Baseball traditions

I’m a big fan of tradition, especially in sports.

In honor of last week’s Homecoming, I’m going to let you know about my favorite traditions.

I have no shame in talking about baseball and a couple of the better pastimes come from our national game.

There is the seventh-inning stretch, players in the dugout refusing to acknowledge a rookie’s first home run and the spraying of champagne when making the playoffs and after each round.

To start, I don’t think there is anything better than drinking a few cold ones and stumbling through “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Busch Stadium.

But as much as it hurts to type these words, the Cubs probably do it best.

They spice up the event by inviting Chicago natives, former players or coaches and, until recently, celebrities to perform their own terrible version of the stretch-time anthem.

Granted, they aren’t always the best. Rarely ever are they suitable for a Thursday night karaoke contest in some hole in the wall, but hey, it’s different.

Anyway, back to the list.

I love it when some rookie finally cranks the first homer of his career and he’s sprinting around the bases to celebrate with his teammates, only to get back and be brutally ignored ­– for a short period of time.

It teaches him his place on the totem pole before being mugged by the entire team celebrating the accomplishment with him.

Finally, there is something about spraying champagne in the clubhouse after each round of the playoffs that shows how much those guys love playing the game.

It’s childlike, amateur and awesome all at the same time.

Hopefully I get to see the Cardinals celebrating like that when it’s all said and done, but I hope all of these traditions continue.

They’re traditions for a reason.

They make the game fun and youthful.

Cheers to keeping them alive.


Column by Nick Dolan, Assistant Sports Editor