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The unwritten rules of being a baseball fan

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Are you an adult who wants to bring a mitt to a baseball game? Are you wondering if it’s OK to leave the ballpark early? Here are the definitive, binding answers to your very important questions about being a baseball fan.

In my eight years here at SB Nation, I have specialized in writing about the unwritten rules of baseball. These are often silly rules that result in baseballs being thrown at butts, which is a silly consequence in a silly game. People love to take those unwritten rules seriously, and I’ve had a lot of fun deconstructing them.

However, for the past few years, I’ve been collecting a different set of unwritten rules. These have to do with ... us. I’m talking about the unwritten rules of being a baseball fan, and they’re incredibly important.

Wait, no, they’re silly. Incredibly silly. Take the unwritten rules of baseball, turn up the silly about five or six notches, and you have the unwritten rules of being a baseball fan. Just live your life, buddy. Don’t let some nerd on the internet tell you what’s right and what’s wrong.

Yet it doesn’t hurt to have a friendly discussion about this. Should adults bring a mitt to a baseball game? When can you leave a blowout without feeling like a bad fan? Should you give a foul ball to a kid? What about throwing a home run back on the field? Is it OK to talk about your team using the royal pronoun? (No.)

You are not bound by these unwritten rules. All I ask is that you consider them. What does it mean to be a good fan? What does it mean to be a good human?

Welcome to the unwritten rules of being a baseball fan.

The unwritten rules of saying ‘we’ when referring to a sports team

The unwritten rules of an adult bringing a mitt to a baseball game

The unwritten rules of throwing an opponent’s home run back on the field

The unwritten rules of getting your own last name on the back of a team’s jersey

The unwritten rules of giving your foul ball to a random child

The unwritten rules of leaving a baseball game early