There wouldn’t be a baseball game without loyal fans cheering the team on to victory. Major League Baseball has some of the best fans in sports who are dedicated to the game, players, and go all-out when preparing to attend a game.
Nicole Cahill, a Florida resident and both Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals fan, has been to multiple games and her goal is to hit all 30 ballparks. So far, she’s been to the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.
“My favorite ball park was Wrigley Field. I literally cried walking up the steps to the bleachers in right-center field,” Cahill said.
While Cahill cried when experiencing the Cubs’ stadium, she had a more calm experience when meeting a professional player for the Detroit Tigers.
“I met Nick Castellanos at an event at my former high school,” Cahill said. She was introduced to him by a former early childhood education teacher. “He was so very kind and down to earth. We talked about advanced metrics, Bryce Harper, and mental health.”
Speaking of Bryce Harper, right fielder for the Washington Nationals, some people say Nationals have the “worst fans in baseball,” but Nats fans are quick to disagree. They describe themselves as polite, in comparison to other teams in the northeast like the Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees. They also consider themselves to be supportive, and in a study done by Brand Keys measuring the sports fan loyalty, the Nationals placed number five in the 2015 season. Below are the attendance records from the past few seasons.
In terms of dedicated Nats fans, Eric Brooks is no exception. To prepare for the game, he styled his beard into the Nationals “W” logo to match his hat. This is one way fans can choose to support their teams, while others tend to paint their faces or bodies or bring signs with encouraging words.
However, when Cahill attends a game, she doesn’t do more than wear a jersey that represents the team she’s cheering for. Since she’s shy, she wouldn’t paint her face or bring signs because she’d rather not draw attention to herself.
“If fans want to go all out and support their team in that way then I think that’s great, but I don’t consider myself a hardcore fan in that way,” Cahill said.
There have also been celebrities who got tattoos, such as NBA small forward for Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant. Durant’s from the D.C. area, so this one is probably a way of showing some pride in his hometown.
When I asked Cahill, a Nationals supporter, if she would ever get a baseball related tattoo, she said she’d seen a tattoo of a metaphorical runner on third base, which she thought was really cool and could be a possibility.
It’s one thing to dress up to go to a game and cheer on the team, but Rebecca Kaplan’s dedication to the New York Mets runs deep. She proved this when she had her sweet 16 four years ago to represent her love of her favorite team.
In her invitation to the guests, she required them to wear only black, white or blue, the Mets colors, and she was to wear the color orange. The entire party had been themed with Mets colors from the decorations to the cake.
From wearing the team’s jersey, permanently getting their logo tattooed, to having a themed party to commemorate dedication to a team, there are so many ways fans choose to show their love for their favorite teams.