around us,” writes Torres.
While The Baseball Gypsy brand centers on adventure and travel, Torres wants to inspire others to follow their own dreams. Torres also hopes to create a community for wanderers like her. “Through The Baseball Gypsy, my hope is to encourage others to go after what their heart wants,” says Torres on her site.
Association of Fun With Bobbleheads: Potomac Nationals
By: RoseAnn Sapia
Of all the promotions baseball teams create, bobbleheads giveaways are always highly popular among fans of all ages. This season, the Potomac Nationals are once again getting creative with the fan favorite promotional items. The Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals is putting a fun spin on the tradition, and using this season’s bobbles to showcase unique qualities of their most recognizable alumni. These bobbleheads could even draw the attention of any baseball fan, even those that don’t rep the Nats, because of their creativity.
The Trea Turner Road Runner is one of my favorites in the collection, portraying the speed of the third-year shortstop. The Michael A. Tater bobble is everything you'd expect. Using Michael A. Taylor’s nickname, which is in fact Michael A. Tater, this bobblehead puts Taylor’s face on a potato. Perhaps the most coveted offering this season’s is the Bryce Harper “Real Slicked Back Hair” Bobblehead, distributed on Grease 40th Anniversary Night at the ballpark. That bobblehead features Bryce’s renowned show-hair styled like the T-Birds. Complete details can be found here. Image above can be opened as well.
Good Dogs and Baseball: Who Could Ask For Anything More?
By Helen Silfin
The Trenton Thunder are in their own class, showcasing the work of three generations of good dogs since 2002. Chase was the first of the Thunder’s bat dogs, and his son Derby, and now Derby’s son, Rookie, succeeded him. Bat dog duties include retrieving players’ bats, as well as assisting with the pregame lineup exchange, and bringing water to umpires.
Like many sports and dog loving millennials, I grew up wishing Air Bud would play for my favorite team. This lineage of bat dogs might be as close as the real world will ever get to Air Bud, as they are all golden retrievers. Even though the bat dogs are not officially on the team’s roster, they make essential contributions to the game. The Thunder would simply not be the same without them.
Beyond the Thunder’s daily dose of dog, there are many other Minor League Baseball teams who celebrate furry friends throughout the season.
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats have embraced bat dogs themselves, and their recently retired buddy, Ollie, likes visiting his old team.
The Richmond Flying Squirrels must be commended for how well and often they include man’s best friend in ballpark festivities. Their “Bark in the Park” Nights are rarely limited to dogs parading around the warning track or sitting in designated sections of the stands. Richmond’s upcoming dog-related promotions include a dog trick show (July 16) and dog festival with dog-related vendors (August 27). They have also already had a dog-inclusive family portrait session and dog bowl giveaway this season.
Dogs have even made their way into the hands of baseball card collectors thanks to some creative promotions. The Albuquerque Isotopes gave away a set of cards featuring players posing with a selection of special rescue pups. Similarly, the Lowell Spinners gave away a card set featuring 20 Spinners-loving dogs last season.
Dog promotions are definitely on the upswing throughout Minor League Baseball. Between Bark in the Park and bat dogs, pretty soon puppers are going to be the top dogs associated with baseball, not hot dogs.
Lifer artwork by Helen Silfin