9 reasons why you should take in a baseball game during your American holiday


If you're going on holiday to America this summer, there's one thing you absolutely have to do: go to a baseball game.

They call it America's favourite pastime, and surely there can be nothing more synonymous with the States than sitting in the bleachers, eating a hotdog and enjoying the game.

Here's why you should definitely take a trip to the local Major League ballpark when you're over there...

1. It's good value

Because baseball teams play pretty much every day throughout the summer, there are a lot of tickets to sell - so, by and large, it's nowhere near as expensive as going to a Premier League football game. The average price for a ticket is only around $20, which is very affordable even with a weak pound.

Just a word of warning: that amount is likely to go up considerably if you're going to one of the country's more popular teams, notably the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs. Even there though you'll likely find some cheap tickets - as long as you book far enough in advance.

2. You can mix with the locals

New York Mets fans at Citi Field
(Aaron Doster/AP)

The trouble with being a tourist is you can be quite removed from the people who actually live in the place you're visiting.

That's not a problem if you go to a ballpark - you can't help but get in among the locals. And lots of people reckon every park has its own atmosphere and character that kind of mirrors the city it's in.

3. The food is great...

If your only experience of sporting events is going to football matches in the UK, you might think the height of culinary excellence to be expected at a stadium is a chicken balti pie and a cup of hot Bovril. They do things differently in the States, where ball parks take pride in the food they serve up.

So whether it's a traditional hot dog, a steaming cup of clam chowder, tacos or something a bit more out there - like a burger served between two pizzas - there'll be something amazing for you to eat.

4. ...and you don't even have to leave your seat

A vendor sells pretzels during a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins
(Elise Amendola/AP)

Need a beer or some nachos but you don't want to leave your seat and miss the action? That's fine. Just sit in comfort and wait for one of the sellers who go up and down the aisles, calling out for your business.

Just pass your money down to the end of the row, and a few moments later you'll see your snack being passed back towards you - complete with change, of course.

5. Everyone's very friendly

Toronto Blue Jays fans celebrate
(Charlie Riedel/AP)

If you don't know the rules of baseball, don't worry - you're there for the experience more than for the game itself. That said, if you do want a bit more of an idea about what's going on, the people around you will almost certainly be happy to help.

Baseball fans are generally as friendly as they are passionate about the game - and they'll relish the chance to share their enthusiasm with you.

6. It's rarely dull

Look, let's be clear about this. There is an outside possibility the sport of baseball may not grab you. It's more akin to going to a Twenty20 cricket match than a football game, so it may not be for absolutely everybody.

But the teams do their very best to make sure you never get bored, whether it's through the entertainment that goes on between innings or the regular theme nights they put on.

7. There's great merch

Detroit Tigers baseball caps on display
(Gene J Puskar/AP)

If you're on holiday, naturally you want to take home a souvenir of your trip. And there's nowhere that does better merch than baseball teams.

The obvious choice is a baseball cap, of course - and if it's anything other than a New York Yankees cap it will have serious hipster credibility once you get home - but anything stamped with the home team's logo will make a pretty good memento.

8. You can get an amazing view

The Pittsburgh skyline is seen across the Allegheny River at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game
Pittsburgh never looked so good (Keith Srakocic/AP)

It's not true of every ballpark, and it depends where you're sitting, but sometimes the best view of the city skyline comes from the bleachers.

And if you're there for an evening game, as light turns from day to night and the lights twinkle in the distance, it can be absolutely stunning.

9. You can have a singalong

There is not a single more delightful tradition in all of professional sports than when, in the middle of the seventh innings of every Major League baseball game, everyone in the crowd stands up and sings Take Me Out To The Ball Game together.

It's basically a song about how nice it is to all be at a game together. Can you imagine that happening in the Premier League? And if you're very lucky, you might get a celebrity leading the singing.

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