How To Interest Your Wife In Baseball: 5 Easy Steps
by David Culver | Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Growing up, I always wanted to enjoy watching baseball with my wife. Somehow, I forgot to include that in my requirements prior to marriage, and wound up with a loving wife, who didn't love baseball.
For myself, I started young watching Cubs Spring Training games in Mesa with my father. She grew up with volleyball and hockey. I don't have many friends who are avid baseball fans like me. I needed a kindred spirit and who better than my wife? I was going to convert my wife into a Diamondbacks fan, but I knew the conversion was going to require subtlety. And it only took 5 steps.
1. Introducing her to the Baseball Experience
Getting my wife to agree to join me wasn't difficult. Getting her to enjoy the game was more so.
Mistake I Made: Going for the cheap bleacher seats. These were uncomfortable, and I think we ended up leaving in the fourth or fifth inning.
How I Corrected It: The next time we went, I made sure to look for tickets in the more comfortable bucket seats. Now we were staying for whole games at a time.
2. Promotions and Give-Aways
Now that I had her going to games and sitting through them all, it was time for a reward. Getting something free adds to the experience.
Mistake I Made: The first game with a give-away was opening day, and we all got stuff. The next time the give-aways were for children only and I forgot about that.
How I Corrected it: Going to a game with bobble-heads. This was a fun item that gave her something to remember about the experience.
3. Asking Questions
There's a lot to baseball, and some of it needs to be explained (balks, strategies, pinch hitting for the pitcher)
Mistake I made: Trying to explain the game completely before hand. Information overload and loss of interest.
How I Corrected it: My wife likes to observe things and try to figure them out herself. Though I wanted to explain everything, I knew that I may come off as condescending. Only when she was ready to ask a question would I explain, and leave it at that. She's now picking up on strategies and asking questions about why players/managers make certain decisions.
4. Team Shop
Not every game has a give-away, and while budgets need to be kept, buying something for her in the team shop helped her connect to the team, the game, and the entire community experience.
Mistake I Made: Buying what I thought she would like.
How I Corrected it: Allowing her to buy what she wants. Bonus: Victoria’s Secret has an MLB section with t-shirts, yoga pants and more. This is a "prettier" option that allows her to have something from her favourite store while connecting with the game.
5. Televised Games
Watching baseball games on television has its pros and cons
Mistake I Made: Having her watch games before watching any at the field. Television allows for a lot of distractions with commercials, internet access, phone calls. All of it takes you out of the experience and can bring a "this game is too long/boring" complaint.
How I Corrected it: We stopped trying to watch baseball on TV until I felt I had built enough interest at the field. Now interested, she started enjoying the game on television. The benefit to the TV is the broadcasters helping explain what she sees on the field, as well as a better view of the game over all.
As the 2011 season progressed, she emerged from “passive observer” to a genuine fan. Part of this may have been due to the Diamondbacks breakout season, but she also began to enjoy the game for what it is. She loved watching Ryan Roberts, Gerardo Parra, and Justin Upton. In the 2012 season when Ryan Roberts was traded, she was angry for days. She also gets a kick out of the music each player chooses (or rolls her eyes when a country song comes on).
While other factors existed as well (she maintains that it also helped that she found many of these Dbacks players as “hot”), these five tips helped me bring a new fan to the game.
David Culver is an avid baseball fan along with his wife. He will receive a degree in English with a minor in Social Justice from ASU this May. Find his blog at dfculver.mlblogs.com and on Twitter @dfculver.