Everyone knows that ball players "self-police" for showboating and dirty play, but Janice dug up seven slightly more obscure statues from baseball's intricate code of etiquette that help preserve sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct in the American Pastime.
- In base running, the rule book states that a tie goes to the runner. However, it is generally expected that in the occurrence of such a ruling, the runner will concede the base back to its defender by stepping off the bag and genuflecting until he is tagged out.
- After a home run, a batter should show humility when rounding the bases by keeping his eyes downcast and rubbing handfuls of dirt on his face and his arms.
- When a pitcher makes his major league debut, it is common courtesy for the leadoff batter to cartoonishly “whiff” at the rookie’s very first pitch. Some say that the gesture wishes the pitcher good luck and a career of strikes, while others believe that the batter is actually using the swing of his bat to scare away the two invisible demons of baseball, Injury and Vice, and keep them from claiming the new player.
- If a player is being tended to by medical staff, his teammates and competitors should refrain from flaunting their health by lying prone and motionless on the field. In this way, players demonstrate that the injury of another has forced them to acknowledge and contemplate their own mortality.
- After being hit by a pitch, a batter is allowed to seek “satisfaction” either by having his pitcher retaliate in a similar fashion or by by filling a bat bag with equipment and personal items of his choosing from the opposing team’s clubhouse after the game.
- Though stadium concessions are offered throughout the game, true fans show their loyalty and solidarity by taking part in the bounty only when their team has a lead. In fact, the original version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” contained the lyric “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks / We suffer through famine. We share in the feast.”
- If a spectator catches a foul ball, it is polite to give it to a nearby child so that they may have a special souvenir from their trip to the ballpark or to an active or retired military personnel as a way of thanking them for their service and sacrifice.